I recently had the opportunity to sit on a panel in the business school of a local University to discuss the intricacies of job searching.
The members of the panel were representing the highest profile companies in the region and all eloquently offered great tips and suggestions on myriad topics including: crafting a targeted resume, how to work a career fair, online applications, interviewing and ultimately securing that dream job we all have been programmed to try to find. Afterwards, a very assertive woman came up to inform me that she had already put into place all of the tips that the panelist had given and she also had applied to over 40 jobs in the last three and half months, but found obtaining that dream job elusive.
Then it hit me. Did she have 40 dream jobs?
Was it just semantics or was there a clue here that might help solve her dilemma? So, I asked the recent graduate to tell me what her dream job looks like. She immediately started describing a company, its culture, the environment, the type of people she would be working with; nothing describing the responsibilities or job itself. I turned the tables a tad and asked her,
\”What companies have this profile?\”
For the first time in our conversation, she was stumped. Well, there is our answer folks. While she was dream job-hunting, she should have been searching for the dream company. I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about this specific job seeker and moreover this topic since our encounter. It occurred to me that the tools we use now to find the right place for employment are drastically different from those used 20 years ago.
From a job seekers point of view, the gift of the internet has allowed for an easier application process. The other gift of internet job seeking is the wealth of company information at our fingertips. That being said, I can easily understand how the massive amount of data that is readily available could be overwhelming. The curse of the internet, when it comes to job searching is just that…we are programmed to dream job search with the unlimited view of job posting after job posting.
What happened to getting your foot in the door at the right company and proving yourself so that you can wiggle into the dream job at the dream company? Countless great professional careers start this way. It is easier to get the dream job if you are applying from within. Starting with the right company in a position that may not be ideal allows: investments to be made, loyalty and pride to be built, obtaining a sense of greater good and ultimately career goals to be realized. Here are a few tips to help uncover your dream company utilizing the gift of the internet and social networks:
- Follow companies or organizations on Linkedin, find and Talent Acquisition Professionals and company leaders on Twitter
- Join the conversations and add value
- Utilize existing online connections to leverage face to face interactions with employees at desired companies
- Use sites like GlassDoor.com to research company culture
So, stop searching for jobs. Try searching for a great company with great people who mirror your values and get on board. The ultimate benefit is you will stop searching for jobs.
Steve Talbott is Talent Acquisition Manager at Enterprise Holdings Inc. He joined the company in 1992 as a management trainee in the Kansas City area and has held several operational and talent acquisition roles in the company since. Today, Steve oversees the internal and external hiring for Enterprise Holdings in St. Louis.