Researching Employers

Researching an organisation/sector is vital to the job search and application process.  By researching effectively you will be more aware of the industry as a whole and know which employers may suit. You will have a greater awareness of what they are looking for in their ideal candidates and how you will demonstrate this effectively in the application and interview stages. 

Breaking your research down into manageable chunks you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed. Concentrate on answering the following questions:

  • What does the organisation do/where is it located/its history/clients and its competitors?

See also

  •  What are the current issues affecting the industry/sector?
  • Recruitment information -what roles are available and when and how do you apply, do they have case studies?
  • What does the role you are interested in involve?

Visit organisations’ websites - in particular, read up on their latest news and look at sections such as About Us, Media or Press Centre. Graduate employers often have a dedicated Careers section which can include case studies and graduate profiles. Most are active on social media so follow them on Twitter, Facebook and network with industry insiders via LinkedIn. 

Resources

To keep up to date with the latest news, use:

  • BBC website - search for companies
  • National newspapers and their websites eg Financial TimesEconomist
  • Specialist journals or magazines or their websites eg Third SectorMarketing WeekDrapers
  • PR Newswire search for press releases by company
  • Starting Out: Lesbian & Gay Recruitment Guide
  • There are lots of print publications in the Careers and Employability Service which contain information on graduate employers such as The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and the Target Jobs Directory. There are also directories for specific sectors such as: Contacts: the essential book of contacts for the entertainment industry; the Writers' and Artists Yearbook; the White Book: event production directory; and the AQR (Association for Qualitative Research) directory and handbook.
  • LinkedIn is a professional network which you can use to search for and follow companies as well as connect with professional groups and individuals.
  • The Employer Directory from The Job Crowd allows you to search for, or click on, a company, to access job reviews, jobs, employer profiles and other useful information.
  • WikiJob has been designed to help students and graduates find out what careers, employers and interviews are really like. You can post specific questions and read about other people's employment experiences.
  • GradTouch: an employer platform with profile pages for companies offering graduate roles. These include videos and pictures of what it is like to work there, as well as descriptions of the company ethos and benefits.
  • Grad Diary has company profiles and deadline information for over 800 graduate recruiters. They also have 'insider interviews' on a regular basis, finding out what it is like working for a company from the employee's perspective. 
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