Create a Target Employer List (Job Search Road Map)

Your target employer list is a critical element of your job search plan. Having a target list provides a road map as you begin your employer research and outreach efforts. An employer target list can start with industry (e.g., Healthcare), a functional area (e.g., marketing), or specific companies (e.g., Yale New Haven Health).

💡 Tip! Aim for a list of 40 companies to start, then brainstorm as many alternatives as you can.

1. Generate Initial List

2. Find Contacts

3. Develop Organization Insights

  • How: Conduct research on key attributes that enable you to assess target companies for fit and interest. Consider: number of annual hires, current postings, job function, location, training programs, growth potential, company values, lifestyle, presence of networking contacts.
  • Resources: Internet, company websites, Career Insider,,

4. Rank Your List

  • How: To establish priorities, rank order preliminary targets by your set of criteria – “must-have” and “nice to have” attributes.
  • Resources: Use a spreadsheet to organize your target list, and ranking criteria.

💡 Tip! Create separate tabs for industry, function, geographic lists.

5. Create Personal Marketing Materials

💡 Tip! Personalization is key. Direct all correspondence to an individual.

6. Apply

  • How: Market yourself to each of your top-ranked target companies. Submit job applications, request informational interviews, attend networking events, follow organizations, and individuals on LinkedIn.
  • Resources: Resume, Cover letter, LinkedIn Profile, Portfolio etc.

7. Track Progress and Follow Up

  • How: Use a spreadsheet and update it with each action you take. Evaluate responses and refne the approach, target employer list, personal branding, and other elements. Follow-up after 7-10 business days.

💡 Tip! Create additional target lists, if appropriate. Repeat the steps

By David Halek
David Halek Director of Employer Relations