Company Research

 
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Knowledge is power - having knowledge about a potential employer gives you a competitive edge over other job seekers. When you're job hunting you'll want to learn as much about potential employers as possible. As well as giving you an edge, this knowledge will also help you when evaluating a job offer.

All the big companies know that and pour lots of money into research to gain the knowledge they need to be competitive. Companies commit extensive resources to conducting market research before selling their products. Many large companies have huge information centers where they employ staffs of professional librarians who are able to access information on clients, competitors, and customers. The amount of knowledge you have about a potential employer, and on the industry in which you hope to work, can assist you in your job search. This pertains both to making initial contact with employers and before going on interviews.

Research before making initial contact

When you begin to make initial contacts with potential employers, through resumes or any other method you use, it is a good idea to have some basic facts about the company. For example, you should know the company's industry, what they do, who some major clients are, and the names of some of the company's higher-ups, i.e. CEO, President, etc. You should also know who is in charge of hiring for the position you are seeking.

Research before the interview

Before going on an interview is the time to do extensive research. Being armed with an arsenal of information can give you an edge over your competition, as you will be able to answer questions about the employer should you be asked any on the interview. It is not unusual to be asked the question, "What do you know about us?" It will also enable you to ask intelligent questions when you are given the opportunity, as job candidates usually are toward the end of the interview. Just as researching clients gives corporations the ability to individually target sales presentations, knowing your potential employer will help you target your "presentation" to them.

Research before accepting a job offer

Knowing the financial standing of a company can help you decide whether to make a commitment to that company. If a company is on shaky financial ground, you must evaluate whether you want to stake your future there. By keeping up with business news, you can learn in which direction a company is headed.Also, keep in mind that directories, corporate web sites, the media (press releases, newspapers, journals) are some ways of locating information on companies.