Develop a Strategy
Instead of the “spaghetti” strategy, or throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, we suggest the laser focused approach. The laser focused approach includes narrowing down your preferences. This can make your networking even more effective.
The first step to creating your strategy is to narrow down your preferences. Start with these four categories. Pro tip: Rank these four categories in order of importance to you. For example, if you want to work in sports, industry would be your number one category.
- Location (name the top three cities where you want to live)
- Industry (top three, i.e., corporate, agency, sports, etc.)
- Job Duties (what you want your ideal job duties to be)
- Culture (laid back vs. formal, etc.)
Create a Target List
Using the information above, you can create your target list. Your target list is a list of 20 companies that meet your above criteria.
Now that you have created your list, narrow it down even further. Of your list of 20, look up which organizations have current job openings that match your criteria. Try to narrow it down to 10 companies if possible.
Just in case, Career Services recommends creating a backup list or ‘safety list.’ This is similar to a list of ‘safety schools’ you may have had when applying to college. This is a list of organizations you have an existing relationship with or see a clear path to employment.
Where do I go from here?
Once you have narrowed down your target list, Career Services recommends networking with alumni and LinkedIn connections at your target companies.