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Company Research

Part 1: Why You Need Company Information

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Knowledge is power. All the big companies know that and pour lots of money into research to gain the knowledge they need to be competitive. Companies commit extensive resources to conducting market research before selling their products. Many large companies have huge information centers where they employ staffs of professional librarians who are able to access information on clients, competitors, and customers. Take note. The amount of knowledge you have about a potential employer, and on the industry in which you hope to work, can give you a competitive edge. This pertains both to making initial contact with employers and before going on interviews. In addition, having information on a company is also invaluable when it comes to evaluating a job offer.

Research Before Making Initial Contact

When you begin to make initial contacts with potential employers, through resumes or any other method you use, it is a good idea to have some basic facts about the company. You don't need to do exhaustive research at this point — there is plenty of time for that later. However, you should know the company's industry, what they do, who some major clients are, and the names of some of the company's higher-ups, i.e. CEO, President, etc. You should also know who is in charge of hiring for the position you are seeking.

Research Before The Interview

Before going on an interview is the time to do extensive research. Being armed with an arsenal of information can give you an edge over your competition, as you will be able to answer questions about the employer should you be asked any on the interview. It is not unusual to be asked the question, "What do you know about us?" It will also enable you to ask intelligent questions when you are given the opportunity, as job candidates usually are toward the end of the interview. Just as researching clients gives corporations the ability to individually target sales presentations, knowing your potential employer will help you target your "presentation" to them.

Research Before Accepting A Job Offer

Knowing the financial standing of a company can help you decide whether to make a commitment to that company. If a company is on shaky financial ground, you must evaluate whether you want to stake your future there. By keeping up with business news, you can learn in which direction a company is headed.

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Part 2: Business Research 101
Part 3: Where to Get Your Information

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