While we like to think of the holidays as a time for relaxation, the fact is many MBA students and others will be conducting a job search during this time. Below are some tips to aid job seekers looking to identify companies where they would like to work. These are offered by our nationally ranked MBA Career Center at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business.
Ask yourself some questions:
- In what industries am I interested?
- In what companies do I already have connections?
- What companies are geographically desirable?
- Are there companies that feed into a company I’d like to target? [Tip: check out a target company on www.linkedin.com. Click on “Check out insightful statistics about XYZ Company” to find a listing of companies that current employees came from and companies that former employees went to.]
- Who are the competitors of my target companies?
Where to go for ideas:
Check out the Book of Lists, a publication provided by the Orange County Business Journal. There are different lists for different regions of California. Most major libraries will carry the local journal (e.g., Orange County Business Journal)
Step by Step
1. List companies of interest.
2. For each company, do the following:
Visit its website: Are you comfortable with the company’s products, direction, etc.? Check out its “careers” section. Does the company have an MBA [or other] recruiting program? Does it include “MBA required,” “MBA preferred” or other requirement in its job descriptions? What kind of jobs does it have open currently?
Check out the company on LinkedIn: What is the background of the employees in the department in which you would be interested?
Conduct informational interviews: What is the culture like? How do MBAs [or others] typically enter the company?
3. Based on your research, decide which companies should remain on your list.
4. Cross some companies off the list.
5. Add more companies to your list by asking yourself the questions above and by getting advice through informational interviews.
I have my Target Company List, now what?
Once you have companies on your Target Company List, find ways to get to know each company better and vice versa. Some suggestions:
- Follow your companies on LinkedIn. This will allow you to see who is joining and who is leaving them. What kinds of positions do the firms seem to be hiring?
- Are the companies on twitter? If so, follow them. Re-tweet them. If the companies host blogs, re-tweet their blog posts.
- If the companies have a Facebook page, “like” their pages. “Share” and “like” their content. This is a great way to learn about companies and to become known by them.
- Check and see who in your LinkedIn connections is somehow linked to someone in a target company. Can you arrange to get introduced to someone in the company by one of your connections? Request informational interviews.
- Check and see if there are alumni of your school who currently work or have formerly worked at a target company. Request informational interviews.
- Is there a particular charity that your target company supports? Can you attend local events?
- Does a target company give company tours? If so, schedule one.
- Set up an email alert in Yahoo News or Google News, so that you get emails whenever news articles are written about your target companies.
We wish you all the best!