Researching companies is one way to learn about different industries, professions, industry trends and a company’s mission and values. It is an opportunity for individuals to explore what is out there, what might interest them and simply to learn. Researching is an important step in career exploration and can even lead to potential networking opportunities. The following are some tips for doing company research.
Make a Game Plan
The following guiding questions can be used to start the company research process.
- Are there companies that you are particularly interested in learning more about?
- Do you want to learn more about a specific industry?
- What is a field that you would like to get into?
- What are your interests, and which companies might align with them?
- What is your dream job?
- What is your dream company?
Use the Right Tools
Don’t know where to start? Start by typing in keywords from job descriptions or job titles into your internet browser. The following websites are examples of tools that can aid in the company research process.
Indeed: Indeed is an employment-related search engine for job listings worldwide.
Glassdoor: Read anonymous reviews of companies from current and former employees. Evaluate overall company ratings, and learn more about their interview processes and questions.
Hoovers: Hoovers is a database of different companies. Search by company, industry or location.
LinkedIn: A helpful professional networking site for researching companies and connecting with industry professionals.
Visit the Company’s Website
A company website is a goldmine. You can learn a lot about a company from how they got started to their company culture today. See if the company mission and values align with your own. This will help determine if this is the kind of company you would want to work for post-graduation.
Then, when applying to a job at a company, be sure to use information about the company’s mission and values in a cover letter by connecting it to who you are and your passions.
Check Out LinkedIn Company Pages
LinkedIn is another helpful tool for connecting with companies. See if you have LinkedIn connections that work at the company that you are researching. If you do, visit their profiles and look into their academic background and career trajectory. If you don’t have any connections at a particular company, see if you have the option to connect with someone you do not yet know personally. Be sure to include a brief introduction message when connecting with them. Many people are happy to help students in their career exploration journey. Additionally, you might find it helpful to reach out to your connection to set up an informational interview to learn more.
LinkedIn also enables you to browse current job openings at a company for further research. See if any of these open positions appeal to you. What kind of experience do the positions require? Use the job descriptions as a guideline as you start gaining more employment experience.
There is also a feature on the company page that lets you look for a list of similar companies. This provides you information about the other types of companies that exist in the related industry.
Keep Calm and Research On
Remember that you do not have to be an industry expert while exploring careers, but learning more about different companies and trends will create a clearer picture of what you may want to do after college. The more you research, the more you will know about your future career interests.
If you need help researching companies, contact the Career Center.