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Find a Company: Narrow your choices BEFORE you apply

ResearchYou have a long list of companies that might be a good fit for you.

Narrow your list down to three companies BEFORE you apply by researching the companies through these activities:

  • Read each company’s own Web site. Do they still fit your criteria?
  • Read their annual report. Do their activities and reporting match their mission statement?
  • Google each company. What shows up on the first few pages?
  • Now, google each company name with the word scandal. Then the word scam. Then lawsuit.
  • Search for each company on Glassdoor.com, LinkedIn, Vault.com, or CorporateInformation.com to see what others say about them.
  • Search “Best” lists (Best 10 companies of 2015, Best tech companies in the US, Best companies for single moms, etc.) in your industry and area. (But read this article before you believe all of it.)
  • Search corporation lists for largest public and private companies at The Forbes 500 , Forbes Largest Private Companies , com Lists, and The Inc. 5000. Is your company listed? What information is available?
  • Check with BBB.org for the skinny on a company’s reputation.
  • If you’re thinking of non-profit or association work, Weddle’s Association List is for you.
  • Remember to research each community and state in which a target company is located. It doesn’t work to find a company you love in a community that doesn’t fit you. Chambers of Commerce are good sources of information about communities, and they love hearing from you.

Finally, use your list of questions to talk to people about the companies on your list. Choose people who have first-hand knowledge of the company, such as:

  • Current employees.
  • Former employees.
  • Employees of competitors.
  • Professional association members.

When you have your list of three companies, prioritize them as to your top, second, and third choices, according to the criteria you compiled earlier.

These are the companies you will focus on for your job search.

If your own company research isn’t proving helpful, it may be that you haven’t defined your target well enough. For help with that and other issues, contact me today.

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Image courtesy Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.com

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