If you are like many, the allure of working for a company that is beloved by its employees is as enticing as hot cocoa on a wintery day. The majority of leading companies are known for providing quality of life perks like childcare and flextime.
The best places to work also tend to encourage workers to develop a sense of community and offer a positive, collegial atmosphere that is uncommon in today’s corporate environment. As a result, their open career opportunities are highly sought by the best and the brightest. To establish and maintain a competitive advantage, here is a list of suggestions to guide you.
Network – Ask your friends and colleagues if they know anyone at the company. If that doesn’t work, ask them if they know anyone that knows anyone. Join and participate in appropriate area networking organizations and/or LinkedIn Groups. You are much more likely to get a job at a top 50 firm if you are referred by an insider.
Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s – Don’t submit your résumé and cover letter until they are error free and in perfect shape. Even an inside referral won’t get you an interview if you present sloppy documents.
Brand Build – Everything you do from your initial contact until you secure the offer builds your professional brand. Once you schedule an interview, confirm the time the day before; bring extra copies of your résumé (you never know how many people you will meet); send your thank you notes immediately following; follow-up appropriately to ensure you demonstrate your continued interest. All of your verbal and written communication sends a message – what that message is, is entirely up to you.
Be Prepared For Interviews – The interview process can be long and arduous from the initial phone screen until a final offer is extended. Have your message down pat; be prepared to answer chronological and behavioral interview questions. You should be able to identify specific situations in which you handled yourself well and offer detailed descriptions surrounding the value you brought to previous roles.
Conduct Extra Research – It is imperative that you do your homework. Go beyond merely looking at the company’s corporate website. Read company reviews on Glassdoor, read company media releases, their white papers, and devour anything you can dig up about them. If you have an internal contact, speak to them to obtain as much information as you are able to.
Volunteer – Demonstrate that you care enough about the community. Volunteering your time to one or more charitable endeavors speaks volumes about your personality and willingness to give back; companies that pride themselves on treating their people well, value this tremendously.
Hard Work and Commitment – Telling a top company that you want to work there for the perks is not a winning strategy. They already know this is an incentive for you. What else about the job besides the daycare and onsite exercise facility entices you?
Consider All Roles – If there is an opening that isn’t exactly what you wanted, consider taking it anyway. With a top 50 company, opportunities for promotion and transfer to other positions/departments are available and readily shared with the staff. Assuming you perform well in the role you are hired for, attaining a more desirable position in the future will naturally follow.
Educate Yourself – The more education/credentials you have, the better. You have to compete with slews of applicants; if you are missing some training that would make you more attractive to the company, go get it!