Job Search: Account Profile Template
The job search process is challenging and can become difficult if you don’t have a specific plan and systems to help you. Using a systematic approach with repeatable steps makes the process much easier and more effective.
Once you’ve done a self-assessment to understand what your career goals are and you’ve determined your job search goal, the next step in the job search process is to start researching potential employers. This task becomes easier if you have a template to follow. The purpose of an account profile template is to provide a structure for researching a potential employer in order to come up with a strategy to pursue them. Using the same structure and process for each employer will make this process more efficient and effective.
The first step in the account planning process is to research the account. This will allow you to communicate to the account that you know your business and will allow you to position your talents, skills and experience in the context of your business initiatives and priorities. This in itself will increase your chances of landing the job.
The second and most important step in the account planning process is developing the account strategy and action plan. This will guide you through the job application process and allow you to work through the plan in a systematic way. It will also help you recognize when the application process is stuck and when to take action to move to the next step. Ultimately, it will act as a pointer to keep you on track toward getting the job done.
Finally, you will need to execute the plan. Having a plan in place will make it easier to move the potential employer through the hiring process. It will also help you gather the resources you need to get the job. These resources include customizing your resume and cover letter to match job requirements, aligning references relevant to the position you are applying for, and gathering other data the employer may request. You can be more proactive by gathering these resources and presenting them to the employer at the right time rather than reacting and waiting for the customer to request the information.
The key to using this template is that you don’t have to follow it line by line. Just collect the information you will need to engage the employer and develop the account plan. Spending too much time researching the account is just as damaging as not spending enough time. You can always go back and collect any missing information when it becomes clear that you need it to move on to the next action item. On the contrary, do not skip the research part or minimize it. You will need it to develop a successful account plan.
Some of the resources you will need are provided as hyperlinks within the Account Planning Template. There are many more available. As you discover additional resources, you may want to save them somewhere in the template.
The purpose of this section is to develop a general understanding of the account, the industry it is a part of, and its relative position in the industry. This information can be obtained from the company’s website, its annual report (if it is a public company), Wikipedia, and other sites such as Yahoo or Google. You can find information on smaller or private businesses using the Better Business Bureau website or your local Chamber of Commerce website.
Summary (1-2 sentences describing the company)
Industry and position
Years in business
Locations (you are interested in working in)
Annual revenue and trends (expansion, hiring, etc.)
Number of employees
Products and services they provide
Clients (key clients for them and those with whom we can currently work)
Competition (Do you know any of them?)
This section will help you understand how the company is doing and what actions you may be taking to improve its performance. Pay particular attention to what aspects of your financial performance you emphasize (revenue, income, cash flow, etc.) Sources of this information include the company financial reports and some of the sources mentioned in the previous section.
Statement of income
Growing or contracting?
The information you discover in this part of the profile will help you discover what they are focused on and what is important to the company. This will help you figure out who to target and what your message should be. For example, if the business is focused on growth, show how your services can help them achieve this goal. Sources for this information include financial publications such as Businessweek and industry-specific trade magazines.
Market initiatives (What do they say about how they approach the market?)
Financial goals (sales, revenue, profit, ROI, share capital, etc.)
Corporate culture (What is important to them?)
Once you have completed the previous sections of the profile, you should have already been able to identify who these people are. Also, you should be able to identify which of these you should target in your job search. If you don’t have contacts on the account, you may be able to take advantage of the contacts you have that can know the people you are trying to reach on the destination account. This information is available on company websites, in financial reports, on social media sites like LinkedIn or Plaxo, or simply by Googling the person. Finally, you need to collect information about each of the people you plan to reach, which you can use to personalize your message for them, mention them in your communication with them, or take the opportunity to get in touch with them. From the people you plan to address you can use to personalize your message for them, show your communication with them or take the opportunity to get in touch with them. Key people include:
Hiring managers in the departments you are interested in working for