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Top Six Tips for Job Search Research

Posted by Patra Frame

Why Bother?  WIIFM?

At seminar after talk after workshop I do, people are unsure how to really go about researching the next step.   Many think it is too much work.  And then they wonder how they ever got stuck in such a bad job/place.

Most recruiters will tell you that few job seekers have really done their homework.  But doing your research makes you a far better prospect to a hiring manager.  It also reduces the wasted time and effort that beset many job searches.

Tip 6.

Read the organization’s website.  Sure, you looked at the careers section… now check out press releases, client info, business focus, and how they talk about themselves to the world.  Is it useful? Current? Easy or hard to use?  Do their values match yours?   Does it sound like a place where you want to work?  Can make a contribution and succeed?  Or not so much?

Tip 5.

If you remain interested, do some in-depth research.  There are sites like Hoovers and Yahoo for current corporate info.  Check out the SEC’s Edgar service for annual reports and quarterly filings if it is a public company.  (IRS 990s if it is a non-profit.)  Ask the reference librarian at your local public or university library for help too.  They often have subscriptions to paid services which can provide more depth.

Tip 4.

Newspapers aren’t really dead – look at your major local paper for current news and interviews.  Interviews are often a gold mine of information on future plans.  Plus having the interviewer’s name gives you more search options.  And info from the interview can help you make your case as to why you would be a terrific addition to their staff.    If you have a business journal in your city, read it too.  And check out professional and trade association journals for articles and news.  

Tip 3.

Go through your connections – who has worked with your target organization?  Using LinkedIn, you can also see who has connections at your targets.  Then ask for an introduction so you can ask specific questions about working there.  And check out the new LI ‘company follow’ option – learn what is happening and who is coming and going in the company.

Tip 2.

Search blogs and articles on Google.  Using the organization name is helpful but may be overwhelming.  Try also the name of the hiring manager or a senior person in your field.  This string, courtesy of Brett Hollander at Netcruiter, works well:

Hiring Manager Name (blog OR blogs OR achives OR posted OR forum OR article OR rss OR feed OR conferences OR events)

Tip 1.

Keep your research in whatever format works for you but make sure you can refer to it easily.  When you need to make a connection at your target or are being interviewed, you want to be able to review what you already know quickly.  And update it easily.  Then you can demonstrate why you are the pro they should hire immediately because you will be — and you will be far ahead of other job seekers!

Good hunting!

This entry was posted on Monday, May 10, 2010 7:56 pm

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