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Draw Conclusions about a Company’s Needs and Your Job Fit

After you have a clear picture of industry trends and what’s going on with your target company during your job search, turn that research into a clear list of issues you think said company’s hiring manager cares about and how you can help address them. Consider creating a chart to help you.

Company Position Hiring Manager Similarities Goals/Initiatives Problems (Business & Personal) How You Can Help

The first three columns are pretty self-explanatory. Here’s a breakdown of what to put in the next several columns:

  • Similarities: Jot down anything you find out about the hiring manager, either from LinkedIn or Twitter, that aligns with your own interests or experiences. Mentioning friends and schools in common is a great start for when you reach out.

  • Goals/Initiatives: As you read industry blogs and company tweets and look at recent hires in the organization, you get a sense of a company’s strategic direction (what it’s trying to achieve in the market this year). Take a guess at what you think this hiring manager is trying to accomplish. It may be raising funds from investors, cutting operations expenditures, or filling a recent vacancy.

  • Problems (Business & Personal): Note the top three issues that this hiring manager is likely struggling to overcome based on your industry and company research.

  • How You Can Help: Just knowing and then naming a company’s problems isn’t enough. You need to offer to help solve them. Think about your skill set. Which of the company’s problems do you think you can address? List any specific skills or experiences you have that specifically address the problems.

    After you call out these skills, refer back to them when customizing your cover letter or résumé. These skills or experiences should form the foundation of the main points you try to communicate in your application.

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