Searching for a job is a full-time job in itself. Many job seekers who are unsuccessful don’t spend adequate time on research, or perhaps are unsure of how to research. Yes, it’s time-consuming and cumbersome, but done correctly, it will ultimately save time and lead to a better organization, role, and employer fit.

Here are 3 quick strategies to help you get started with this potentially painful task:

1.) Make a Target List of organizations. A target list compiles all the organizations where the target position is likely to be found. A good target list should contain 50-100 organizations.

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2.) Note Commonalities.
This will help you tremendously when you network and interview. Start with each organization’s website. Read about the mission and vision, history, press releases, and organizational structure. Try to get an idea of the corporate culture. No two organizations will be the same, but it is likely that the majority of organizations you’ve targeted are similar in several areas.

commonalities

3.)  Identify your Audience. Networking has proven again and again to be the most effective job search strategy. You’ll therefore need to know who will make the decision to hire or recommend you. The “decision makers” (your audience) are people from your target list. They may make recommendations to people they know in or outside of the organization.

audience

It may therefore be helpful for you to

  • Check out their LinkedIn profile to see what kinds of work/projects they do
  • Become involved in a professional organization they are a member of/support
  • Request an informational interview

Once you know who your audience is, you will need to develop an appropriate message and strategy to connect with them. Understanding and addressing audience motivations is the first step in making your connection.