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.

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