I have asked many job seekers how they spend their time, specifically, what job search activities take the most amount of time. Inevitably, job seekers will say that they spend the majority of their time "researching". Ask what that means and you'll likely get as many answers as people you ask.
So, here are six things you can do in your research of a prospective employer:
- If the company is publicly traded, review their filings and earning reports
- Call their customer service or technical support department. Call several times, at different times of the day, and ask the same question. It's amazing what you can learn about the organization doing that.
- Follow the company on LinkedIn. Find out who does what at the company.
- Talk to your friends. Use LinkedIn to find out who you know that works there currently and who has worked there in the past.
- Have lunch, or grab a coffee, at nearby establishments. You might be amazed at what "chatter" you hear.
- Identify their competitors, and repeat the same steps.
Take notes on each company and prepare a SWOT analysis for each. Do this for a few companies and see what comparisons you can make.
Now that you know a little more about the company it's time to ask yourself if your skills can benefit the company, and is there an opening?