When it comes to looking for a new job it’s essential that you know a little about the companies that you apply for. By understanding a company you will be able to know more about the kind of work they do, if it suits you, whether you’re the right person for the job, what qualities they’re looking for in job applicants and also how you should position yourself in your CV and cover letters.
Using relevant information during the application process will show potential employers that you have researched their company, understand them and are keen to work for them specifically.
Follow the steps below to find background information on potential employers, helping to make your job search more targeted and successful.
Company websites are a great place for you to start your research - nearly every company now has a web page, which will include information about the organisation, what they offer as a business and its aims and ethos. This is the best place to start when building up your knowledge as it gives you an overall flavour of the company.
More online: press releases, news, industry sites
Investigating a company’s online presence through relevant newswires and trade publications will give you a more comprehensive understanding of what they have or haven’t achieved in the past 12 months. You can also learn more about the direction the company is moving in and how they compete in the current market.
Social networking sites
Many companies use social networking for colleague communication and recruitment purposes. Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter may assist you to find information on companies and specific industries.
Real world networking
Where possible, gain an inside perspective through an acquaintance who has been involved with a company. Personal recommendations and experiences offer insights into a working culture. Use your discretion to evaluate this information and remain objective.
Research the companies competing in the same space as the organisation you are looking to work with. Demonstrating knowledge of industry key players will also impress the employer.
Want more? Ask
Don’t be afraid to call the company’s main help desk to request brochures or advice as to where you can find out more. Their Human Resource department may even be able to supply you with a more detailed job description.