Researching companies

Learn about the company
When applying for jobs or preparing for an interview, it is important to learn as much as possible about the company or organization of interest.

This information will help you to decide whether you might like to work for a potential employer. Also, you may be asked questions during an interview about how familiar you are with the company/organization, and why you are interested in a position there.

Start with the company/organization website
Find it through an internet search engine such as Google.  Here are some points to focus on:

  • Company history, vision, mission
  • Explore the website–get a feel for the focus, direction, size, environment of the organization
  • Available job opportunities (look for a link to Careers, Employment, “Join…”)
    • Are there a lot of open positions in one area?
    • What qualifications are normally desired?
    • Any key contacts for networking?

Additional information
You may also be interested in:

  • Public or private ownership?  Profit or not-for-profit?
    • Publicly held companies have stock exchange ticker symbol.
    • Example: search Yahoo! Finance, use ticker to search further
    • If applicable, what is the source of funding?
  • Impact of politics, policy, public opinion?
  • Current issues facing the organization?

Resources
Some resources which can be helpful for researching this information include:

Vault: search for information, employee surveys, message boards on companies
BusinessWeek online
Forbes
National Center for Charitable Statistics: FAQs about non-profits in general
Google blog search
Google news: searches thousands of news resources
Hoover’s