For a Career Search to be successful–which is way beyond just ‘getting hired’–realize that your key strategy at the onset is RESEARCH. I define a ‘successful’ Career Search as one that lands you a position with a COMPANY you Love–reporting to INDIVIDUALS you admire– PERFORMING the type of work which you Love–and receiving adequate COMPENSATION commensurate with your Experience, Education & Results. Finding a company which delivers on each of these four components will offer a long-term, mutually-beneficial working relationship–and this begins with understanding that ‘Research IS King.’
1. Websites–Review up the company website and keep reading beyond the HOME page. Click on all the pages and determine the names of the Founders/CEO’s, Executive Management Team, The Vision & Mission of the Company, what Foundations and/or Non-Profits they support, and begin to understand their Company Culture & Values, to validate and confirm they are in alignment with YOUR Values!
2. Publications–Read Printed & Online Publications such as ColumbusBusinessFirst.com, ColumbusCEO.com, SBNonline.com & Trade Publications relevant to YOUR Industry. Study trends in the marketplace and write down names/titles/companies and quotes from those being interviewed in the articles.
3. Google Searches–Have Google do the work for you and deliver relevant information to YOU! Go to Google.com/Alerts. Make sure you are logged in with the google account you want the alerts to be sent to. Choose your KEYWORDS (Company Names & Individual Names of those you want to research.) Complete the remaining options and click “Select Alert.” Presto–like magic– the alerts will start flowing into your email box. NOTE: You can edit or delete the alerts at any time!
4. Events–Look for opportunities to ‘hear’ what the Key Executives/Individuals have to say! Find when and where they are going to be a Keynote, a Presenter, on a Panel Discussion, or Hosting a Virtual or Face-2-Face Event. Research sites such as Eventbrite.com and Meetup.com to find events. At this time, the majority of such events are ‘free’—- but if not—the $10-$20 is well worth the intel you cultivate, if you pay attention to what is being said!
5. Corporate Annual Reports–Don’t overlook the financial stability of the Company that you ‘think’ you want to work at. Companies may post their financials on their website under an ‘Investor Relations’ page–but if not—publicly traded companies who sell shares on the Stock Exchange are required to file financials with the SEC. Search for company financials on Investors.gov
6. LinkedIn Profiles–Once you are logged in to your profile (in private mode) use the SEARCH bar and type in the name of the Key Executive/Individuals you are researching. Review their page completely to discover where they attended school, their interests, what they follow, groups they are in, what they are passionate about, and just as important, WHO you know in common.
Once You Have Cultivated This Fantastic Research–How Do You Use It To Your Advantage???
1. Face-2-Face Events–Utilize your intel as you engage during the pre-event or post-event ‘networking’ time and meet and greet the ‘Speaker/Presenter’ who drew you to the event. Take notes and write down ‘quotes’ from what they are saying during the presentation! Comment on something they said and how they make you feel. This is a tactic for YOU to become memorable to them!
2. Virtual Events–Typically, virtual presentations allow time for a Q&A session, although you may not be able to ask the question ‘verbally’–you can still put a question/comment in the Q&A Box and possibly solicit a response during the event or post-event. Trust me, they save the Q&A feed. Take notes and write down ‘quotes’ from what they are saying during the presentation.
3. Cover Letters–Utilize your intel as you craft your cover letter and provide compelling reasons for the individual you are addressing to take the next step! The Cover Letter is part of your sales process, because what you are ‘selling’ is Y-O-U!
4. During The Interview–This is your time to shine and the perfect time to insert the information you have discovered about the company culture and about the key executives. You will set yourself apart from all others vying for the same position. Understand their values and articulate how you are in alignment with their culture. Share this with confidence, sincerity and passion–and you are IN.
5. Salary Negotiations–Now that you have moved on to the final interview stage, utilize your intel regarding their financial history and current financial position. If company revenue is up over LY, they are increasing locations or expanding an existing facility–these are all signs that they can afford the salary you are requesting! On the flip side, if their revenues are stagnant or below previous year(s) performance, you could decide to present your own compensation package–based on salary & commission or bonuses–and the deliverables you are confident you will achieve. Work the numbers so your annual compensation is still the same–but it is structured differently–less up front risk for the ‘hiring’ company. Of course, be sure to get such an agreement in writing!
Watch for next week’s Post: “Marketing Tools To Sell YOU”