Company Research - Get the Edge and Get the Job

Is doing company research necessary?

Today's job market is much more competitive and you will need an edge to get the job you want. One way to get that competitive edge is to perform company research, even before you write your resume. If you want to compete with your peers you will have go the extra step and be more shrewd and resourceful than other candidates.

Target your resume to match the job description of each job one company at a time. While others submit generic resumes, yours will stand out and you are more likely to get the job interview. Also, with the additional information about the company, you will be better able to relate to the prospective employer.

Make sure you do the right kind of company research. You want to find out as much as you can about the specific position that is available - AND – you want to learn about the company so you will be ready for the interview.

Here are some questions you might want to find the answers to before you get to the interview:

Here are some sample questions:

  1. What products/services does the company provide?
  2. How many employees does the company have?
  3. How long have they been in business?
  4. Where is the company located? Does it have more than one location?
  5. What is the company's mission statement or philosophy?
  6. What is the company's financial situation? Is it making money?
  7. Has the company undergone any downsizing in the last 5 years?

The answers to these questions may also provide information that you can use in your cover letter.

When you investigate the specific job for which you are applying, examine the job description to uncover what the job requirements are. Then, write your resume to match up your qualifications and achievements to those necessary for the job.

Here are some ways to research the job:

  • Search for the job title on the internet (general search engine) – read how other companies / sites describe this type of position.
  • Examine major Job Boards on the internet using the job title. Check the postings to uncover the skills needed for the job.
  • Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site (http://www.bls.gov) and check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook which lists: "the training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, working conditions" and of course, the job outlook.
  • Finally, read the specific job description offered by the prospective employer.

This should give you ample information to customize your resume. The information will also be beneficial to you when you get to the job interview.

When you perform this kind of company research check out the company's web site and their local branch office, if possible. Pay attention to their mission, company structure, market share, anticipated growth and corporate culture. This knowledge will prove advantageous in the interview as it will give you a basis for asking specific and relevant questions that will impress your interviewer. You will appear more motivated and better qualified when you submit a targeted resume and go to the interview better prepared.

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