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Targeting employers is one of the most effective ways of finding a new job. With this approach, candidates research companies in an industry and then approach the ones they want to join.

Researching Industries and Organisations

Where you are targeting a specific industry, remember that most have a directory listing the companies that make up that industry. These will help you to identify companies that you may want to approach.

You should also read magazines and note companies that are successful, expanding, launching big projects or opening new offices. These companies are very likely to be recruiting.

Once you have identified target companies, do some research on them - visit their web sites, do a web search on them, and search the archives of newspapers and industry magazines. Company web sites often show what the company is looking for in candidates, while the magazines and newspapers give a flavor of what the company is doing.

The final research stage is to call the organisation and find out the name of the individual to whom you should send your resume. Always, always write to a named person - by sending a 'Dear Sir/Madam" letter, you show that you have done no research and that this application is one of very many you are sending out.

  • You come personally recommended by someone the recruiter knows and trusts
  • They can see you quickly and without waiting for intermediaries to act
  • The recruiter avoids the high costs of agency fees or advertising costs
  • They can see you and make a decision without having to do the tedious work of writing a job specification and preparing and placing an advertisement

Making Your Application

Having done your research, you should now know enough to send in your application.

Send in your resume with a good cover letter. Say why you are approaching the organisation, why you want to work for them and what you have to offer. Use the research you have done to tailor your approach appropriately.

Follow up your application with a telephone call to the person you have written to. Ask them if they need any more information and if there are any jobs open. Your goal is to get yourself invited to an interview.

Be assured that your approach will usually be welcome - applicants who target companies are showing a researched interest in that company. Companies recruiting direct applicants do not have to pay agency fees and advertising costs.