Climb the Ladder

Why you should start your job search with companies, not job titles

For most anyone, the typical job search process starts like this:

You take the experience you have and figure out the types of jobs where it would be a good fit. It might be the same type of role you had before, something slightly different where your skills still apply, or maybe you’re looking for something entirely new. 

Whatever the case, we almost always start our job search with – you guessed it – the job. Our hopeful next job title is what we type into job search engines and what we CTRL + F to find on company websites.

But what if we started to think about our job search differently?

What if we looked at it from another angle?

Here’s what we’re proposing: 

Why not start your job search with the company?

Essentially, what we mean by this is that candidates should narrow down a shortlist of companies you’d ideally like to work for rather than job titles. Doing this can essentially change the entire feel of your job search and might even help you land a great job. Here’s why.

You show your excitement for the company

We talk about showing excitement a lot. It’s really important to hiring managers! If you have a company on your list that you’d love to work for, check out the positions they may be hiring for and if any seem like a good fit for you. Even if you don’t see any, try proactively reaching out to a hiring manager or company recruiter letting them know that you would love to join their company. Be sure to mention why the company is specifically exciting to you and why you’d love to be a part of it. Also be sure to generally list your skills and experience (keep this brief in your email) and attach your resume. Lastly, be sure to ask for an interview to talk about available positions at the company.

Check out this email example:

“Dear Mr./Ms. Hiring Manager,

I’m writing today because for a long time, I have admired the work and mission of Company Name. Here is where you might insert a couple specific things you love like something you saw in the news or congratulating a startup on a recent round of funding.

In 2015 I graduated with an MBA from Boston University and went on to work for a small, boutique company where I was able to make a difference from day one. While there, I was able to develop an entrepreneurial and collaborative mindset that helped our company reach a 20% increase in annual revenue. If you’d like to see more details of my experience, I’ve attached my resume to this email. 

I would love the opportunity to set up a time to visit with you to get your insight and suggestions on where my skills and abilities would be put to use at Your Company and to explore job openings.

Please see below for my contact information and I look forward to speaking with you soon!


Your Name

Contact information”

By sending an email like this, you’re showing the hiring manager, CEO, whoever, that you’re passionate about their company. This is something that hiring managers are always looking for and it’s the and it’s the # 1 thing we see candidates get turned down for after an interview.

Passion is huge and you never know what doors it may open, which brings us to our next point.

You may be a great fit for a different role

Once you get your foot in the door, be sure to reiterate your love for the company, specifically. During interview preps, we often tell candidates to not simply seem excited about working at *a* hedge fund or *a* startup. We tell them to think of the reasons for why they’re excited to work at *this* hedge fund or *this* startup. It makes a big difference during your job interview and hirings managers will notice.

Let’s say that the company isn’t currently hiring for the typical job title you’d apply for. Don’t sweat it. If you’re able to show your excitement and communicate your soft skills or transferrable skills, they may very well be open to finding something that is available where you could still be a good fit. Hiring managers know that it can be hard to get top talent who’s also passionate in the door and if you’re both of those things, they probably won’t let you walk away that easily.

And hey, even if there isn’t anything available for you at the moment, that’s ok too. By being proactive and leaving your information behind, you’re doing what you can to let the company know that you’re a great option when a job does open up. 

Last but not least, be proactive in following up with the company every few months to see if there are any new job openings. It doesn’t hurt to bring your name top of mind to an employer every now and then, even if you’re currently employed.

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Candidates, Climb the Ladder