How to Build a Target Employer List

Published On: May 7th, 2018Last Updated: December 8th, 2020Categories: Job Seekers Blog, Tips & AdviceTags: ,

Building a target employer list is all about skipping the middleman and going straight to the source. It is a proactive rather than reactive job search strategy.

Reducing your dependency on using major job boards like Indeed and Monster may lead to uncovering hidden gems in the job market. Regain control by building a target employer list of the companies you’d like to work for.

Read: List of Top Employers for Job Seekers by Industry

According to a 2016 study by Pew Research Center, over 40% of Americans said they’re overqualified for their job, and only 33% reported being challenged at work. If this describes you, it might be time to start building your target employer list.

Tools for Building a Target Employer List

Use these online resources to start building your target employer list.

  • Google Maps – Type a keyword to find matching companies. Visit each website and look for the careers/jobs section. Virtually every company has one.
  • LinkedIn Company Pages – Search for company pages or browse using the Company Directory.
  • Professional Associations – Leverage professional associations to identify specific job openings and companies with great reputations.

Additional Ways to Build Your List

  • Visit the website of the city you live in. Look for their local business directory. For example, here’s a list of companies in Highland Park, IL.
  • Get in your car and drive around town to make a list of local employers. Visit each of their websites to see if they’re hiring.
  • Do some research on recent investments of private equity, venture capital and angel investor companies for ideas and brainstorming.
  • Go to the local library and use resources such as Reference USA to identify prospective employers in your target industry.

Define Your Target & Get Organized

You need to know what is important to you in a company in order to build an effective target employer list. For instance, a woman with a strong interest in recruiting should build a list of staffing companies to contact. This hypothetical lady needs to focus on other factors such as commute time and corporate culture (i.e. a small, niche firm vs. a large general staffing provider).

It is crucial to organize your job search efforts. You don’t want a prospective employer to call and you answer, “Oh, I forgot all about that job.” I recommend using an MS Excel spreadsheet, or registering for your FREE Job Search Organizer to track your job search activity.

Before you start building a list of target employers, it’s wise to make sure your Resume and LinkedIn Profile are on point. We can help, there! Submit your Resume for a free review.

About the Author: Doug Levin

Doug Levin is the owner and operator of JobStars USA, a career services practice serving job seekers of all industries and experience levels. He is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and Career Coach (CPCC) with a decade of experience in the Resume Writing niche.

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