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Preparing for the Job Search: Why Research Potential Employers?

This guides offers some suggestions for individuals about to start the process of searching for jobs.

Why Research Employers?

Preparation on the part of the job seeker plays a huge role in landing the ideal internship or job. Doing research in the beginning stages of the job search will aid in choosing the right jobs to apply for, preparing for the interview and accepting/declining an offer from a potential employer. Learning about employers has the following benefits:

Increase Your Marketability
Knowing about the company shows your interest in and enthusiasm for the position enthusiasm. It also helps you make a good first impression and shows that you are well prepared.

Write Better Cover Letters & Resumes
Having background information about the company allows you to highlight all the ways that your skills match the company's needs.

Be Prepared for Interviews
During the interview, you will be able to indicate that you know something about the organization. You will be preapred to give a genuine answer when asked why you would like the job and why you would be a good fit. Researching the company also helps you formulate intelligent and appropriate questions to ask in the interview.

Make Informed Decisions
Preliminary research can help you narrow choices of what jobs to apply for. Knowing about different companies also helps you decide whether or not to accept a position.

Information to Gather

In this day and age with tons of information right at your fingertips, researching potential employers is more crucial than ever. It's no longer enough to just know the company's website. Employers expect you to know the website - inside and out. They are looking for candidates who have done their homework, which means going beyond browsing their virtual presence.

So what information should you look for? View this excellent infographic from librarian Andy Spackman.  Or, look for these starting points:

Organization Overview
What the company does, its size, its financial stability, its growth, and its corporate structure structure

Employer Image 
The company's reputation, awards, competition, associations

People 
The top executives and their credentials, the organizational culture

Locations 
Where the company has corporate headquarters, branches, subsidiaries

Professional Development 
Opportunities that exist for employee training, career path, benefits

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