Conducting Employer Research

Information is power! Therefore, the more you know about the companies and organizations you would like to work for, the more likely you are to receive job offers from them. Follow these simple information gathering steps to increase your chances of a successful job or career search:

1) Make a list of companies or organizations of interest. When constructing this list consider the following criteria: the field you wish to work in, your work interests and values, preferred location, and organizational culture. Once you’ve compiled this list begin searching websites that will provide lists of companies that best match what you're looking for. For example, if working for a multinational company is most important to you, search the Fortune 500 list for companies that interest you. On the other hand, If you’re looking for a high growth smaller company, you might use websites such as Inc.com. Or, if your top priority is to work for a company that is ranked high for specific areas of employee diversity, such as working mothers or underrepresented groups, you may use websites that address that area such as WorkingMother, DiversityInc, or Teachers of Color. Additional information gathering strategies include using your local Chamber of Commerce or professional associations.

2) Read about each company. Once you have a list of the companies or organizations you would like to work for learn what the company or organization does, how it does it, why it does it, who does it, and where it is. You can gather much of this information on the company’s own website, but for an additional perspective look outside the company website by conducting a Google search of the company. You can also receive up to the minute information on companies by monitoring various news sites. Here are some tips on things to look for:

  • Company growth
  • Financial information
  • Company objectives/strategy
  • Market share
  • Technology Issues
  • Legal & Regulatory Issues
  • Reputation

3) Network with people inside your top 5-10 companies. Because 80% of job openings are not advertised you will want to add networking to your job search arsenal. Therefore, if you’re looking for a job, you will want to focus your network on hiring managers- people who could potentially hire you. You can do this by conducting an advanced people search using LinkedIn. You can, also, gather names of people in key positions by calling the company directly. When networking, be prepared to introduce yourself professionally and confidently when you make your initial contact. First impressions are hard to change.



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