Research Preparation Before Job Search And Job Interviews

Research is one of the most important things to do when you conduct a job search and prepare yourself for a job interview. Even if you have been in the industry for decades, you need to embark on a journey of discovery to find out what’s going on within your field. You need to make educated decisions about who you will apply with and how you will impress the hiring manager. This isn’t going to happen by sheer luck – you need to be systematic in your research.

When you know more about your industry and your employers, you will be able to have a boost in self-esteem. You will have the answers to questions on the tip of your tongue, which will impress a hiring manager much more than a well thought out resume.

Research the Industry that You are Interested In

Whether you went to school for the industry you are interested in working in or not, you need to know the details about the industry. Learn about what the job growth is by visiting the www.bls.gov website. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will give you details as to what kind of growth can be expected in the next few years. If there is a decline in positions within a particular industry, you may want to consider a different career path.

You will also need to know about some of the educational requirements within the industry. Look at some of the short-term certificate programs and workshops that may be available. This can be available from university extension programs, offered from various organizations and even through online colleges and universities.

In some cases, you will need certificates in addition to a degree. For example, if you are going into the computer science industry, you may want to get a variety of Microsoft certificates to prove that you know about networking and other topics. This will give you the edge you need to secure a position without being told to get them during an interview.

Read up on your industry. You will need to know about all of the latest trends in detail. To find out about these, you can use such tools as:

- Trade magazines

- Books

- Magazine websites

- Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media

Learn the lingo of your field. Every industry has a different set of vocabulary. If someone uses an acronym instead of the actual term, you need to know what that acronym is.

Some industries known for their acronyms have provided websites to help you learn what all of the different ones are:

Computer - http://www.ipc.org/ContentPage.aspx?pageid=Industry-Acronyms

Healthcare - https://www.hanys.org/search/?action=terms

Automotive – http://www.sema.org/acronyms

The more you know about your industry, the better it will be for you. Not only will it help with your resume and your interview but it will also help you decide what you want to do within the industry. Every industry has a number of career options. As you learn more, you may decide that you want to go a different route than what you initially thought.

Take the Time to Learn About the Company You are Applying To

Once you know about your industry, you want to figure out which company or companies you should apply to. In order to do this properly, you will need to research in a variety of categories. You need to find out such things as:

- Company size

- Growth potential

- Recent news

- Employee Culture

- Management style

- Various policies

- Reputation

- Sales & profit

When you take the time to do the research on companies before you apply to them, you can guarantee that you will be happy working for them if you are given a job offer. You can avoid job hopping by going into an interview with your eyes wide-open.

If you have the ability to relocate yourself in order to work for one of the better companies within an industry, then this is great. Otherwise you will need to focus on the geography you are based in. Figure out what kind of radius you want to search for and identify a number of different companies. You may want to work for a Fortune 500 company or even a startup. Research a few kinds of companies to see which ones have the best opportunities for you.

Reference material:

http://www.bizjournals.com/ - This is a website to use for small and mid-sized company information. Type in the name of the business you want to know about in the search box and you will get a list of all of the latest news regarding that company.

http://finance.yahoo.com – You can find out about various details about many publicly traded companies here. Pay close attention to how their stock is doing. If the stock has just plummeted, you may want to do some additional research to find out what caused it.

http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml - Domestic and foreign companies that operate in the US must file various reports with EDGAR. You can view the information here to learn about how long the company has been in business, what the state of affairs are, and what licenses they hold.

http://www.prars.com/index.php - This site will provide online annual reports for companies. This will give you such details as the size of the company, the profit and loss statements as well as news that will impact the company’s future.

The more you know about a company, the easier it will be to determine if you really want to work there. Think about the financial strength of companies. If they aren’t financially stable, it may mean that they are going to be going through changes in the near future. This could include department lay-offs or even complete solvency of the company.

Visit a company’s website. Almost every company, small and large, has a website. Go to the “About Us” page and read about the history of the company, how it got started and what their current goals are. There may also be information on the website for applicants. This can give you an indication as to what positions they are hiring for, what the benefits packages are and why you would want to work for them. Many companies try to sell themselves on their website and you can bring up what they disclose in a job interview.

Various Trade Tools by Industry

You will have to do some of your own research, however there are a few different trade publications to some of the top industries that will prove to be invaluable for you. Every industry has a specific “go to” publication and it will be wise for you to check with this when you are preparing for a job search and getting ready to go on an interview.

The more information you have at your fingertips, the easier it will be to choose the right company to apply to and make a lasting impression during the interview.

You need to be very organized with your research. If you want to know about your industry, you have to be up on the latest trends and understand what is driving your industry right now. If you want to be happy with the position that you apply for, you need to know about the intimate details of a company.

It’s not just about knowing facts to make better decisions. While it will help to know which companies are struggling and which companies are booming, you also want to know details to help secure your spot within the company. Hiring managers want to know that you are involved in the industry and you know what the current topics are. When you are asked about your opinion on the current state of affairs within your industry, you want to have an educated response prepared.

Prepare yourself for a job interview by creating a list of five questions you think you may be asked. This could include details about the company, hot trends within the industry, political battles going on, lawsuits that have affected the industry, and much more. As long as you are well versed in the industry that you are applying in, it will be a lot easier to make a lasting impression with a hiring manager.

Your research needs to be ongoing. If you have researched some companies last month and you’re getting ready to submit another round of resumes, make sure you continue to do your research to see if anything has changed dramatically.

Before you make a phone call, submit a resume, or go in for a job interview, you need to do your research. Take notes, print out important articles, and form opinions based upon the various topics being discussed within your industry. These will prove invaluable throughout your job search and job interviews and will reward you heavily.

If you need an experienced resume writer and career coach to help you advance to the next level, I can help you craft a game plan and a resume to get you to your goal.

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