10 Steps to Targeting the Right Sector for You

The scattergun approach to job search doesn’t work for many of us. By focusing on too many things we end up getting nothing, or the wrong thing. A much smarter and more effective way of finding a job is to target only one specific type of role instead of chasing after a multitude of options. And before we can identify the kind of position we want, we must first identify the kind of sector we want to work in.

Recommended reading: How to Get the Job You Want 2.0. Have a read of this eBook as a follow on to this article for more advice for your job search.

1.       Do Desktop Research

You can stick any combination of relevant keywords into your search engine and before you know it you’ve spent plenty of time researching a particular sector.

2.       Look at Company Reports

Check out the investor pages and annual reports of the organisations within the sector you’re researching. You get a real sense of a company and its sector by looking at these kinds of documents.

3.       Check Out Salaries

Sitting in the middle of a business’s annual report is information about employees’ remuneration, which tells you a lot about whether the sector that business is involved in has jobs that are financially viable for you. Don’t forget to make sure that you negotiate a good starting salary for you as well. Our Get Paid Right, From the Start eBook will help you with this.

4.       Research Products and Services

Look at what services and products the organisations in your chosen sector provide. You may be surprised to learn what companies in this sector actually sell and do.

5.       Look at Brand Reputation

Examine brand reputation and the way brands are managed in the sectors you’re looking at. A good way of studying a brand and its reputation is to take note of all the things that make the brand what it is – the company’s logo, identity, values, people and so on. Don’t forget to think about your own personal branding and how you want to be presenting yourself to the organisation too. Read our 125 Personal Branding Tips for help with this.

6.       Find Out Who Owns What

Look at who owns what share of specific businesses in the sectors you’re considering. It can help you to narrow down your options if you find that a company you were interested in is backed by an entity that you already admire or, on the flip side, would rather not have anything to do with.

7.       Surf Social Media

Look at what brands in your sectors of interest are talking about on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Get involved yourself. If you aren’t sure where to start our 125 Twitter Job Search Tips and 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips eBooks will provide you with excellent advice on how to make the most of these two popular platforms.

8.       Read Leaders’ Biographies

Checking out the bios of leaders within the sectors you’re looking at helps you understand where these people have come from and how they got to the top of their sector. If you find yourself relating to their backgrounds or stories, their sector may well be the sector for you also.

9.       Speak to Employees

Find people who work in your sector of choice and talk to them about it. Ask them why they went to the company they’re in and what the recruitment process is like.

10.   Leverage Your Network

If you already know people who work in your sectors of interest, so much the better. They’ll not only be able to tell you how they find it but will also, if they know you really well, be able to tell if their sector would be suited to you or not. As a final reading suggestion here, browse through 135 Networking Career Tips to get more comprehensive advice on leveraging your network effectively.