Yesterday I talked about organizing and managing information around your network contacts.
Today we talk about “target companies,” which of course is the second main position on the menu within JibberJobber:
I didn’t think about “target companies” at all when I started my job search. I collected names of companies as I applied, and heard about them, but I didn’t know how to strategically incorporate them into my job search.
Know I realize I needed to do two critical things with target companies (but this was not, perhaps, the most important thing about target companies, which I’ll talk about below):
- Keep track of any important and relevant news with the target companies. I want to know CURRENT events… stuff that is happening now with the company. Wouldn’t it be important to know some of this stuff if you were talking about the company, or interviewing with the company? Perhaps this makes you out to be a quasi-stalker, but it is better to know than to get caught off-guard, especially if it’s something that everyone in the industry should know.
- Network into the company. When you have a target company, and you meet someone who works there, you start to “network into the company.” Perhaps you ask them who you should talk to and get an introduction to the next “right person” who might lead you deeper into the company, or closer to your key contact.
Those two things are really important, of course, but I think there is something even more important than that.
I think it is critical to be able to recite 2 or 3 or 4 target company names when you are talking to someone who can help you in your job search.
How do you know if they can, or want to, help you?
Simple – they ask this question:
How’s your job search going?”
Your response should NOT be “fine.” That is not a good response. Your response should be:
“It’s going okay… I’m trying to get an introduction into a few companies – do you know anyone who works at [Target Company A], [Target Company B], or [Target Company C]?
I don’t care if you change A, B and C to J, K, F or X, Y, Z, as often as you like. But the key is to be able to give that person MORE, and REAL, information so they can start to really think about how they can help you.
Target companies is key! Track them, organize them, network into them and be able to recite a few of them at the right time. If you are actively networking, you’ll have multiple “right times” throughout the day.