At some point in their career, almost everyone has a dream company they’d love to work for and a job they would be thrilled to have. Whether it’s for a high salary, terrific benefits and perks, a fun or challenging company culture, a short commute (or the opportunity to work from home and not commute at all), or even something as basic as hours that match your schedule, there’s a job out there that is a match for you.
If you have a few companies that you'd really like to work for, make a point of keeping them on your radar—and getting on theirs—even before you start the job application process.
If you don't have a list of companies that would be a perfect fit, take some time to create one. The more focused your job search, the easier it will be to get hired.
How to Find Companies You Would Love to Work For
If you don't have a list of employers yet that you'd be thrilled to work for, take some time to determine what characteristics your ideal employer would have, were you choosing which company to work for. Then create a list of target employers by researching companies to find those that match for your interests, skills, and where you are positioned on the career ladder. Also check lists of top-rated employers like the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For and Glassdoor's Best Places to Work.
Once you've generated a list of top employers that match the work environment, compensation, benefits, perks and opportunities for advancement that you're seeking, it's time to get on their radar as a prospective employee.
Tips for Getting Hired By Your Dream Company
There are several benefits to 'tracking' a company for a period of time before you apply. For example, depending on the size of the company, if you follow it on LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter, 'like' their Facebook page, or join their newsletter, they might already recognize your name when it's time to apply.
Learn as Much as You Can About the Employer
Researching companies in advance is a good way to learn about the organization, so that when it comes time to interview, you won't have to scramble to do background research. Also take time to be sure this is a company that would be ideal for you.
If you’re genuinely interested in an employer for more reasons than that you just need a job, it will show.
You’ll be able to speak with interest and enthusiasm. You'll also likely have a well-formed opinion and several compelling anecdotes to share when you're asked something like, "What do you know about this company?" or "What do you see yourself doing in the first 30 days on the job?"
With a wide scope of knowledge about the company's background, you'll also be able to impress your interviewer if they ask for your perspective on incidents related to the organization's past, like a new product or project it may have rolled out, or a high-profile issue it may have been involved in. Showing that you've been active and engaged—even as an outsider—bodes well for how you'll perform within the organization.
And of course, there's the obvious benefit of knowing about open positions before the competition. By staying updated with a company's job listings page, not only will you be among the first to know about new opportunities, but you'll be able to monitor what kind of workers the company is looking for and what type of job you have a good chance of getting.
Once you get a sense of the company's hiring process, you'll be better able to make thoughtful decisions, like when you should apply or what level of position you should apply for. You may have more of the job requirements than you think you do.
Take the time to review your professional brand, and rebrand yourself if necessary, to make sure your credentials are a match for what the company is seeking when it hires candidates.
Track the Companies You'd Love to Work For
Here are some tips for tracking your dream company to help yourself get hired:
Follow the company on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest — there are so many social media channels and the chances are that the company or companies you're after probably have accounts on at least a few of them. Connect with them all and pay attention to their updates. Here's more on how to use social media in your job search.
Connect with the company on LinkedIn. Follow the company on LinkedIn, view who you're connected with at the company and who you can connect with, and check the company LinkedIn page for the latest job postings. Here are guidelines for sending LinkedIn messages and invitations to connect.
Look for specific hiring-related accounts. Some larger companies have individual accounts for hiring purposes; for example, UPS tweets job openings from @upsjobs. If you scroll down the feed, you'll see a lot of current job openings. Twitter can be a good way to get in touch with a company's human resources department that might otherwise be hard to reach.
Clean up your act. If you're going to be interacting with a company on social media, you need to make sure your online presence is professional. Review your social media profiles to make sure there's nothing inappropriate or unbecoming, and check your privacy settings to see who can see what on your page.
Bookmark the job openings page. Most companies have a 'careers' section of their websites set aside for posting job openings. Bookmark these pages and make a habit of checking them periodically.
Make a schedule of deadlines and set calendar notifications for yourself. If your goal is to apply for an annual program like a fellowship, or for a company's summer job openings, keep an Excel document listing all of the important dates and deadlines, and set notifications using an online calendar on your smartphone or computer.
Look for an opportunity to meet a recruiter. Many companies participate in job fairs and career networking events. Check the employer's website to see if there are any you're able to attend. If so, you'll have an opportunity to share your resume and connect in-person. Be sure to take the time to follow up directly after each event with all the recruiters you meet.
Don't be afraid to reach out to the company. If you have a question — like whether a job you've been eyeing has been filled, whether the company is looking to fill a certain type of position, or how soon you can apply for a seasonal job — make sure to get in touch with the company. Just send a polite and professional email asking your question. Not only will it make the organization's human resources department familiar with your name, but it's a good illustration of your enthusiasm and interest.
More Ways to Get Noticed By Your Dream Company
Here are even more ways to get noticed by a company you’d love to work for, including a checklist of six ways you can stand out from the crowd of job seekers and make the best impression.