Targeting companies you want to work for can be an effective job-search strategy, particularly if you make connections with people who already work there. But which companies should you target?
While it's smart to approach your dream company about a job regardless of whether it has advertised openings, it's also a good idea to know which employers are hiring and think about how you might fit in there. Don't make the mistake of looking only in your industry. Especially if you've been unable to find a job for months, brainstorm how your skills could be valuable to companies outside your normal playing field.
"[Job seekers tend to] get too locked into their own background," says Doug Arms, senior vice president of Ajilon Professional Staffing. "Instead, [ask yourself], OK, what am I good at?"
[In Pictures: 9 Companies Hiring Now.]
To help you think outside your box, here are nine companies hiring right now:
1. Boeing. The company has more then 500 openings and plans to hire a total of 4,000 to 5,000 employees this year, says company spokesman Peter Pedraza. The bulk of those positions are located in the Puget Sound region in Washington, followed by Charleston, S. C., but the company's also hiring at headquarters in Chicago and other facilities throughout the country.
Boeing's looking first and foremost for engineers. It also has openings for skilled technical workers to assemble aircraft, cyber-security and intelligence specialists, and workers with knowledge in business and finance. The company employs a total of about 165,000 people. "We look for individuals who have a passion for technology and innovation," Pedraza says.
The company is also hiring about 1,000 interns this year.
Jobs website: www.boeing.com/careers
2. Google. The Internet giant is hiring more employees this year than any other, including its record of 6,000 hires in 2007. It now has about 26,000 employees who work in 60 offices in 30 countries. The majority of Google's open positions are in engineering and sales, but the company is also hiring for its communications, legal, and HR teams. While the bulk of those positions are located at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., other offices are also growing significantly, including those in Seattle and New York City.
"We're looking for people who are leaders in their schools, their industries, their current companies," says Shannon Deegan, Google's director of central staffing. "We want people that everyone's going to want to work with." They're hiring both new graduates and mid-level employees, Deegan says.
Jobs website: http://google.com/jobs
3. Caterpillar. This construction-equipment manufacturer's worldwide employment was up 19,000 in March compared with March 2010. And it's still hiring; the company is looking to add about 300 people to its payroll, most as production workers in factories, says spokesman Jim Dugan. They're also hiring a significant number of engineers, as well as supporting and management positions, including account and HR support.
Based in Peoria, Ill., Caterpillar has a total of 105,000 employees worldwide.
Jobs website: http://www.caterpillar.com/careers
4. Scottrade. This online brokerage firm is looking to make 140 information technology hires by the end of this year. Most of those positions are at the company's headquarters in St. Louis, while others are located outside Denver. Those professionals will work on projects ranging from creating new security standards to updating trading websites to helping with the roll-out of new retail banking products, says Stacey Hattle, Scottrade's director of human resources.
The company has a total of 3,500 employees nationwide, including 450 interns. The intern track is likely to turn into a job; last year, nearly 60 percent of interns who graduated from college were hired for a full-time position. And here's something that's appealing in this post-recession economy: Since its founding in 1980, Scottrade has never had a layoff, Hattle says.