Research Employer to better improve your chance of being employed
How and why you should Research a Company?
Why do you need to research a company?
In short, you want to locate a company that needs your skills and that you want a future with and you want them to noticeyou when you apply for that job!
Researching employers should be an essential part of your job search:
Companies want a candidate who wants to work specifically for them and you being able to show them that you have researched the company and have knowledge about them demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm for the company and for the job.
A CV is not evidence of job dedication. They are looking for loyalty as well as capability. They will more than likely ask you what you know about them in the interview so do your homework early. Knowing about the company that you wish to be employed by, will not only give you an edge over other candidates but will also help you to properly assess whether this is a company you want to work for.
When to research a company
Stagger your research.
You don't need to do all your research in one go, do it in three stages
1) Find the companys you wish to apply to:
When you are first looking for work you will need to identify the main companies in your profession or industry and where they are in relation to where you live. You need to be able to commute to work or at least be prepared to relocate. Finding a company that suits your skills and values may not be very helpful if you have no transport and the public transport system does not have a direct route.
Once you have found out which companies are within reasonable and manageable traveling distance you can see if you can find out if they are recruiting presently and don't be afraid to approach them directly. They may not advertise all posts publicly so your call may come just at an opportune time, or it may not. In which case they can keep your CV on their file. Either way finding these organizations first is a must!
2) Research before the interview
Get some basic facts when you apply for the job such as, who they are, where they are and what they do. Find out whos who within the company, who their major clients and competitors are. Who is their target audience?
Make yourself familiar with the companys strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This information can usually be found in the companys annual report or in press releases, business news etc
When you are applying to an employer, reassure them of your interest in their company with your knowledge of it! Make sure to make reference in your covering letter and CV of the various aspects of their organisation that you can add value to, and that interest you. You will be invited to ask questions at your interview, some well thought out questions that relate specifically to their organization will impress them and show that you have done your interview preparation.
Knowledge is power, so go into that interview armed!
3) Find out the information that is valuable to you!
You also want to know information that is valuable to you. You will want to know the financial status of the company. You don't want to gain employment with a company on the verge of closure/bankruptcy. You can find this out by keeping an eye on the business news and viewing their company annual accounts. Find out what the career ladder is within the company and any company benefits such as pension health scheme, salary annual leave etc.
How to find information about a prospective employer?
Today we are blessed with the Internet and every Internet users best friend Google. Google the company name and view their website. If they are not on the web, there is always the library and the business directory. Research them via local press, the Business News. View their public online company accounts and annual reports and request a company portfolio from them when you apply for the post.
There are a multitude of tools both in print and on the web to help you with your research, here are a few online sources.
Web based sources for researching a company
IRIN -- The Investor Relations Information Network: annual reports, fact books, and press releases.
StockMarketYellowPages.com: Allows you to search for public companies using descriptions etc.
Hoover's Online: This Web site offers a lot of information but mostly for a fee.
CorporateInformation A great resource for researching companies and industries in the United States and around the world. Free to job hunters.
Vault.com Insider reports on companies.
Canadian Business Resource: Detailed information and profiles as well as links to more than 2,600 Candian businesses
Web100 -- Big Business on the Web: tracks the largest American and international companies on the Web.
The Public Register's Annual Report Service (PRARS): Annual reports
The Forbes 500: 500 largest American public corporations
Forbes Largest Private Companies: an annual ranking of the top private companies in the U.S.
Fortune.com Lists Best and largest public companies
The Inc. 500: a listing and short description of the 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S.
Better Business Bureau: links to companies that are members of the organization.
Small Business Administration Online Library: offers a collection of information about business trends and small businesses.
Allstocks.com's World's Largest Investors Links: More links to information about companies and industry analyses.
Searching for Company Information: A guide to conducting general research on U.S. and global companies.