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How to Lay the Groundwork for a Promising Career

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Summary: Learn how to find information on employers to determine which companies would be a good match for you.

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Question: I am currently in business school and will be seeking employment in about a year. I don’t know where to go to start finding out information about a company I would like to explore for employment opportunities. Can you give me a few tips on researching a company that I am interested in?

Answer: There are three routes to your research: electronic, print, and people. For a complete look at a company, cover all three.

Electronically, you can use the Internet to review what the company is saying about itself and what others are saying about the company. Go to the company’s website to read about its products and services, obtain information about key players and review the latest press releases about current events and new product launches. Job postings and contact information are usually included on the company website, also.

For more details and greater objectivity, look to outside sources for company background searches. Gig.com provides in-depth coverage of hundreds of companies.

Visit the company or call to request corporate print materials like its annual report and product literature. If you know a current employee, you might also get your hands on internal communication pieces like newsletters, which offers a close-up of the day-to-day workings of an organization. Make a stop at the public library to conduct a literature review of newspapers and journals. Be sure to research “Best Companies to Work for” and “Top 500” lists from local chambers of commerce and magazines like Fortune and Working Mother.

Finally, don’t overlook the best source of all, which is people. For firsthand accounts and practical advice, talk with past and current employees, trusted advisors, (teachers, family, and friends who may have had some contact with the company) and alumni of your school who have been affiliated with the organization. You have your work cut out for you, but researching now will pay dividends when you launch your job search next year.

How to Lay the Groundwork for a Promising Career by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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