What is a target list?
As with most things, the target list is best kept simple. It should allow for quick overview and easy update, and be nothing more advanced than a simple Excel spreadsheet. Consider including the following:
Company: We will discuss in more detail how to locate and research target employers in our coming Part III of this series. These will be companies that offer jobs that fit your interests, offer the company culture you desire, and a mission you believe in. These are employers you would love to work for, given the opportunity.
Rank: Rate the organization based upon your interest using a simple ABC rating system that differentiates between organizations you are very interested in, those you think you are interested in, and those you may be but don’t know much about.
Point of Contact: By visiting the website, LinkedIn, Indeed or Glassdoor, identify the key players related to your search that you will want to reach out to via phone, email, and mail. Using a target list is about building relationships with key players at the organizations where you would like to work. Ultimately, the idea is for you to connect with them to make them aware of you as a candidate, and to establish relationships so whenever suitable positions become available they will consider you as a candidate.
Position Applied & Date: Keep track of the positions you have applied for.
Last Activity: This helps you keep track of who’s it, so to speak. Did you call and leave a message or send a follow-up email, did you miss a call and haven’t had a chance to call back? Who’s got the ball.
Status: Open / Pending / Closed. Make sure you’re staying in touch with the organization at least twice a month. Ideally once a week, unless guided differently by them. What is the status of your job application? Still open or has it been filled? Did the employer close the position without hiring anyone, or does the job appear to be continuously open?
Next Step: You know who you’re targeting and tracking progress, so this is where you plan your next steps. You’re thinking strategically and staying one step ahead of the competition. How are you reaching out to employers? Is it effective? Consider changing it up, and over time you will see a pattern of what works and what doesn’t.
As author and presenter Garr Reynolds reminds us, When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Use the target list to help you organize your job search priorities. Remember, through our proprietary EVOLVE program, we can help you build your own target list and fill in critical holes to make it work for you.