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A Job Hunter’s Guide to Contacting and Connecting to Companies You Want to Work For

A Job Hunter’s Guide to Contacting and Connecting to Companies You Want to Work for

When we begin our job search process, we often begin searching on job search sites, networking ourselves or browse through current employment listings.

However, there is one other key opportunity that can open doors further. Do not eliminate looking within those companies you have a high interest in working for regardless of any current open positions.

Exploring these kinds of passive openings has advantages for you and your potential employer because you’re targeting opportunities where you would excel. Below outlines how you can identify organizations where you want to work, and some strategies to communicate with them to open up new opportunities.

Research Firms you want to work for

1. Browse online. Go to the company website. Often companies have a talent hub that will alert you when new positions open within the departments that interest you. Once you register, an email will be sent to you notifying you as positions open.Collect information from the company website and LinkedIn. Job postings may be listed straight off the website with a specific application process. Search LinkedIn for the key players in the department you are interested in and connect with them. Send a message in LinkedIn introducing yourself.
Introduce yourself on social media and strike up conversations. Check out Glass Door to find out what current and former employees have to say.

2. Read the news. Local press and industry publications can also be revealing. Maybe your potential employer sponsors community programs or may be launching a new product. . Or, the company may be expanding its business into a new geographic area which will create job opportunities.

3. Seek referrals. Ask around to see if you have contacts who know employees at the companies you’re researching. Personal introductions make it much easier to set up initial meetings. Look for a mentor in the field or industry you would like to pursue.

4. Attend events. Networking sessions and business conferences are an efficient way to access lots of information and individual perspectives. Attend conferences specific to your career path. For example, if you are an accountant and want to work in the pharmaceutical industry, attend a conference specific to Pharma for Financial Leaders.

5. Volunteer your services. Do you want an inside look at the kind of work you’re contemplating? Explore opportunities to intern or shadow someone.

6. Identify decision makers. Find out who you need to talk with. Research higher level positions such as directors, VPs, and C-suite level if you are seeking senior level positions. LinkedIn is a great tool to find this out. If the company is public, utilize the annual report. That will list their senior decision makers.

How to Communicate with a potential employer

1. Consider your contribution. Put the focus on what you can do for the company instead of talking about what you want. Talk about how you can add value to reach their goals and objectives. Be specific with your expertise, contributions and collaborative and leadership skills. Do not present a resume until requested.

2. Create a tagline/ elevator pitch. You may find yourself quickly at an event or phone call to pitch yourself and stand out. Have a tagline/elevator pitch prepared and practiced so you can capture their attention quickly once you make contact. Rehearse your pitch which should only be 15-20 seconds.

3. Send an email. Your first communication will usually be an email. Craft a subject line that will pique their interest. Highlight a specific challenge they may be facing and how you could contribute some resolutions. Research individuals who recently got promoted through LinkedIn or in the news and send a hand written note or message congratulating and how impressed you are with their achievements to open up conversation.

4. Ask to meet. Follow up with a request for a brief meeting. Pick up the phone and connect now on a human level. It’s often easier to connect with others if you call early in the morning or late in the day or mid-week. Leave a brief succinct message with your contact information.

5. Sell your qualifications. If you succeed at arranging a meeting, listen closely. It is not about talking about you, but what you can help solve for them. Then match your skills to fit their needs.

6. Stay in touch. Remember that you’re making progress even if your preferred company is unable to hire you immediately. Continue connecting with them and check in every few months because you never know what future opportunities may arise.

7. Be patient. Landing your dream job can take time. If one prospect fails to respond, move on to other options. Cultivate a strong support network that will encourage you and give you constructive feedback. Believe in yourself and think positively about your future.

Make contacting companies you want to work for a central strategy in your job hunting. Do not ignore it, or you may miss those hidden opportunities.