Building a Robust Target List of Companies: Where Do You Want to Work?

In this blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.

Identifying the right target companies for you is critical to achieving success both in the job search and on the job and to ultimately experiencing job satisfaction. During the job search, employers are seeking to understand your level of interest in their firm and your knowledge of their business. Meanwhile, your goal is to land at a company that aligns with you and your interests.

To ensure success in your job search, spend time thinking about your selection criteria for potential employers. Perhaps your decisions are based on a company’s location, industry (or industry subsector), reputation, leadership team, business model, product(s), culture, mission, or something else. Look at the types of organizations in which you have been successful in the past as well as the environments that have led to your satisfaction at work. Use your natural curiosity to guide you toward potential companies of interest. Which firms are you reading about or talking about with your friends?

In addition to using industry-specific resources and trade publications, you may also find some of the following resources useful in building a list of potential target companies:

Once you have identified these target companies, tackle the following steps:

  • Follow companies of interest on social media (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). Doing so is a great way to keep up on current news, see how the company represents itself, find posted job opportunities, and even generate lists of additional target firms.
  • Look for contacts at those companies—people who can help you learn more about those organizations, their roles, and their needs. Check out the book Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career to read more about how to tap into unadvertised jobs.
  • Continue to refine your list. Add companies or remove companies as you learn more about the fit of each company with your skills, interests, and goals and as you gather new company suggestions from your networking conversations.

Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation

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