Question: “How do I go about getting information about companies, prospective employers? And why is it important to do so?”
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
How would you know whether you wanted to work for a certain company unless you did some research on them first? Don’t you want to know about their product line, their corporate culture, their values?
More practically, let me give you two examples that show the importance of conducting company research.
A pharmaceutical sales recruiter recently returned from a career fair where he saw more than 50 potential recruits. None of them, however, is getting an second interview. Why? Because the first question the recruiter asked each job-seeker was, “So, why do you want to work for our company,” and not one of the job-seekers had a good answer.
A former student of mine recently joined a Fortune 500 company. At the second interview he was asked the question you are just about guaranteed to receive, “what can you tell me about our company?” He proceeded to discuss their corporate mission, product line, key executives, income and revenue, etc. When asked how he had so much information about the company, he produced a binder he had prepared on the company — and that sealed the deal for him. They made him a job offer that afternoon.
How can you conduct company research? While it’s much easier to research public companies than private companies, you can easily find information on just about all companies. Start with each company’s Website… where you should be able to find corporate information, annual reports (for public companies), marketing and product information, and more.
Many companies even have a career/employment section where they list job openings, benefits, and more. Some companies even offer hints on how to get hired. Go directly to the company’s Website and search for careers — or go to our Quintessential Directory of Company Career Centers.
There are also numerous sources that provide information about public and private companies and the industries they operate within — and you can find all of these resources in our Guide to Researching Companies.
This article is part of a series from The Career Doctor’s Cures & Remedies to Quintessentially Perplexing Career and Job-Hunting Ailments. Read more.
See a list of all the most common college, career, and job questions — and Dr. Hansen’s solutions.
Who is the Career Doctor? Learn more, read his current career column, or browse the column archives when you visit the Career Doctor’s homepage.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is a nationally recognized career and job-search expert. He is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
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