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

career Oct 15, 2020

Searching for a job often means looking for who is hiring. You contact others in your network and browse through employment listings. However, you could also turn the process around and start looking at where you want to work regardless of any current vacancy.

Exploring these kinds of passive openings has advantages for you and your potential employer because you’re targeting opportunities where you would excel. Find out how to identify organizations where you want to work, and how to communicate with them, using these strategies.

Learning About Your Preferred Companies

  1. Browse online. Gather information from the company website and LinkedIn. 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 lost half its sales revenue.
  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.
  4. Attend events. Networking sessions and business conferences are an efficient way to access lots of information and individual perspectives. Check calendar listings for upcoming events.
  5. Volunteer your services. Do you want an inside look at the kind of work you’re contemplating? Maybe you can intern or volunteer at the organization or a similar operation.
  6. Identify decision makers. Find out who you need to talk with. Calling the CEO directly could be the best route for senior positions. Otherwise, you’ll probably start out with hiring managers and department heads.

Reaching Out to Your Preferred Companies

  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 and help them reach their goals. Be as specific as possible and hold off on sending your resume for now.
  2. Hone your pitch. You’ll need to capture their attention quickly once you make contact. Rehearse your pitch until you can deliver it in about 15 to 20 seconds.
  3. Send an email. Your first communication will usually be an email. Craft a subject line that will pique their interest. Say you want to talk about their marketing campaign or their accounting needs.
  4. Ask to meet. Follow up with a request for a brief meeting. It’s often easier to reach people if you call early in the morning or late in the day in the middle of the week. Be sure to leave no more than one or two voice mails so they won’t feel harassed.
  5. Build your qualifications. If you succeed at arranging a meeting, listen closely. Find out what would make you a more attractive candidate and work on those skills. Brush up on your high school Spanish or strengthen your social media presence.
  6. Stay in touch. Remember that you’re making progress even if your preferred company is unable to hire you immediately. Check in occasionally to let them know you’re still interested.
  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.

Finding a position you love will enhance your quality of life, and probably make your new employer glad you joined them. Make contacting companies you want to work for a central strategy in your job hunting.

Discover the Secret Job Market and Land an Awesome Job

When searching for a job, most of us will start by applying to all the positions posted online. After all, if you send out enough resumes, you’ll secure a job sooner or later. Right?

Not necessarily!

Unfortunately, the jobs that are easy to find often receive hundreds or even thousands of applicants. The odds of beating out all of them for the position may be against you. In fact, approximately 50% of all available positions are filled before even making it to the public posting process.

Someone gets the job before the rest of the world knows about it.

Sometimes these jobs go to someone already employed at the company or to a “friend of a friend.” But if you know how to work the system, you can tap into this secret job market and reap the benefits!

Use these strategies and become a pro at finding these off the record jobs: 

  1. Networking is the key. Many of these jobs aren’t posted anywhere, and only a few individuals even know they exist. It might be a manager who knows he’s expanding his department in a few months or the sales representative whose boss told her they’re hiring more reps next quarter.
    • Meet as many people as possible within your industry, job category, or even a related career. Share your career goals with these individuals so they keep you in mind when an opportunity arises.
    • The larger your network, the more inside information and opportunities you may have.
  2. Make contact with someone on the inside. You’re looking for the person in charge of hiring or someone who can make effectual recommendations. For example, if you’re a teacher, that might be the school board or principal.
    • It might take a little digging to find the name of the contact person you’re looking for. Check out the company website or call the establishment and ask.
    • When you find that contact person, get in touch and let them know you’re looking for a position. Solicit advice rather than directly asking for a job because that could put them on the defensive.
    • You might end up with a great referral or on the top of the list when the next position becomes available.
  3. Leverage LinkedIn. This is a great website for tracking down other professionals. Look up your high school friends and college roommates. One of your contacts might be able to help you out. For example, your high school pal might be a CEO and she could pull some strings.
    • Getting a reference from someone that knows you well can make all the difference.
  4. Contact everyone you know. Take the time to drop a line to everyone you know just to say hello. After the pleasantries are out of the way, let them know you’re looking for a job. The more people you talk to, the better your odds of finding something.
  5. Contact people you don’t know. After you’ve contacted those you know, the only people left are the random ones whose paths you cross each day. The person in front of you in line at the grocery store might know of the perfect job.
    • Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. You might hear a conversation at the bank about someone hiring for a position you’d be perfect for.
    • Let everyone you encounter know that you’re looking for a job.

There are many more jobs than just those you see posted on Monster.com. Take the time to reach out to others and make as many job-related contacts as you can. Leave no stone unturned!

Many people have stated that looking for a job is hard work and perhaps the toughest job you’ll ever have. But it’s work that pays off. Finding a well-paying job that you love is a very worthwhile pursuit because it can change your life for the better.