What do you know about the employer you are sending your resume to?
Before submitting your application or resume, be sure to research the Company. It is very easy to obtain information from various internet sites about a company’s products and services, their customers and competition, and even their company culture. Research will help you understand the challenges of the company and better prepare you to position yourself as their ideal candidate.
Products and Services
What is their business about and how do they differentiate themselves in their market? The company's website will usually be the best resource for deciphering their business purpose and help you decide if joining the organization looks interesting to you. Let’s face it, if you can’t identify with a businesses’ offerings, it will be hard to sell yourself in an interview.
Key Players of the Organization
Identifying and researching the CEO, HR Manager, and Department Managers can give you clear insight to the company’s management style and values. Company websites frequently list names of upper management employees, and sometimes provide professional Bio’s. LinkedIn may provide more in-depth information about individuals.
Company News, Events, and Activities
Read up on the company’s latest news to find out what they have done recently and what they are planning for the future. Company websites, press releases, Twitter feeds, and blogs are a great sources for learning their marketing strategies and accomplishments.
The Organization’s Mission, Values, and Corporate Culture
Why waste your time (and theirs) applying for a job unless you know the organization is a good fit for you. Best to learn about their mission and values to determine if you can identify with and support the organization’s core principles. Job posts often include soft skills requirements which may imply specific company values. Check their website for a corporate mission statement for a definitive view.
The Hiring Manager
The more you know about the hiring manager, the better you will be able to prepare for the interview. A well written job post will give you plenty of clues to determine the problems the organization wants to solve by hiring a qualified candidate. Identifying with the exact problems and providing interview answers that are relevant is an excellent interview strategy. The Hiring manager has a lot at stake in the hiring process and will choose the candidate who proves the capabilities, energy, and enthusiasm for solving problems.
In addition to the company website, check out some of these excellent resources to obtain information on prospective employers and their key employees:
- Local Business Journals
- Local newspapers
- Google +
- Google.com (search for the company and see what comes up!)
- Google Alerts: set up an alert to get updates on the specific companies