Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Step Away from the Computer

The computer and Internet have changed the way we live and conduct business. Both are powerful business tools and, undoubtedly, enable us to innovate and solve problems more quickly and efficiently. It isn’t difficult to convince most people of the value that computers and the Internet bring to the workplace. But how many are aware of the negative impact that excessive reliance on computers and the Internet can have on performance, productivity, and even health?
Review the points below and consider how you use these tools at work. You may want to make some changes that could serve you better, professionally and personally.
Communication: There is no question that today’s workers manage the majority of their communication through email. Many workers are using less verbal communication in the workplace, and their proficiency and comfort in exercising this important skill is negatively affected. Computer time has limited the need for face-to-face interaction, which can hinder the development of necessary social skills for establishing and maintaining strong business relationships.
Productivity: Sure, computers and the Internet have created efficiencies in the workplace. But can we assume they drive productivity as well? In many cases, the answer is yes. However, you should be aware of how they can also impede productivity. To discern when computer and Internet time have stopped being productive, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Are you wasting time responding to unnecessary emails or interrupting productive tasks to answer incoming email?
  • During job-related Internet research are you clicking mindlessly through cyberspace?
  • Are you using the computer to check Facebook and Twitter or to shop and perform other non-work activities?
  • Is Internet surfing, whether work-related or not, a means for procrastinating on tasks that require your attention?
Health: Excessive computer time can actually have negative effects on your health. In fact, several indicators and medical reports support this claim. For example, workers who report significant time at the computer are experiencing eye strain, back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel, fatigue, and weight gain. If this sounds like you, consider maintaining good posture and using frequent breaks to stretch and take short walks. Some employers are willing to invest in ergonomic office furniture—even onsite yoga and chair massages—to help employees who are experiencing physical strain on the job.
Awareness is the key. So next time you’re “working” at the computer, ask yourself if your productively working, procrastinating, or playing? The answer may save your job—and improve your health.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tap into Your Alma Mater’s Career Services

If you’re a recent college graduate or one from years past, tap into the career services and alumni offerings at your alma mater, particularly if you’re job searching. College and university career services offerings are almost always free, and alumni membership usually has either no, nominal, or an affordable tiered structure to annual dues.
The following are just a sampling of offerings alumni may find at their college's or university's career services department or through alumni groups:
  • Access to assessment tools to identify interests, values, and skills
  • Access to resource libraries that can link users to business databases, company databases, industry and salary information, and more
  • Assistance with researching and applying to graduate school
  • Help in interview preparation including mock video interviews
  • Assistance with writing resumes and cover letters including samples, templates, and critiques
  • Access to college-sponsored job boards for posting a resume and perusing job listings
  • Invitations to in-person and virtual job and career fairs
  • Input and guidance from career counselors
  • Help in identifying and implementing effective job search strategies
  • Access to alumni mentoring program
  • Invitations to alumni networking and career development events
  • Access to alumni business directory with information, such as contact names, companies, positions, locations, and industry
  • Information about alumni LinkedIn group, Facebook page, blogs, and other online networking groups
Remember, one of the key goals of the career services department at colleges and universities is to help students and graduates, including alumni, with job placement and their professional success. Career services professionals, therefore, work to foster relationships and partnerships with employers, and contribute to the employer’s job candidate pool. This is often viewed as one of the most valuable benefits offered by career services.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Online Learning: Worth Investigating

Whether you’re preparing to enter the professional world, adding knowledge or skills that could enhance your current professional standing, or are transitioning careers, consider online courses and certification and degree programs that are available.
Online learning is particularly appealing if you’re looking to maintain a full-time or part-time work schedule, raising children, and desire the flexibility and convenience that online learning delivers. With online learning and education, your access to institutions and programs isn’t limited geographically and your options are plentiful.
If you think enrolling in an online course or a certification or degree program may make sense for you, consider the following:
  • Your ability to be self-disciplined and manage time well: Online learning is designed so students schedule time for online course work (and homework) independently. Self-discipline and the ability to manage your time well will be critical in achieving both your goals and those of the educational institution.
  • Your aptitude and comfort with technology: Since online learning is accessed through the Internet via computer, and often leverages other technology like video and audio conferencing, online chat forums, or electronic file sharing, you not only need access to a computer but should have a general aptitude and comfort with technology.
  • Your ability to work with limited face-to-face interaction: Learning online removes or significantly limits face-to-face interaction with instructors and other students found in a traditional classroom setting. Carefully weigh how you would respond to this type of learning environment.
  • Your participation in broad-reaching exchanges: One of the greatest advantages of online learning is that it can bring together people from around the country or across the globe. Instructors may also bring experts into an online lesson discussion to enhance learning experiences.

Consider theEd2Go course offerings within Career Transitions “Explore Careers” portal as you investigate online courses and certification and program offerings. Most courses are six weeks in duration. In addition, there is increased funding for educational loans as a result of the Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. Go to for information on program descriptions, eligibility, and loan terms.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Making Up for Lost Income

Many who have managed to skirt layoffs and remain employed are struggling to meet their financial responsibilities as a result of pay cuts, shortened work weeks and downgraded positions. If you’re looking for ways to make up for lost income consider the following:
  • Take a second job: Moonlighting may be a good temporary solution to earning extra income. Be sure; however, that a secondary job won’t interfere with your full-time job. Investigate whether your current employer has a policy on moonlighting and be sure your second job isn’t a conflict of interest (e.g. working for a competitor or supplier). Recognize your priority is your full-time employer.
  • Find a seasonal job: If the commitment and hours of a secondary job appear daunting, think about something more manageable. Try seasonal work such as raking leaves, spring house cleaning or retail work during the holidays.
  • Generate income from a hobby: Are you a talented amateur photographer, writer or seamstress? Your current hobby may garner extra money to help pay bills.
  • Sell items you currently own: You may find several unused items you can sell to earn some money. Sell items in a garage sale, to a consignment shop or use an online auction and shopping site like eBay.
  • Barter services: Although it won’t help you earn additional money, bartering services can help save on expenses. For example, if you’re great with landscaping and your neighbor is handy with basic car maintenance, offer a garden design plan in exchange for an oil change.
  • Look for a similar position at a different company: Search for job opportunities where pay is better and/or there might be more opportunities for advancement. Even in a tough job market, employers usually keep an eye out for talented people.
  • Get a job with a direct sales company: Many have found working with direct sales companies like Avon, Tupperware or Mary Kay to be a great way to earn income. To explore options and ensure you align with a credible company; start with the Direct Selling Association.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Appreciating Cultural Differences in the Workplace

In today’s global workplace, you will most likely come into contact with people of various cultural backgrounds—whether co-workers, customers, or suppliers. As you encounter multicultural work environments or situations, it is important to be respectful and open to understanding the cultural differences of the individuals you meet. The following tips will help you do so:
  • Respect and value individual perspectives: Cultural differences or not, it is simply a good idea to respect other individuals. When working with someone from a different cultural background, assume he or she may have different ideas and approaches than you. Prepare for this by reminding yourself to be respectful and open to the value and unique perspective this person brings to the workplace.
  • Get cultured: Educate yourself about the culture of a co-worker, client, or supplier, particularly if you have regular business interactions with this person. You may discover a host of things—from what certain gestures communicate, like a bowed head or type of handshake, to what religious holidays are commonly celebrated.
  • Pronounce names correctly: Even if you’re unfamiliar with how to pronounce the names of people you meet from various cultural backgrounds, take the time to learn. This will be viewed and appreciated as a sign of respect.
  • Ask for clarification: Communication can be a challenge when certain words or phrases don’t translate well or take on a different meaning in one culture versus another. Strong accents can also be a barrier to clear communication. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something, and encourage others to do so with you. And remember to steer clear of slang terms and industry jargon.
  • Avoid over-stereotyping: Although stereotypes can help provide a general idea about a culture, you should take the time to get to know each person as an individual.
  • Avoid using cultural jokes: It is best to avoid using any cultural jokes, as there is a great risk that the joke could come off as offensive.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Managing Your Online Profile

In the simplest terms, an online profile is your public face, your online reputation. Although everyone should be aware of what their online profile conveys, as a job seeker it should be of particular importance.
There is ample data supporting the claim that most companies use information they find online to screen job candidates. The type of online information being scrutinized by human resource managers, recruiters, and hiring managers includes the following:
  • Comments, photos, and videos you post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace
  • What you’re doing and saying on blogs, consumer sites, etc.
  • Comments, photos, and videos others post about you
  • Groups and networks you’re connected to
  • Your communication skills
  • What others in your network are doing and saying

The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to monitor and manage your online profile. The tips below will get you started; however, it is worth your time to research the plentiful information that is available on this topic.
  • Enter your name into a search engine, like Google, and check out the search results.
  • Set up a Google Alert for your name. Google will automatically alert you, via email, anytime new content put on the Internet matches your name.
  • Create a professional profile on LinkedIn, the largest online professional networking site.
  • Build a Google profile optimized to display at the top of search results.
  • Register your name as a domain name (e.g. For a small annual fee, you can create your own unique space and address on the Internet. This domain name can be used to build your website, post a resume, start a blog, etc.
  • Research privacy setting options on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace—anywhere you have a profile.
  • Clean up your online profile. Remove comments, photos, or videos that may not be appropriate or could be misconstrued.
  • Remove inappropriate posts on your social media profile pages that friends or others have made.
  • Request that family and friends be cognizant and careful about what they are posting that relates to you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Delegating Effectively

Delegating in the workplace means sharing your workload and assigning work responsibility and/or tasks to co-workers. If you have a difficult time delegating, you’re not alone. However, if you avoid delegating, you might actually be doing a disservice to you and your employer.
Most employers would agree that your time and talents are best served working on important tasks and/or those for which you have a keen aptitude, knowledge, or experience. Therefore, if you target the right people and the right tasks, delegating makes good business sense.
Start by making a list of all the work you have to complete within a given time period. Begin with high-level responsibilities and tasks, and then drill down to the smaller tasks associated with each. Next, identify those smaller tasks that can be delegated, and determine which competent and reliable co-worker(s) can handle these tasks. Now you’re almost ready to start delegating the work, but before you do, consider the following advice:
  • Draw your manager in: Have a conversation with your manager about how involved he/she wants to be in delegating work to co-workers.
  • Delegate wisely: Be smart about what work you delegate and to whom.
  • Be respectful of your co-workers: Whether you’re delegating to a co-worker who is a subordinate, a peer, or a higher pay grade, be respectful and courteous in your approach. Even in cases where you have the authority to delegate tasks, be sensitive to the fact that everyone has their own work responsibilities and deadlines.
  • Communicate expectations and provide direction: Set and communicate realistic expectations. When necessary, provide specific directions on how to complete the task. Set deadlines and communicate necessary checkpoints and a timeline for those checkpoints.
  • Remember, you’re responsible: In most cases, you will be ultimately responsible for the work you delegate; therefore, it is in your best interest to help those you delegate to so they can be successful.
  • Evaluate success: You can measure your success at delegating by assessing the outcomes. Use criteria like whether the work was done well, on time, and within budget. If the work you’re delegating isn’t up to par, rethink whether you’re delegating the right tasks to the right people and whether you’ve communicated clear expectations and directions.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Establishing Rapport in a Phone Interview

Often the interview process starts with a phone interview. One of the biggest challenges in a phone interview is establishing rapport with the interviewer. Without observing facial expressions and body language, it is hard to get a good read on how the interviewer is reacting to you and your responses. However, paying attention to auditory clues like those listed below can help you assess the impression you’re making on the interviewer:
  • Pitch (how high or low the voice is overall)
  • Tonality (pitch change from high to low)
  • Speaking pace
  • Voice volume
Auditory clues can indicate personality characteristics. For example, a soft voice may be perceived as timid, while a loud voice may convey assertiveness. Be aware of auditory clues during your conversation, and consider whether you might use those clues to adjust your speech accordingly. For example, if the interviewer speaks very quickly, it may suggest the desire for efficiency and hint at an energetic nature. If you, in turn, speak slowly, it may frustrate the interviewer or suggest you are less than excited about the job.
Before a phone interview, try recording your responses to some typical interview questions and play them back to get an idea of how you sound. What auditory clues are you sending to an interviewer? Practice varying your pitch, volume, speed, and tonality. Pay close attention to how you sound while discussing achievements or talking about why you’d be an asset to an organization. Are you helping to sell yourself by conveying enthusiasm in your tone?
Here are some additional tips about phone interviewing that can help you make a good impression on the interviewer:
  • Find a quiet place and avoid interruptions
  • Keep your resume and list of achievements handy for reference
  • Dress professionally; If you feel professional, you’ll speak more professionally
  • Warm up your voice prior to an interview
  • Smile when you’re speaking to convey friendliness
  • Stand if you think it will help you convey a stronger voice
  • Avoid simple yes and no answers
  • Recognize when you’ve sufficiently answered a question, and then stop talking so as to avoid sounding nervous
  • Enunciate your words; use correct grammar and complete sentences
  • Be enthusiastic and confident

Monday, October 11, 2010

Previous Job Titles May Be a Road Block

Are your previous jobs titles posing a road block in your current job search? Job titles that don’t convey the actual scope of your experience and responsibilities or don’t translate clearly to another industry may be limiting your job opportunities.
Assuming you’re applying to jobs you’re qualified for, there’s a chance your job title isn’t a match or isn’t similar enough to the job title which the hiring company is seeking. Some hiring companies use resume scanning technology to match keywords or keyword phrases. Others rely on the hiring manager to manually sort through piles of resumes by skimming for keywords. Either way, you may be getting overlooked as a result of job titles that aren’t accurately representing your work experience.
The good news is that hiring managers are looking to fill jobs with the best candidate based on work experience, skills, and education—not job titles. Therefore, you should consider implementing the following tips to clarify misleading job titles and put the focus on your experience and skills:
  • Use a functional resume format: A functional resume format may be a good choice since it organizes experience by skill clusters not chronological order. This resume layout places emphasis on experience and skills.
  • Include a resume summary: A resume summary is placed at the beginning of your resume, after name and contact information, and briefly summarizes your qualifications and key selling points in a short paragraph. It’s a great way for a hiring manager or recruiter to quickly see what you’re capable of and where your strengths lie.
  • Highlight achievements in stories and outcomes: The best way to highlight your achievements on a resume, in a cover letter, or at an interview is to provide concrete examples of positive outcomes supported by specific numbers. For example, you could highlight revenue generated (“…increased sales an additional $100k in a 30-day period”); money or time saved (“…implemented a new process that decreased restocking time by 20 hours per week”); or highlight the number of people/amount of a budget you managed.
  • Address job titles in cover letters and/or interviews: You can briefly address misleading job titles in a cover letter or interview. Mention that your job title doesn’t encompass the actual scope of the job. Associate your actual roles and responsibilities to a role or job title used by the hiring company or by that industry. When you reference this role or job title, state that it’s comparable to the job title you held, so as to clear up any confusion and ambiguity.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Professional Manners Never Go Out of Style

No matter what profession, industry, or job you’re involved, good manners can enhance your professional reputation. Professional manners convey respect to those around you and are generally well received by co-workers, clients, and those with whom you have business interactions.
Below is a list of basic tips about good manners that are too often disregarded in the workplace.
  • Greet and acknowledge others: Extend a simple greeting—like “hello”— to everyone you encounter, and when you know the person’s name, include it.
  • Make eye contact and smile: If you’re meeting a person for the first time, give a firm handshake. Obvious? Yes. But how many times have you passed people in hallways or entered a meeting room and had your presence go unacknowledged by co-workers?
  • Don’t use cell phones during meetings or conversations: Technology and the connectivity that comes with it are wonderful in business. However, people have become so reliant on cell phones and smartphones, that many have difficulty setting them aside during meetings or business conversations. Checking/responding to emails or text messages during meetings and conversations is distracting and rude. In situations when this cannot be helped, let the other participants know you’re expecting a critical call or message and only use the phone to receive that one call/message.
  • Be on time: If you have a meeting, show respect for others by being on time. Occasionally, running late cannot be avoided—perhaps your boss involved you in an important conversation or a client needed your immediate attention. But, don’t turn late arrivals into a regular pattern.
  • Use the basics—please and thank you: Basic manners, including the use of please, thank you, and excuse me, never grow tiring, so use them regularly.
  • Keep your conversations professional: This includes maintaining confidentiality regarding specific business matters, avoiding gossip, refraining from profanity, and using humor appropriately.
  • Be aware of your volume: Be mindful of your volume while on the phone or conversing near other co-workers’ areas. If you have a loud voice, it can be very disruptive to others and makes it difficult to keep business conversations confidential.
  • Clean up after yourself: Whether using a shared printer, fax machine, or kitchenette, be considerate and clean up after yourself. Refilling printer paper, fixing paper jams you’ve caused, and wiping up spills are just common courtesy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is a Negative Attitude Hampering Your Job Search?

Job searching can be frustrating, particularly when the search is prolonged. If you’re unemployed, you may be experiencing other feelings, like self-doubt, despair, anxiety, and anger. You may not be aware of it, but these negative feelings may be coming across in your job search—in cover letters, voice mails, networking opportunities, or interviews. Your verbal and body language may convey your annoyance with the process or the bad feelings you’re harboring about a past work situation.

Prospective employers typically steer clear of job candidates they perceive as having a negative attitude; they see it as a character trait that cannot be easily changed. Use the following tips to communicate a positive attitude while job searching:
  • Be grateful and positive: Stay focused on the good in your life. Find a way to keep these thoughts top of mind, whether that means taking a few minutes each day to think about all that’s good or just writing down something you’re grateful for each day and posting it someplace visible. By reflecting on gratitude, you are more apt to maintain and convey a positive mindset.
  • See your job search as an opportunity: If you think of your job search as an opportunity, you’ll have a better chance of finding a suitable job or resetting your career direction. Consider that your effort might lead to an exciting opportunity doing work you enjoy for a company and people who value you and your work.
  • Associate with positive people: Job searching can take its toll, so find a support group you can lean on and surround yourself with positive people who can encourage you.
  • Fake it until you feel it: Even if it doesn’t come naturally at first, smile and speak positively about your job search. Hopefully, over time, that optimistic feeling may become more genuine.
  • Don’t speak negatively about previous work situations: Even if you have legitimate complaints, avoid speaking negatively about a previous employer, manager, co-workers, or job. Rehashing negative situations can paint you as disgruntled, resentful, or difficult to get along with.
  • Don’t consider yourself a victim: Even in work situations where you have little or no control over decisions that impact you, avoid thinking of yourself as a victim. Remember you have a lot of choices concerning your career, and you can control how you perceive your situation and attitude.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Do Your Industry Homework

Whether you’re staying current on the industry in which you’re working, looking to change industries, or entering an industry as a recent graduate, it's wise to do some industry homework. When researching industries, you look at some of the same types of information you look at when researching companies, except on a broader scale.

Before you begin your research, it’s helpful to know that industry sectors are classified by a U.S. government coding system. Initially, industry sectors were classified by a four-digit Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC). Although still used by some government departments, the SIC was replaced with the introduction of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) in 1987. Most government entities and businesses use NAICS codes (a two through six-digit hierarchical classification system) as the standard for categorizing businesses by type of economic activity. This is important to know, as you might use NAICS (and, in some cases, SIC) codes when searching for specific industry data or when cross-referencing information.

Industry information is plentiful. You can conveniently start your research right in Career Transitions “Explore Careers” portal. Career Transitions provides current and vetted industry information and data, including overviews, projections, periodicals, association information, and more. In addition, your public library has industry information, which can typically be found in directories, periodicals, market research reports, white papers, etc.

Now that you know where to start, you need to identify what kind of industry information to gather. Assuming that you’re interested in learning about the employment outlook of an industry (although your research should be driven by your specific needs), the following is a list of information definitely worth considering:

  • Overviews
  • Employment growth (growth history/trends)
  • Types of occupations
  • Average wage/salary
  • Products and services
  • Forecasts
  • Sales and forecasts
  • Issues/challenges
  • Trends and opportunities
  • Market volume and value
  • Competitive landscape
  • Government regulations/legal considerations

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Own Your Career Development

Some employees have the misconception that responsibility for career development rests with their employers. Although companies may have an interest and the tools to assist employees with career development, the responsibility for advancing your career is really your own.

Start by creating a career plan. This includes identifying your career goals, listing action steps for achieving your goals, plus setting a realistic timeline.  Be sure to track progress. And, as events in your life impact your career direction—both professionally and personally—reassess and adjust your plan.
Below are some tips that put you on the path to owning your career development:
  • Be accountable: Many employees feel they have little control over their careers. They blame or credit managers, or others of influence in the company, for their career success or failure.  It’s easy to get so busy just working that you lose sight of managing your career, but you must accept accountability.
  • Identify and fill gaps:  As part of your career plan, identify any gaps you have in knowledge or skills.  Acquiring know-how and experience should help you to meet your goals.  Ideas for filling these gaps can include taking a class or training course or doing some volunteer work to develop a particular skill.
  • Ask for new responsibilities or tasks:  Often, new projects, tasks, or responsibilities that support your career development don’t surface simply because you don’t ask.  Raise your hand and let your interest be known—beginning with your manager.
  • Network with co-workers:  Expand your network to include co-workers beyond just those on your team.  Exposure to new and/or valuable resources can broaden your general knowledge of initiatives or issues across the company.  By sharing information about your career goals and interests, these co-workers can keep you abreast of opportunities for career development.
  • Remain flexible and embrace change:  No matter what industry or occupation you’re in, you can expect change—in the market, organizational goals, leadership, technology, etc.  Be open to change and keep your career plan flexible enough to adapt.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Steps to Dressing for Business

In the business world, appearance can impact success at getting interviews, expanding networks, pitching new business, and being seriously considered for a higher-level position. Most companies do care about how their employees dress, as employees are the face of their company and brand(s).

As a professional, how can your appearance help you make a great impression?

Step 1: Follow general rules of professional dress code, such as:
  • Maintain good hygiene: Clean-shaven, understated makeup, non-offensive body odor.
  • Keep clothes neat: Avoid tattered, wrinkled, or stained clothing.
  • Dress for work, not leisure: Even in casual dress environments, avoid wearing t-shirts, shorts, or revealing clothes.
Step 2: Identify dress code specific to your company, profession, and industry.
  • Review company dress code policy: Most companies publish a dress code policy, Take some time to review it—then follow it.
  • Consider the industry, profession and position: If you’re working in the financial industry, expect the emphasis to be on conservative, professional dress. A graphic designer at an ad agency may be able to wear business casual. And in industrial environments where uniform shirts/pants may be the norm, your emphasis should be on tidiness. Additionally, consider your position in the organization; for example, executive managers may have to dress professionally even though business casual is acceptable in the organization.
Step 3: Consider the business occasion for which you are dressing.
  • Interviews: You should always error on the side of caution when dressing for an interview. Stick to professional dress. For men, this means a suit or dress shirt/pants, and for women it means a suit or blouse and skirt/dress slacks (a skirt should be at or below knee level). Conservative colors, like blue and black, and minimal accessories will be well-received.
  • Business conferences: Most conferences will specify a preferred dress code and even a detailed dress code for certain events. In general, business casual is most common, but if your company is an event sponsor or presenter, you may need to dress more professionally. Think about your appearance even during non-conference hours, like relaxing in the lobby or flying home. You never know who you’ll meet, and your appearance should always make a professional impression.
  • Networking events: Networking events are opportunities to make new professional contacts. Many people find networking uncomfortable and have to really talk themselves into meeting someone new. Chances are they are going to target someone who not only looks approachable but who dresses for success. At a minimum, dress business casual for networking.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Thorough In Your Organization Research

If you’re looking for a new job, the idea of researching an organization probably isn’t a new one. But have you ever asked yourself how extensive the information gathering needs to be?  Although there isn’t a set answer to this question, it’s to your advantage to thoroughly research any organization that interests you, especially with one that you have an interview.
Researching helps identify organizations that best suit your qualifications and interests and allows you to target your resume and cover letter.  Plus, if you land the interview, thoroughly researching the organization conveys that you’re seriously interested in the job and helps you frame interview questions that will fill any knowledge gaps about the organization. 
Though not an exhaustive list, the following is organization information you should consider researching:
  • History, including date established, growth pattern, and past challenges and successes
  • Vision statement, missions, operational objectives, and core values
  • Organizational type and structure
  • Global presence and locations of headquarter and satellite offices
  • Number of employees, including growth trend and employee retention history
  • Product and service offerings
  • Financials found in annual reports, earnings reports, and stock and securities data
  • Competitor data
  • Salary and benefit packages compared to other industry organizations
  • Employee advancement opportunities, training, and recognition programs
  • Employee feedback found through websites, such as, or someone in your network who might be familiar with the company
  • Customer reports
  • Litigation issues, such as class-action lawsuits
A great place to start your organization research is within Career Transitions “Find Jobs” section.  Visit your local library for directories, periodicals, newswires, and other information sources.  Finally, the Internet can be a very useful tool, but be careful to discern credible and untrustworthy information sources.