|Research companies before applying.|
Now, let’s talk about how you can find valuable information about hiring companies from other free sources.
Company web site
An obvious, but often overlooked place to find information about a hiring company is on its own web site.
|Check out a company's "About Us" or "Who We Are" section, |
read the news, visit the Investor Relations section, learn about
new products, its stock price and much more.
When you visit a company’s site, pay particular attention to the “About Us” or “Who We Are” section so you can learn about the company’s history, leadership team and its titles, philosophy, mission statement, and much more. But don’t stop there.
Learn about its new products, read its latest news, check out its stock price and study its growth plan information.
Also read through its investor section and press releases to learn if they are growing or whether they are encountering issues, such as lawsuits or regulatory concerns, which could be catastrophic to its future.
A company’s investor section is probably the single best way to determine what’s on the minds of company leaders.
Fully researching a company's web site can give you lots to talk about on phone interviews, at in-person interviews and in your cover letter. It can also give you ideas for how to keep in touch with company contacts year round even when there is not a specific job opening.
For example, if you were interested in a position with Monsanto (site shown above), you could write to company contacts and congratulate them on their Genuity Roundup Ready alfalfa product receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Or, you could research the World Economic Forum’s new vision of agriculture mentioned on its site and learn how Monsanto is involved in that effort. You could then write to them and express how passionate you are about the future of agriculture and how you want to get involved in feeding the world through new innovations.
Consider how much you would stand out from other job seekers if you took such a real, personal interest in their company and products instead of just applying for an open job using your standard cover letter.
Google/Other Search Engines
Another obvious, but often overlooked way to research a hiring company is to look them up on a search engine such as Google.com. When you conduct such research on Google, search under both the Web tab and the News tab so you can see both the latest information and company news.
|Research the company and it's industry. |
Remember to check the news tab, too.
|Check out a company's Facebook page.|
In this example, the Coca Cola fan page leads to a fun video and pictures and videos of things people made out of Coke cans or bottles.
Job seekers would do well to not only mention the fan page, but reflect this fresh, innovative style in their conversations with Coca Cola.
If you have a Twitter account, follow the company on Twitter, like I have done with Caterpillar Inc. below. Why? If you’ll note on this example, the company has posted an event that is open to the public.
|Follow companies on Twitter.|
|Find valuable industry information in your|
city's Business Journal's Book of Lists.
While subscribing to your local print Business Journal costs money (and is worth the expense), you can receive daily news e-blasts from your area Business Journal for free. These e-blasts often contain news about companies who may be hiring in your area.
Your regular daily newspaper may also offer free news e-blasts that contain business news and information about local companies. Use this information to keep in touch with your target companies.
FORTUNE magazine spotlights the 100 best companies to work for each year and briefly explains why each was chosen. You can also find the largest publicly held companies by revenue in its annual Fortune 500 listing.
While it costs to subscribe to FORTUNE, or similar publications such as Forbes, you can find much useful information for free on their web sites.
Take the time to know your target companies
I encourage you to research hiring companies to make a better impression with them and to learn whether you really want to work there or not. Taking the time to really get to know them shows that you care, which can help you land a job or get a better one. -- Kathy