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Company research....beyond the web

Career Exploration The Hiring Process The Local Job Market Success on the Job

Question: I know it’s important to research companies that I might want to work for. How do I go about doing that, beyond reading their website? Answer: That’s a great question, because often knowing about the company makes the difference between being hired and not being hired. It’s also smart to find out about companies before you go to a lot of trouble to apply. If they hire you and you’re miserable there, you probably won’t be there very long. And if you realize later that you could have avoided the whole process if you’d just done a little research, you’ll want to kick yourself. So where can you find information? The company website is a good place to start. This is the face that the company wants to show to the world. If you mention anything you learn there, the interviewer will be flattered that you took the trouble to learn about the company. Not many people go to even that much trouble. The website is a good place to start, but a bad place to stop. There are lots of other resources, mostly online, where you can gather other bits of information: • Annual reports, including the letter from the president of the company • Standard and Poor’s financial reports • Dunn & Bradstreet Business Information Reports • Blogs • News wires Check this website for a video on other sources of valuable information. If you aren’t already on LinkedIn, now is the time to sign up. It’s been reported that 80% of employers use LinkedIn as their primary recruiting tool. It’s also a great place to research companies. You can use LinkedIn to see if you know anyone (or know anyone who knows anyone) who works at your target company; who’s been hired or promoted lately; and to find out about open jobs there. You can also learn a little about the company’s history. You may even be able to find out some information about the person you’re going to interview with. Happy hunting! �