Developing Your Career

Add Speed and Efficiency to Your Job Search Strategy

By Greg Simpson on November 6, 2012

Before targeting a specific company during a job search, it’s important to conduct a little homework upfront to help make sure you’re allocating your valuable time and efforts to an organization that would be a good fit for you.  You don’t want to waste energy on dead ends.  Using available online resources to conduct research will add speed and efficiency to  your job search strategy.

By researching a targeted company, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether you’ll be a good fit for the organization and its values and culture. You can learn about the company’s financial stability and identify any issues that could impact its long-term prospects. And you can assess whether you have the skills needed to contribute to the company’s future success.

Try these online resources to do your research:

  • Annual reports.  For publicly held companies, you can typically find annual reports on corporate websites.  They offer a wide range of financial information, as well as performance indicators for divisions, subsidiaries, etc.
  • Third-party resources.  Use Fortune.com and Forbes.com and subscription services such as OneSource and Dun & Bradstreet to gather business intelligence. If you don’t have subscriptions, check out your local public library.
  • Corporate websites and social media channels.  Use the information available to answer key questions, such as, Where is the company headquartered? What products/services does it provide? What types of positions are located in my area? Is the company growing or cutting back? What is the corporate culture?
  • Network. Ask your networking contacts and business colleagues what they know about the company. Use social media such as LinkedIn to find a networking partner who currently does or has worked for the company.

An excellent resource to help boost your networking is CNN Money’s list of The Best Companies to Work For. Click on a target company and you’ll see which employees are in your LinkedIn network.  You’ll also new hires and promotions and changes. Use this to your advantage. Your network is the best source for information, new connections and job leads.

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