Planning for your career doesn’t just require a good resume and cover letter, but it also it requires knowledge of the industry, company, and job role you wish to do. It’s critical to conduct research in your preferred industry for two reasons – first, to make sure you go into the right career field, and second so you are a good candidate for getting hired.
Here are seven steps to research the industry or company where you want to work at:
1) Start By Learning About the Industry
Check out local trade association or professional affiliations. Find publications with industry related websites. The best way to learn about an industry is to attend a workshop or trade show for your industry. Trade shows are always worth the money for the connections you make and the seminars you can attend with valuable information and top speakers.
You can also search online for industry market research companies, such as Forrester, Jupiter, or Dataquest in the technology industries.
Also, don’t be afraid to talk to people. Talk to suppliers about where to get info. Talk to those in your industry in other locations, and even competitors!
2) Research the Company Specifically
Once you have figured out the industry you want, find information about the specific companies in it. Most companies have their own websites and social media accounts where you can definitely gain information from.
Learn about the company by getting to know their products and services. You can read reviews and even examine and test the product yourself. Then, follow companies on LinkedIn and other social media accounts to get updated information on what they are doing. Remember, to also read their annual reports and participate in any public announcements or events the company holds regularly.
3) Start Interviewing!
After gathering data about the industry and company, start interacting and interviewing people in the industry. It’s necessary for job searchers to not only enhance their research skills but also to enhance their networking skills.
4) Do Your Online Research
If you need more information, you can use information providers. Here are some websites to use to search:
Glassdoor.com – A free jobs and career community that offers the world an inside look at jobs and companies. What sets this company apart is what they call “employee generated content” – anonymous salaries, company reviews, interview questions, and more – all posted by employees, job seekers, and sometimes the companies themselves.
Salary.com – A leading provider of on-demand compensation, payroll, and talent management solutions helping businesses and individuals manage pay and performance.
LexisNexis.com – If you are in the legal profession, you definitely want to check this site out. A leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting, and academic markets.
Wall Street Journal – Wall Street Journal editors and reporters provide real-time news and analysis around the clock on WSJ blogs, with outside experts chosen by the Journal also contributing.
Google – Use specific keywords and enter them into the search engine. Look for “the company name” or “industry name” plus the thing that you want to know like jobs, business, history, products, etc.