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Tuesday’s post focused on following companies on LinkedIn to help you in your job search. How do you know which companies to follow? The best way to start is to target companies you want to work for. This will also help you stay focused. In an excellent article by Ford B. Myers (read the full article here),  he explains that the strategy of targeting companies you want to work for is,

“the opposite of what most job-seekers do – which is to look for open positions, and apply for any opportunities that seem remotely aligned with their professional background. Creating a Target Company List requires that you have “laser-focus” on the kinds of organizations you most want to join.”

In a tough economy, it may seem foolish to narrow your options to a selective list, but through effective networking to get to know hiring managers in the companies you’d love to work for, you may just end up with an offer from a company that wasn’t hiring!

Please go here to read the full article.

by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Source: The Career Rocketeer

Most job seekers think of LinkedIn as a tool to network with individuals. While LinkedIn is certainly useful for this purpose, it can also provide invaluable information about companies you want to target during your job search.

LinkedIn now allows you to follow all the activity related to a particular company. You can do this by searching for the company on the site and clicking “Follow Company”. This step adds the company’s activity to your news stream on LinkedIn in the same way that adding a connection adds their individual activity. This is an absolutely invaluable tool for keeping track of events at a company you’re targeting.

This information can give you a sense for whether the company is hiring at all and it allows you to see the backgrounds of the candidates who are landing jobs there. It can be frustrating to see who’s beating you out for particular positions but having that information is also priceless for knowing how to position yourself as a stronger candidate going forward. One more bonus: you can tell when someone was hired for a position even if the company doesn’t directly contact or notify you.

The Follow Company feature on LinkedIn also allows you to see how many other people are following that company. If thousands of people are keeping an eye on things, chances are good that you have a lot of competition for open positions there. Additionally, LinkedIn includes very useful information such as the average tenure of employees at the company, the male/female ratio of the staff, and the median age of employees. Larger companies sometimes even indicate which specific universities a high percentage of their staff attended.

The new Follow Company feature on LinkedIn is a great research tool for job seekers trying to find a creative way in to organizations that they otherwise may not have an open door to.

This recent article (excerpt below) provides some interesting statistics on small businesses and the outlook for hiring in the last part of 2010. If you’re searching for a job, have you considered doing some research on all the small businesses around you?

Small Businesses Provide Opportunities for Unemployed Workers

By Kaitlin Madden

You know your hyper-ambitious-friend with the start-up scented candle business, who comes to your house once a week to ask your opinion on how her new gingerbread-chocolate-popcorn- scented candles smell? She may be a total pain, but next time she stops by, humor her. She’s doing a good thing for the economy.

According to the U.S. Small Business Association, small businesses (those with less than 500 employees) create over half of our nation’s GDP and nearly two-thirds of all new jobs. Additionally, according to CareerBuilder’s latest survey, unemployed workers have a good chance of being hired by a small business — or starting one of their own — during the second half of 2010.

“Historically, it has been the small business sector that has created the most jobs at the end of an economic downturn, allowing the overall job market to bounce back faster,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “The intellectual capital that companies were forced to lay off over the last 18-24 months was substantial and it is not surprising that many individuals are using their business skills to create their own opportunities.”

According to the CareerBuilder survey, from July-December 2010:

  • Thirty-two percent of companies with 500 or less employees plan to hire new workers.
  • Twenty-one percent will hire full-time, 11 percent will hire part-time and 6 percent will hire contractors or temporary workers. 
  • Twenty-four percent of companies with 50 or less employees plan to bring on new workers.
  • Twenty-six percent of workers who were laid off in the last six-months say they are considering starting a small business instead of looking for full-time work.

Source: The Work Buzz

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