Job seekers need to know everything they can about prospective employers. Here’s how to get started . . .
Company research is a fundamental part of interview preparation. Likewise, smart job seekers perform substantial amounts of research on the employers they target, gaining valuable insights that can be leveraged at various stages of the job search process.
So for many job seekers, the question isn’t whether or not they need background information, but how to begin to research potential employers.
Researching employers isn’t as difficult as it sounds. For most job applicants, the process begins with a few common sense tips.
Nearly all employer research efforts begin with a Google search. Company websites, blogs, white papers, press releases and other material can all be great sources of information about employers. Although information provided by others about the company can be useful, the best online information is found in material provided by the company itself.
Hands-down, the best information about potential employers comes from people who work in the company. Do you know someone who works for the potential employer? Is it possible to make a connection through LinkedIn or other social networks? If so, you can use relationships to acquire information about the company’s recent successes and future directions.
Don’t hesitate to ask potential employers for information. For example, if you are targeting a specific employer, you may want to call the company and request an annual report or other information before making application. Most employers are more than happy to provide applicants with the resources they need to determine whether or not the company is a good fit with their career goals.