With Christmas looming on the horizon, this seems like a good time (even if you don’t celebrate Christmas) to talk about making a job search wish-list (aka target list) of employers you would like to work for. Of course, there’s more to this than just making a list, as you might have guessed, and I’ll get to that in a minute. First, though, a tip or two about where and how you might find company names to consider putting on your wish-list. The resources below could give you a good start on compiling the names of companies, although you certainly don’t need to stop with these.
Now is not too soon to start preparing your list, if you haven’t already. Whether or not you’re currently looking for a job, it’s smart to build the list and flesh it out with as much employer information as you can gather. With the right kind and amount of effort, you can get a head-start on your next job search and possibly leapfrog right over your competition.
Of course, you’ll need to consider a lot of factors in deciding which companies you actually want to target for potential employment opportunities and take the time to research online and offline . The sources noted above probably include a number of the factors you’ll be looking at. For example, Fortune’s list breaks things down by categories such as locations near you, size of company, best perks and best pay. Your specific factors might include other aspects as well, such as healthcare facilities and educational institutions in the vicinity of the company’s location, weather patterns in that geographical area, cost of living, how the industry overall is doing, and more.
Although you can always add to the factors you have selected as requirements or preferences over time, it’s a good idea to define the ones you would consider most important before you get too far into your company research, so you gather the critical information as you go and don’t end up needing to do a lot of back-tracking to find it.
What’s a good next step in the job search wish-list development and implementation? Find people you already know at those companies, people you can get to know there, connections you have or can develop that will help you establish internal contacts, and so on. Then figure out how to turn those contacts into productive ongoing relationships. And don’t expect all the information and help to flow from them to you; you need to make it a two-way street, so the relationship is mutually beneficial and respected.