Finding the right job takes time. You spend a lot of that time thinking about the ways in which you can market yourself for success—pouring your energy into your resume, honing interview skills, and finding networking opportunities.
Another important aspect of finding a job is one that many job seekers forget—researching potential employers. While focusing on what you can bring to a company is important, it is also useful to understand what an employer can do for you. Your work takes up a significant portion of your life and so you want to find the right fit! You will ultimately have more success if you truly feel inspired by the work, if you feel valued, and if your core values align with those of the potential employer. Follow these seven tips to find a good match:
Ultimately, researching an employer can take a lot of time so it is important to be intentional when doing so. Before you begin, have a clear idea of what you are looking for. Create a document that has a set of criteria for your ideal employer. This document will serve as a useful tool to guide your search and will allow you to easily compare different companies.
Look at Value and Mission Statements
Beyond pay and benefits, shared values are of the utmost importance in finding the right job. How do you know if the company’s values match your own before you start working there? Check their website for their value and mission statements before your interview. This information will give you hints about what’s important to the people who work there, as well as provide information about the company culture, the workplace environment, the type of work they do in the community, and their priorities. Feel free to ask questions about the value and mission statement during the interview to get a deeper understanding of the company’s culture and workplace environment.
Learning about the organizational structure of a company can help you better understand who you will be working with. It will also give you an understanding of how you may grow within the company. Many companies publish this information on their website, so you can see who occupies which positions.
If employee profiles are available, review them to get a better sense of the other roles you will be working with and how your own role situates within the existing fabric of the organization. Further, this information gives you the opportunity to better understand the culture of the workplace—is it hierarchical with clearly defined roles and seniority, or does seniority play less of a role in day-to-day tasks?
Consult Your Network
Ask people you know and trust for their experience with the company. Even if you do not know someone directly who works for the organization, you may know someone who has experience dealing with them or who can connect you to someone who has worked for them to give you more information.
Review the News
If you are applying to work for larger corporations, it is likely that they have been mentioned in the news or have published press releases about various events and initiatives. Doing a quick search for the company in Google’s news headlines can be a telling way to get objective information about the work of an organization, while also providing more information about their brand.
Many companies have reviews online that you can read, both from employees and customers or clients. This can be a good starting point to gauge general perspectives and opinions toward the company. Also take the time to look at how a company responds to positive and negative reviews. Doing so will give you insight into what’s important to them.
Set some time aside in your schedule to conduct all this research. Remember to take detailed notes so that you can easily compare different employers. These notes are especially helpful if you are interviewing with more than one company or receive several competing job offers.
Ultimately, being organized will save you time in the long run and help you get closer to finding a position that makes you happy and meets your career goals. Good luck!