Finding a Job

Researching Employers

Do you want to ace that interview?  You will need to come across as well informed and committed and that starts with doing your homework.  In today’s world of abundant online information there are no excuses for showing up at a job interview and not knowing what the company actually does. But there are several good reasons why it's worth spending time investigating companies. First of all, spending some time looking for and researching employers will give you an idea of what companies are in your industries and fields of choice. You will be able to determine which companies are hiring and what types of job openings they have. If you're aiming for an interview with one of those companies, you will be able to find out everything you need to know about the organization upfront making sure that you come across as a well-prepared candidate for the job.

Here are some quick tips on getting started on your Company Research.

Focus on your industry - or on your area of interest and expertise.

Spend some of your valuable company research time investigating the needs and benefits of what you believe to be the best organizations to work for in your target industry. Do they specifically need people in your field? What is their track record when it comes to hiring and layoffs?  You don't want to find yourself welcomed one day and then laid off six months later.  If you can, talk to people who work there to determine whether it's a place you want to work, and if they would really appreciate your particular skills.

It is also helpful to find out the company history, financial stability, products and services, personnel, and perhaps some information about the company culture and how you will fit in; most companies, large and small, have web sites where they put on their best image and share their positive elements.

Preparing for an interview is another reason to research employers. You'll want to know as much about your potential employer as possible. Standard interview questions are "what do you know about us" and "why do you want to work here." Research will enable you to have the right response - and the right questions, remember: "an interview is a dialogue."

Use your connections.

If you have a connection that will help you find inside information, use it. Do you know someone who works there? Ask them if they can help. If you're a college grad ask the Career Office at your alma mater if they can give you a list of alumni who work there. Then call or email and ask for assistance.

Then use directories which will help you find those companies.

If you're interested in big business you can browse the Fortune 500 top companies list. Then take a look at the snapshot for company details, revenues and contact information. Fortune provides similar lists for the 100 Fastest Growing Companies and the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

You can search Hoover's Online by company name or keyword. Sites like WetFeet offer job seekers an in-depth look inside some of the hottest industries. They also provide career advice and company and industry profiles.

Want to ace that interview?

Read anything and everything you can about that employer. Use Google to find the employer's web site. Then review the site to see what the company is saying about itself.

Next, take a look at what the rest of the world is saying in regular press and the financial media.  Also remember to search the names of your interviewers if you have been given them ahead of time.  You may find a connection that you have with them when it comes to where you lived or went to school, or even a common interest that you share.  Any of these will help you build a bond.

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