Researching a prospective employer is essential to your job search. It goes beyond looking at the organization’s “About Us” section on their website. Knowledge of the company, industry, and key trends will better position you in drafting an interview-winning resume and acing your interview.
To help you out, here are 6 tips to effectively research an organization for your job search.
1. Start with the company website
The first step when researching a company is to visit the organization’s website. You do not need the skills of a detective to examine the relevant information. Just remember not to hastily look through significant information that could have helped you get an edge over other candidates.
Get to know the key leaders of the company. Search for information on the company’s mission, values, products, or services offered. After that, visit the ‘Careers’ section and see if there is a mention of the hiring managers, what other jobs they are hiring for, and what kind of workplace environment the company provides.
Tip: Send your application on the company website. Many applicants will apply to the position using vertical job search engines like Indeed and Wowjobs. Fewer candidates will apply directly on the company website.
Take notice of the themes that come up repeatedly on the website. It will help you know whether the company’s vision resonates with your personal interests and goals. This way, you can filter out the companies that do not align with your employment goals like work-life balance, job advancement, and cultural diversity.
This is probably the most time-consuming part of the research process! It will be totally worth it when you are asked the question, ‘ What made you apply for a job in this company.’
2. Browse the company’s social media accounts
Secondly, checking the company’s social media accounts is vital when you are gathering information about your potential employer. Most companies have a strong social media presence helping you understand the workplace culture, events, and updates on products or services. In addition, it is a good idea to browse through queries and reviews posted by their customers in the form of comments.
3. Use LinkedIn to your advantage
A company’s LinkedIn profile is a good way to dig up relevant information such as the names and contact information of the key leaders, jobs posted, new recruits, promotions, events, press releases, company statistics, and a lot more. If you have connections at the company, consider reaching out to them. Not only can they put in a good word for you, but they might also share key information about the company that you could not have found out otherwise.
Tip: Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is up to date and highlights your accomplishments. LinkedIn is the top social networking website for jobseekers. Employers and recruiters use LinkedIn to locate both active job seekers and those who aren’t necessarily looking (passive candidates). In addition, they use LinkedIn to vet job candidates before making an interview invitation or extending a job offer. Above all, as you use LinkedIn for your job search research, make sure your profile is complete and engaging.
4. Search news articles on the company
It’s a good idea to search for popular news and business sites to get information on an organization’s reputation. As well, you will gain insight on current issues like recent widespread layoffs, acquisitions or mergers, or new appointments. These stories and the latest company updates can help you shape answers to tricky interview questions. This can be extremely helpful information in drafting your cover letter. For instance, “the recent article on… was cutting edge… these are the kinds of ideas that inspire me to join the team at …”
5. Visit Glassdoor
To get some inside scoop about the company, consider websites such as Glassdoor. This site shares first-hand information from candidates who previously interviewed with or worked at the company. You will most likely find important information such as interview questions, salary ranges, working hours, and overall company reviews.
When looking at current or past employee reviews, it is advisable to look for repeated themes and topics. The more times a concern or topic occurs (whether it is praise for flexible hours, frustration with senior management, or dissatisfaction due to work burnout), the more likely it is to be true.
6. Use free government resources
Lastly, you can find information on labour market trends on the Job Bank. You will get insight into occupation description, the average wage for the position, and trend analysis. There is even a free career planning tool on Job Bank.
If you need a few more pointers to steer your job search in the right direction. Book a free consultation with a Job Search Coach today.