Identifying Your Target Companies

TargetOne major step in a successful job search is target company identification. Determining the types of companies for which you’d like to work is very similar to finding your best career. You can maximize job search success by focusing on potential employers that match your personality, values, and interests. A few tips for finding your target companies:

Industry Interests

Whether you have a specific job title in mind or still haven’t decided on the perfect career, it’s crucial to identify the industries that align with your interests. For example, you may have an accounting degree but wish to work specifically in the healthcare field. You would need to narrow your target company list to hospitals, clinics, and other health-related organizations. Whether you have a technical degree or liberal arts degree, a job search will prove more fruitful when you have a strong interest in a potential employer’s industry.

Company Culture

Your employer’s company culture can have a huge impact on your quality of life. Do you want a laid-back or traditional environment? What type of perks do you need in order to feel satisfied? What characteristics and actions are highly valued within the company? Finding out the truth about a corporate culture may not be easy, but there are websites available to help with your research (Glassdoor is a good place to start). For smaller companies, try to find current or former employees within your network. You may also find information about the company’s values and culture on it’s website’s About page.

Growth Potential

Regardless of your career choice, growth potential is important. Some companies offer plenty of opportunities to grow and learn, while others let employees stagnate for decades. Find companies that encourage and reward employee growth, because it will be important in the future. Even if you don’t remain at the company, demonstrating continual growth  on your resume will help you land the best jobs throughout your career.

Red Flags

When researching potential target companies, look out for signs of trouble. Layoffs are a huge red flag, in addition to negative press regarding employee treatment or legal problems. One easy way to keep up with industry or company news is to set up news alerts for each company and for general industry news updates. You can also subscribe business or industry news sources. Remember that the best companies are highly regarded by employees, customers, and investors.

When searching for a job, it’s tempting to blindly apply without considering potential employers. But failing to identify target companies puts you at risk of career limitations and an unhappy an work environment.

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