To become the knowledgeable, successful job hunter you know you can be, it's crucial to remember that doing the proper research about a company is beneficial on two fronts, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Research helps you design a better cover letter and increases engagement with the employer in your interview, which shows that you are passionate about what the company does and have put in the necessary time and commitment to showing how badly you want the job. Also, it helps you make an informed decision about where to work, and gives you a better understanding of the skills, experience, personality and long-term aspirations expected of you when sign on with a company. Before making this commitment, it is always wise to understand both the challenges and the opportunities that come with the position.
Diversify your resources
The best way to go about researching a company is to use several resources, ranging from an employment agency to online career management sites to personal contacts. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple Google search of a company name to find scores of information about employee culture, advancement expectations, job satisfaction and more.
Social media websites are also increasingly offering better resources to help you learn more about the company you may be interested in, the media outlet stated. LinkedIn's Advanced People search function allows you to find connections who work at your desired company.
"This, in turn, can lead to a gold mine of information. If you network appropriately with former employees you can learn a great deal about the kind of people who work at a company, its corporate culture, and more," wrote Arnie Fertig of JobHunt Strategy. "While people sometimes have an ax to grind with a former employer, often you will be able to find individuals who are happy to help. As you amass your data and hear the stories of others, you'll be able to discern the unique combination of challenges and opportunities present within any given company."
Fertig added that it is helpful to sift through LinkedIn profiles of former employees, which gives you the chance to see what kind of jobs people have gone on to fill after leaving your target company. By knowing this typical progression, you can decide more easily if the projected career path is one you would want to follow.
What to research
According to the media outlet, there are a few key points to consider when researching any company. First, think about how solid the company is. If a startup is hiring, be sure to find out how well capitalized it is, and what the company's realistic expectations are. If the company is established, be sure to learn about its reputation from current employees.
It is also imperative to learn as much as you can about the orientation and training process you would go through if you were hired. Find out if the ramp-up period is weeks or months, and what the expected learning curve is. A company's training program often mirrors how well it nurtures its workers to advance their careers within the company.
Although it takes a decent amount of time and energy to perform these research tasks, it will likely pay off when you land a job that is a perfect fit, and one that can train you for either advancements through the firm, or for another leap to a position in a separate company.
With the unemployment rate still hovering just below 8 percent, doing the proper due diligence could mean the difference between successful a successful job search and countless dead ends.