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Early Birdies

No, we’re not talking about golf. Sorry.

➔ The “birdies” to which we refer are those that fit the old adage: the early bird gets the worm. While there is certainly a timeliness factor involved here, there is also the concept of success being afforded to the one who is aggressive and assertive.

If your job search is beginning to drag on, perhaps it’s time for a little self-evaluation. Are you simply pursing only those opportunities that come your way, or are you out there, banging on doors, looking under all the rocks where job opportunities might be hiding? Are you making things happen, or waiting for things to happen?

What does your job search look like?

Some recruiters suggest that today’s job seekers should have a list of about 30-40 target companies that they are actively pursuing. (We will admit that in some rural areas, 30-40 companies may be a lot. But with a little digging and by casting an even slightly wider geographic net, you should be able to identify 10-15 companies that you could approach.)

Once you have your list, what next? Next, you do your homework. Find out as much as you can about the company – what it does; where else does it do it; to whom does it sell; who are the company’s competitors? Etc.

And where does one learn about these companies? You can start on your own computer. Look up the company’s website. Search for the company on LinkedIn to see which of its employees are listed there. You may even find someone you know with whom you could connect and meet for a coffee to pick their brains. There may be someone – a co-worker, vendor, former neighbor – who you haven’t seen in 15-20 years who was working somewhere else at the time who now works for one of your target companies.

After LinkedIn, the company may have a Facebook page as well. You most probably will be able to find something about them on Glassdoor. Through most libraries (and possibly even at home) you should be able to access ReferenceUSA without charge. ReferenceUSA is a national database of companies with more information that you ever thought existed. Your biggest obligation may be to get a library card in order to get access.

If you’re not too bleary-eyed at this point, you can do a plain and simple Google search to learn more about any given company.

It’s all there for the taking. And the early birds are there catching those worms.


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