So now that you have potentially landed an interview with the company of your dreams, many of you might be asking; what do I do next? Well, the next phase of the job search process is in my opinion one of the most important, researching the company. Conducting thorough research on a company you are applying for will not only prepare you for the interview, it could very well be the difference of you getting the job or someone else who was more informed. There are several ways to get started when doing your research, here are just a few quick and easy steps I created to get you going in the right direction.
1. Getting started on the research
Researching the company you are interviewing for should be the first thing you do. A great place to start is on the company’s website. From here, you should be able to locate information such as company history, culture, management, job requirements, postings, and about their products or services. Using their website is also a good place to tailor your resume too when applying for the job if you have not done so already prior to the job application. Most professional and reputable companies will have all this information available for anyone who visits their site. Researching the company’s website should be an easy first step however, if you come across a company that is lacking this important information, your next step should be to search the web or social media sites.
2. Researching the web and social media sites
Using the web or social media sites to search a company can be a great way to find out that extra information you were searching for. Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are just a few of the main sites that many companies use to socialize or use for product promotion. Take for example one of the largest professional social media sites LinkedIn. On here you can search a company’s profile, statistics, new hires, and any potential contacts of your own that could already be working there. What is better than knowing someone that already works at that company right! In addition to that, you have Facebook and Twitter. Becoming a fan Facebook or following a company on Twitter could also give you information that you might not have found otherwise. Using these tools of social media websites are often overlooked when thinking about doing company research but, it is these unlikely places where you find the best information. Now, if searching the company website, social media sites, or the web does not help you with your research, the best thing to do next is use your professional network connections.
3. Tapping into your connections
If all else fails and you cannot seem to find any information about a company, then use your personal connections to help in the search. I know this part of the research is not always glamorous because you will have to call upon old friends or co-workers, but trust me it is worth it. You never know if someone in your professional network might already be working at that company and could very easily give you the inside track on whatever you want to know. Maybe even put in a good word for you to the boss! Another great tool that is overlooked when thinking of possible connections is your school Alumni. Most schools Career Center have an active list of Alumni with names, emails, and phone numbers for people to keep in touch. This is a great for making connections with other professionals who could possibly help you out with your research or getting the job.
Remember, before going on that job interview or sending out your resume, researching the company is the most important part of the whole process. It is the first thing you should do before anything else. This will influence how you present yourself in your resume, how you perform in an interview and most importantly, it could affect whether you get the job or not. I really hope this blog has helped you learn how to successfully research a company in a few easy but effective way.
Scott Steinbacher is a Professional Writing student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He is majoring in Health Sciences and minoring in Public Health.