Hello there everyone in blog land! Are you excited to be here? I know that I am! I am psyched. Ecstatic. Elated. Jacked. Joyous. Exhilarated. Euphoric. Exultant. Thrilled. Enthralled. On cloud nine. Pleased as punch. Tickled pink. Hannah Montana. Oh wait…nope. Nope. That’s not right. Anyways….
Do you know WHY I’m feeling all of these amazing emotions?
It’s simple really. It’s because I am here to talk to you about the WHY and HOW of researching employers. This information is so important that I am going to be spreading it out over two entirely separately blogs. This one is going to focus more on WHY you should research employers and the second blog will focus on HOW. Now, I know that this isn’t as cool as a prize giveaway or a lottery of some sort, but this information is absolutely vital to your job search. Also, you won’t end up staring at the screen when this over wondering why you spent money on something you had a less than .001% chance of winning.
Researching employers is important for so many different reasons. When you conduct your research, it can help give you an edge in many different areas and I will give you a detailed breakdown on each of these areas below.
Preparing for a job fair: Job fairs can be overwhelming for many students. However, it makes perfect sense why. It’s as if you’re job searching at a farmer’s market. Students often get anxious when they try to figure out how they can stand apart from their peers who are also attending. So many people may visit the employer that you are most interested in and that feels intimidating. Yet, you can curb some anxiety and give yourself a leg up by researching a few of the employers before the fair. By doing some research, you can figure out if a company or organization is something that would interest you before you go the fair. Also, when you can talk more about your specific interests in an organization, you will help that employer think of you first when you start applying.
Finding a job: Researching employers can help you find a job. How you might ask? Simple. When you find some organization or company that you like, then you can check their job postings continuously. Often, jobs that get posted on a company website won’t necessarily make it to larger job search engines, such as indeed.com. Yet, you can have a list of your top five or ten organizations saved in your bookmarks and keep checking once a week.
Interviewing: Before you go in for an interview, the most important thing you can do is to research the employer. The last thing that interviewers want to do is answer questions that can easily be answered by spending a little time on their website. Employers want to feel special. You can show them that they are special by knowing some things about their organization. Also, every interview usually ends with the opportunity to ask questions and informed questions can really help improve the odds that you’ll get a call back.
Cover Letter: The first paragraph of the cover letter is used to spark the interest of the reader. If you take time to research the place you applying, then you can create an instant connection by including some of that information in that first paragraph. You can talk about how impressed you are with a computer software company that is out there doing new and exciting things or you can mention how you like that a company puts emphasis on sustainability. You can show your knowledge and ability to research within the first few lines of your cover letter. Do the research.
Informational Interviewing: An informational interview is a chance to talk with someone at a company that you want to work at in a position that you might be interested in. It is a great learning opportunity. However, like an interview, you want to go into an informational interview prepared. You want to have questions about current research, or trends within the company and field. You want to show that you learned as much as possible about how the organization works and what its goals and missions are. So, go online and find out as much as you can before you decide on an informational interview.
Networking: Part of researching a company is finding out the organizational structure and who works there. This is a great way to begin getting your foot in the door. Doing research is a great way to show interest and find new contacts. If you do research, you can show some of your work through your e-mails and conversations with those at the company that you might want to connect with. This will increase the odds that others will want to connect with you and you can increase the size of your network. By building your network, you increase the odds that you will find a job that you are looking for and this is all helped through doing research.
So, now that you know some of the reasons behind WHY you should do research, come back later this week to discover HOW you can actually begin researching. I hope that you can see why it is so important and will utilize this method in the future to create some extra ease in your job search!
– Josh Foss, Graduate Assistant, Career Development Center