Probably you’ve heard that the majority of job opportunities are never publicly advertised.
If not, then now is as good a time as any to start networking: http://jobsearchinisrael.blogspot.com/2009/11/employment-networking-getting-to-other.html.
One technique that can be used to take advantage of this situation is to target companies of interest as a complement to your profession/career networking outreach.
How does this technique fit in with networking in general? Each job seeker must decide from the multitude of people out there, which ones to (try to) network with. Targets typically include:
People you already know - For those in your profession of interest, including those you worked with previously (no matter how long ago), you have great candidates to communicate with and learn about the current status of the industry, including hearing about specific opportunities. People that you know that are not in your profession can serve as facilitators; introducing you to people they know who are relevant.
People in your profession – Identify people in your sector, and introduce yourself, professional to professional. LinkedIn is an excellent resource to aid in this effort; see http://jobsearchinisrael.blogspot.com/2009/12/linkedin-tying-it-all-together.html. Attending professional networking events and contacting immigrant organizations can also be useful.
People at a company you are applying for – When you apply for a job on an Internet site, you can improve your chances of getting attention by simultaneously beginning to develop relationships within the company. I heard the following story from a job seeker… He read a job notice that was well-suited for him, and sent in an application by email to the H/R person of the company. A week or more passed, and he didn’t hear anything. Using LinkedIn, he found someone in the company that worked in the same profession as him, and contacted her. One thing led to another, and the person inside the company asked the candidate to send his CV, which she would then deliver to the H/R person. As a result of this insider personally bringing the candidate to the attention of the H/R person, interest was raised and the candidate was invited to an interview. Notice the situation: the exact same CV was delivered to the exact same H/R person, yet when it was one of many arriving by email it did not receive the same level of interest as when it was delivered by the company employee.
All of the above are excellent ways to increase your access to employment opportunities. Targeting employers can be used to supplement this effort. As the name implies, targeting employers means to create a list of companies of interest to you, and then focus efforts on learning about them and making personal contacts internally. Don’t wait for the company to advertise for employees, be proactive and introduce yourself. The ideal time to approach a manager is when they have an unsolved problem for which you are the perfect solution. If you understand the needs of the company well enough to develop a pitch that highlights how your skills will uniquely benefit them, your position is strongly augmented.
Certainly the companies that you target should be those that have roles (and possibly products/services) that match your professional objectives. In many cases there may not be a current open position, but if the company is large enough, and/or you are a good enough fit for the corporate culture, initial informal conversations can lead to job offers, short-term or longer term. In any case, the professional contacts you develop will oftentimes prove invaluable throughout your career.
How can you create such a list of target companies? Let’s say you are a sales person with past experience in IT companies; it makes sense for you to review the list of software/hardware companies in Israel to find those that specialize in IT. If you are an accountant from a Big Four firm, identifying those companies that provide accounting consultancy is a good start.
If you work in administration, you can use large company directories such as
For you creative types, here are a couple of ideas that can help when targeting employers:
Write articles about companies/people of interest to you. Many individuals and corporate officers monitor daily mentions of their companies (or themselves) on the Internet for a variety of purposes; Google Alerts is the simplest way to do so. What this means is that if you write an article on a blog that mentions them, they may well see it and then contact you for comment.
Or, if you are particularly creative/brave, you can take this approach even further. Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FRwCs99DWg to see how a P/R guy generated fantastic publicity and a job offer by using Pay Per Click (PPC), costing a grand total of $6..