As you find jobs and internships you want to apply for, it is vital to do research to find out about the company’s mission, vision and culture to see whether or not the company is a good fit for you. For example, as a student, you would want to make sure that a job would be willing to work with your school schedule and understand that your education is important. In addition, doing research gives you the opportunity to think critically about what skills and abilities you can bring to the company and to come up with questions you can ask during an interview.
So where can you find this information? In this digital age, there are a number of different places where you can do research.
A great place to start is the company’s website, where you can look at the mission, vision, values and goals of the organization. Spend some time going through the “About Us” or “Our Company” sections of the website to gather as much information as possible. If the organization has a place for bios of its team members, read them. See where they have been to see if you can find any commonalities with the employees.
If the company has a Facebook or Twitter page, spend some time on there. You don’t have to be a member of these sites to be able to read what they are posting. See what is on their radar. You might find information here that is not posted on the website.
LinkedIn is a phenomenal research tool. Not only can you find statistics and information about the company, but you can see who you are connected to that has or currently works at the organization. If you know someone who works there, ask them how their experience was. If they are still there, what keeps them there? If they left, why? Ask how they see you as an employee of that company. You can see what other openings the company has and who works there. If you have an interview, you can also look at the profiles of those who will be interviewing you to better understand their background and position within the company.
Google or your favorite search engine can come in handy when doing research on the companies. Type in the company name and click on “News” to see what has been written about them recently. Is the news positive? Have they not been reported on recently? Why might that be? Doing this extra layer of research can also help you in crafting questions for an interview, and also help you consider the reputation of the organization.
Ask your family, friends, classmates, coworkers, and teachers what they know about the company. You may find a connection that you did not know you had. If they know someone who works there, ask if they would be willing to connect the two of you. Follow through on those connections. Do not be afraid to reach out and ask questions. This ultimately helps you make a more informed decision.
What tips and tricks do you have for researching companies?