Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Re-Boot Week 3: Comprehensive Company Research

Eighty percent of available jobs are never advertised, and over half of all employees get their jobs through networking, according to BH Careers International. Therefore, the people you know are some of the most effective resources for your job search. The network of people that you know and the people that they know can lead to information about specific job openings that are not publicly posted. You must carry out an active, as opposed to a passive, job search. It is not enough to respond to leads from want ads or employment agencies. Carrying out an active search allows you to control the job search process and opens up many more job opportunities. You will be much better armed for success if you start your search with comprehensive company research.

Find out as much as you can about each of your target companies. The information you will need includes answers to the following:

What are the company's products or services?
What is the company's status in the industry? Is the company large or small, growing or downsizing?
Who are the company’s competitors?
What can you learn about the job you want (the job duties, salary, benefits, work environment)?
What is the public image of the firm and what type of person "fits in?"
What are some of the firm's current problems?
Which people have the power to hire you?
What is the company culture?
Where do I fit in; what departments can best use my skills, knowledge and expertise?

There are a number of ways that you can obtain answers to these questions:
Directories and publications. Some examples are:
The Career Guide - Dun's Employment Opportunities Directory
The Vault Reports - provides information about companies and what their employees think of these companies
GlassDoor – provides information on companies and employee insights
CareerSearch – resource available through RIT Job Zone, provides comprehensive company information by industry and geographic location
Hoovers – in-depth company information, including financials

Newspapers, business periodicals, trade and professional journals. 

LinkedIn.  LinkedIn has a wealth of information to help you research companies.  Use the Company tab to get direct information on a company.  Use the industry directory to browse companies by industry (http://www.linkedin.com/companyDir?industries=).  Do an Advanced People search to find RIT alumni in your targeted companies; connect with them and conduct informational interviews.

The companies themselves. Call the human resources or public relations department of the firm. Get brochures, an annual report, descriptions of relevant jobs and anything else that describes the company.

Informational interview. Meet with someone from the firm to get more detailed information about the company itself and possibly a job lead.

Professional and trade associations. Most industries have their own trade associations. These associations may hold regular meetings and publish periodicals, both of which are good sources of inside information about member companies.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re now ready to take the next step in your job search journey; reaching out to the contacts who can help you connect with the hiring managers in your targeted departments!

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