Included in all of the emails I receive everyday, one of them is a newsletter from Simply Hired. Periodically they send me a few different articles that I may find helpful or interesting during my job search.
Today, one of the articles found in the newsletter was Research is Key: 7 Questions to Answer Before Applying to Any Company. The other day I wrote about making sure you avoid applying for scam jobs, which included doing research on the company, so you can do all of this research at once – make sure it’s a real company company and figure out if you’d actually want to work there.
It’s tough because at this point I feel like I’d be willing to work anywhere. I’m frustrated, bored, and I feel kind of useless not going into everyday with real structure, like work. I want to make money, I want to do something with all of my time. However, I suppose that in order to be happy with your job, and not want to pull out your hair everyday, you should make sure that it is something that you would actually want to do. Here are the seven things that author Joanna Riley Weidenmiller (CEO of One Page Proposal) suggests:
What is this company? Visit the company website and learn about the company’s mission statement, foundation, executive staff, and most importantly, the products or services provided.
What kind of customers does this company deal with? Learn about the products or services the company offers and who buys it. If you’re hired, these are the people you will be dealing with on a daily basis. Look up customer reviews about the company and see where the problems are. This will also give you something to talk about in your application and interview.
Who are their competitors? Figure out who the top-notch competitors are. What are the competitors doing similarly and differently? Is there something that the competitors are doing that this company is falling short? You might find that the competitor is a better company to apply to.
What makes this company special? Google the company to see what other people are saying. Look up professional and customer reviews of products and services provided.
What are the employees like? How big is the company? If you are hired, will you be a one-person department or on a large team? Most importantly, do they enjoy working for the company? Check out LinkedIn and Facebook to find current and former employees to contact. You’d be surprised to learn the dirty truth about your “dream” company. (You can also check out glassdoor)
What are some of the skill/experience gaps within the department that I can fill? Obviously, if they’re hiring, there’s a gap that needs to be filled. However, chances are, your company in question doesn’t realize exactly which skills, experience, and ideas they need. Beyond matching the job description, ensure that you match that gap.
Who would hire me? One great way to ensure that an employer won’t hire you is to make sure not to know their name. While “to whom it may concern” is a polite alternative to writing a name, it screams generic and doesn’t stand out. Most hiring manager’s names are easily accessible on LinkedIn, the job posting, or the company website. Go a step further and do some light research on them, you’ll have a better idea of who you’re meeting. (a question was raised about this in the comment section, what if you still can’t find a name, Weidenmiller says to call the company’s HR office to find out)
So basically, before we can even apply for a job we have a lot of work to do. Were things always this difficult? Simply Hired also told me that nationwide job openings declined -3.8% from May, but are up from June 2010. The job competition improved to 4:1 (job seekers to job openings) from 5:1. West Palm Beach, Pittsburgh, Portland, Phoenix, and Sacramento, they stated, all became better places for job seekers. Happy searching today!