Creating a Target List… Yes you have to

If it was only this easy...  Source: http://scottkelby.com

If it was only this easy…
Source: http://​scot​tkelby​.com

This guest post was written by Tricia Dowd, a Career Devel­op­ment Assis­tant at NU Career Devel­op­ment, and a recent grad­uate from Northeastern’s Higher Edu­ca­tion Admin­is­tra­tion pro­gram where she earned her Master’s degree this past September. 

One of my favorite exer­cises to use in job search work­shops is asking stu­dents to take two min­utes to write down as many com­pa­nies that they would want to work for as they can think of. Usu­ally stu­dents excit­edly scribble down a couple names and get stumped; occa­sion­ally, I’ll have a stu­dent who can name more than five. So when I tell them that their ideal target list should include 20–30 dif­ferent employers, most of them get a pan­icked look. Cre­ating a target list can def­i­nitely be over­whelming at first, but it is an impor­tant first step of any job search. I’ve com­piled a list of advice and tech­niques below to help you iden­tify poten­tial employers and kick your job search off effectively.

  • Hop on HuskyCareerLink: Many of you are probably familiar with our job search database, HuskyCareerLink. But did you know we also have an employer search function in HCL? Not only is this a great place to start to build a target list, it also gives you an idea of what companies have worked with Northeastern. To do an employer search, head to the Employers tab on the top menu and click ‘Employer Search’. Go through the list of industries and select any industry that applies to your field. HCL will generate a list of companies that hire within the selected industry so be prepared for the list to take a couple of minutes to load- we have a lot of employers in our database! You can click on any employer that comes up and view a brief description of the company. The cool thing about this list is that all of the employers you’ll see are there because they’ve worked with Northeastern in the past and will be familiar with the school and our amazing students!
  • Check out CareerSearch: CareerSearch is an awesome website that will generate a list of companies based on the criteria you put in. You can enter factors such as industry, company size, location, or keywords to narrow your search results. You’ll a get a list of companies that match your criteria. I suggest using the location tool to narrow down your results- there are over five million US companies in the database! To utilize CareerSearch you’ll have to log onto HuskyCareerLink and scroll down the homepage until you see the CareerSearch link. Northeastern pays for our students to be able to use this website so take advantage of this resource!
  • Look on LinkedIn: Not only is LinkedIn a powerful people resource, it’s also an important part of building your target list. LinkedIn has company pages that provide insight into companies you’re considering for your target list as well as related companies to help expand the list even further! For instance enter ‘Google’ into the LinkedIn search bar and the Google company page will come up. Scroll down a little until you hit the ‘People Also Viewed’ section on the right hand side. This is a list of similar companies! You can essentially follow the trail and research these different companies as well as companies that show up in their ‘People Also Viewed’ section. This is an easy way to expand a list if you already have a few company names.

These resources should help you develop a target list of 20–30 com­pa­nies. You can do fur­ther research on these com­pa­nies by looking at their com­pany page on glass­door and going on infor­ma­tional inter­views with people who work there. This will help to con­firm that the com­pa­nies you’ve selected are a good fit for you! After you’ve final­ized your target list, make sure to check their web­sites fre­quently for posi­tions you’re qual­i­fied for. You can learn more about the job search process by attending one of our Small Group Job Search work­shops or by looking on our Job Search page.

Tricia Dowd is a Career Devel­op­ment Assis­tant at NEU Career Devel­op­ment, and grad­u­ated from North­eastern with a Master’s in Higher Edu­ca­tion Admin­is­tra­tion in Sep­tember. She is inter­ested in helping stu­dents gain prac­tical expe­ri­ences to com­ple­ment what they’re learning in the class­room. You can reach her at p.​dowd@​neu.​edu