When you make a big purchase, one of the first things you do is to research the product (or service) as much as possible to ensure you are happy with it, right? Why should a job be any different?
With most of your life spent at work, it’s essential that you research the company you are applying to work for, not only to be more relevant in your cover letter and impressive at interview but also to make sure that the company and position are the right fit for you. So where do you start?
View the company website
The company website should be the source of much information. The About page is a great place to start for background and key staff profiles as well as company values. Depending on the size of the company you may also be able to find extended company profiles, capability statements and annual reports, which can tell you a lot about a company’s strengths, gaps and performance.
Look at LinkedIn
Now that you know who the key staff are at the company it’s time to move over to LinkedIn. If you start at the Company page on LinkedIn, you will make your search for employees easier as most should be linked to this page.
Do you share any connections in common with employees? If you do and you know the connection well, a quick reach out to find out how they know the employee and company could be well worth your time.
Have a look through the employees’ profiles, particularly your interviewers if known. Look through their career experience, endorsements, posts and updates and if possible try to get a sense of their needs and values. Do you have any common ground?
Check Social Media and Google Reviews
Now that you know how the company wants to position itself through their website and have explored some of the key staff it’s time to find out what customers think. One of the best ways to do this is to check Google reviews (and any other review sites) and hop onto their other social media platforms to see what the customer interactions have been. If there are any negative reviews, how have they handled them?
A general Google search to find out what else they come up under will give you insight into what the company is doing out in the marketplace. Don’t underestimate a quick glance at the news section either to see if anything comes up.
Check Seek Company Reviews
Seek company reviews are an excellent way to get feedback on a company from an employment satisfaction point of view. Reviews rate career development, work-life balance, management, benefits and perks and more.
Research their competitors
By checking out their competitors you will get a greater understanding of the company’s market position, point of difference, strengths and limitations. You may also get some other employment leads if the company you are researching doesn’t work out!
All of this information will help you determine if you are a good fit for the role and if the company is a good fit for you. If you do decide that you would be happy to work with the company, this research will also help prepare you for an interview and ensure you ask interviewers insightful questions that will help you in your decision-making process.