Tips for Company Research

I've mentioned several times that when you are looking for a job one of the best job search strategies you can use is research.  The more you know about a company the better you can target your resume and cover letter to that specific company.  You will also find that it is easier to answer questions in the interview - especially those all important questions like "Why do you want to work for us?" or "Do you have any questions?"

So, when it comes to company research, what should you be doing?

Use the Internet

The Internet can be a great asset when you are doing research on a company for job search purposes.  Search for them on Google (especially filtering for "news").  Look for them on social networking sites.  Many companies now have a Facebook Page, a LinkedIn profile, or a YouTube account.  You may find experiences of previous employees on forums.  And of course, they will almost definitely have a web site that will provide you with loads of information that will be useful to you.

Phone the HR Department

It is amazing how much information the HR Department is often willing to give you when they know you are interested in working for their company.  Be polite and have specific questions prepared ahead of time.  Don't just ask, "Tell me about your company?" Get information that you can use to find out more, like the name of the owner/CEO, how many offices they have, or if they are hiring for other departments.

When you target your resume and cover letter towards a specific company you are more likely to get an interview.  And when you come to the interview with more knowledge than other interviewees they will see that you are self-motivated and able to work independently.