Strategic Search Sick and tired of the shot gun approach to your job search? Why not try a more strategic approach? Earlier in the week we talked about the importance of knowing what you want before developing a plan of action.
Whether you’re employed and confidentially looking or between jobs and actively looking, a strategic approach will cost you more time and thought but the rewards will be significantly greater. Besides, what’s the alternative? Applying online, otherwise known as the black hold of resumes. Let’s face it, this is where resumes go to die. Or, wait for the ideal opportunity to find you? A realistic possibility yet how will you know the role is right for you if you haven’t done your homework.
Although this is nowhere near an exhaustive list, let’s work from a few of the examples in our last post.
If you’re seeking…
Consider companies that are growing. If you notice a company is hiring a number of positons they’re likely adding new roles. Or, seek a company with a reputation for promoting from within.
Socially Conscious or Mission driven
Which companies in your market segment are publicly acknowledged for donating to charity? Aside from great product, which brands appear to be more mission driven? Obvious examples are: Keen, REI, TOMS, Wild Fang, etc.
A brand that you can relate to personally
This one is easy. Do they align with your personal beliefs, hobbies or lifestyle?
Superior product that inspires
Which brands do you admire for innovation, craftsmanship, or overall aesthetic?
Continuous learning. Opportunities to grow professionally.
You’re likely to find more learning opportunities in small to medium sized companies. With less employees you’ll be given the opportunity to try new things and work in more than one function. With smaller brands you’ll get hands on experience. Some larger corporate settings offer training and development. Macys, Neiman Marcus, Nike are a few examples of companies that offer formal training programs.
Some companies have a reputation for turn and burn cultures. Others are more subtle. This is where you’ll need to leverage your network to find the truth. Who can you talk to who has worked there in the past? Be careful to not base your view on only one person’s experience. Talk to at least three. LinkedIn is an easy way to find people who have worked at your target company in the past. Talk to recruiters whom you know and trust.
Engagement. You want to feel like you’re part of something as opposed to just a number.
In general, smaller to medium sized companies are a bit cozier with less red tape which typically promotes engagement. If you’re set on a corporate structure refer to Work-life balance and leverage your network to gather the information you need to make an informed decision. Another resource to consider is glassdoor.com. Sometimes you’ll find interesting comments from past employees that will offer insight. It may not confirm that the company promotes employee engagement but it will be obvious if they do not.
Putting Your Plan into Action
By now, you might have 10-30 companies on your list. Now comes the easy part. Use the advanced search on LinkedIn. Type in the company name and title of the person who you would potentially report to. For example: If you’re a Director of Product Development, you would likely report to a VP. Repeat this step to determine your best HR or Talent Acquisition contact. For large companies, Director of Talent of Acquisition. In smaller or medium sized brands, HR director is more likely to be your point person. Once you have a complete list of names and titles to corresponding companies you can contact them directly either via email or through LinkedIn.
Introduce yourself, express your interest in the brand and why. This is a great opportunity to include some of the reasons you were drawn to this company and why you’re reaching out. Include your resume. A paragraph maximum will suffice. Don’t write an essay on your career history and why you’re awesome. Keep it brief and to the point.
You just made a strategic contact with a company you would be truly interested in working for. When the timing and opportunity is right your chances of being contacted for a role that aligns with you is significantly greater. Without the guesswork.
Photo Credit: Want