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“Your career search begins before you ever write a resume or cover letter. It begins the moment you develop a relationship with someone inside the organization.” Donna Crow, Executive Director, Career Services & Student Success

Employers consistently remark that the best candidates have effectively researched their organizations. Thoroughly researching the organization can help you:

  • Describe in detail your ability to contribute to the employer’s needs.
  • Articulate why you have an interest in working for that organization.
  • Quantify your experience with success statements identifying what you accomplished, the tools and processes you used, and your results.
  • Describe in more relevant detail how you could work within that environment.
  • Explain how your skills can help fill a need or solve a problem.
  • Understand how your personality will “fit” in the environment and how your career goals align with the company’s goals.

Getting Started

  • Research the company’s website thoroughly—use the Employer Research Checklist below to prepare.
  • Visit your Career Coach to identify alumni and employers who work inside the organization.
  • Search publications online and in print.
  • Join professional organizations in your field to access member directories.
  • Speak with recruiters at career fairs to gain knowledge of the company.
  • Use LinkedIn to view company profiles
  • The Muse is also a great resource for doing employer research.

Employer Research Checklist

As you research the employer, pay particular attention to the following:

Basic Facts

  • Age/size of organization
  • Complete products & services
  • Geographical locations of divisions/subsidiaries

Employer History/Image

  • Corporate culture
  • Industry outlook
  • CEO’s background
  • Local and national reputation
  • Competitors
  • Awards (if relevant) and other recognitions

Financial Information

  • Stock prices (if relevant)
  • Sales, assets, earnings, growth potential
  • Mergers/acquisitions
“Thoroughly research the company so you can discuss who we are, what we do, and how your skills apply.” Recruiter, Rio Tinto

Check out this one week email-based course from The Muse: "Ace Any Job Inteview"