Find out more about prospective employers

Where is a better starting place for learning about employers for job search purposes than directories such as the Yellow Pages? You can find the contact details, locations, their products and services, by browsing through the relevant categories. Several companies also list at online directories and provide summaries of their main business activities and some also list their websites. Use the contact details and website addresses for learning about employers for job search purposes.

Step 2: Use marketing related information for learning about employers for job search purposes
Don't overlook the usefulness of product and services knowledge. Very few applicants bother with marketing material of the potential employers, which means you will have a definite advantage when you study their catalogues.

Where to get the information
Contact the company's marketing division or visit their website's products and services section to get a list of their main business activities, pricing structure, products and services. This type of information is readily available and the sales people at the company would gladly forward the information. Create the impression that you are not only a possible future employee, but also a customer interested in their main product line. Use brochure and marketing material from the company to learn more about their marketing strategies and client relationship policies.

Step 3: Study annual reports for learning about employers for job search purposes
The company annual report normally provides:

  • The names of the CEO, directors, and department heads
  • History of the company
  • Vision and mission
  • Economical outlook
  • Short and long term plans
  • Clues about the business strategy and focus points
  • List of their main shareholders
  • Indication of growth
  • Employment policy
  • Marketing goals
  • Current important issues for the company
  • Annual financial records
  • Major clients
  • Main business activities
  • Main suppliers
  • The company's perspective on their achievements and possible competition

The above information is extremely valuable when you apply for a job or go for an interview. You know something about the company, which they don't expect. Having this knowledge will provide you with an advantage over your competitors since they won't read the annual report.

Where to find the annual report
You will be able to download a copy of the annual report from the company's web address or find the relevant information on the about us or company background page. If the company doesn't provide the information at their website, you can contact the marketing or shareholder division to request an annual report. Most marketing personnel will be to glad to provide more information. You don't have to tell them the purpose other than stating that you are interested in the company.

How to understand the financial statements
Not everyone understands financial statements. The bottom line is to focus on the final figures for every quarter and year. Note the upward or downward trends and any changes in partners, business purchases and income. Use the CEO or MD's letter to the company's major shareholders for interpretation of the financial data.

Step 4: Study the career opportunity documents for learning about employers for job search purposes
Once you have located the basic information about the company through a directory, read their annual report and browsed their website, you should locate their employment policy and possible entry level opportunities list. This type of information is not so readily available.

Some of the employers have a section at their website called: 'careers, employment, jobs, or opportunities'. Browse the specific section to learn about possible positions at the company, job requirements and their expectations from employees, as well as career potential information. Many of the companies also list the relevant department heads. If you are still at college or university, you can find this type of information at the college career division.

If you cannot locate the information on the Internet, you can contact the personnel department of the company and request information about the company for interview purposes. In most cases the person will be glad to assist when you tell her that you want to be prepared for an interview at the company.

If you use these sources for learning about employers for job search purposes, you will be well prepared for interviews with the tremendous advantage of knowledge about the companies.