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Is This Employer a Good Fit for You?

By Debra Wheatman

There are numerous resources and across the Internet to aid your research of companies. You know where to look, but do you know what data is important to know? More importantly, if you know why you need the data, you can put it into perspective and use the data wisely.

Collecting Company Intelligence

The primary objectives of company research are to:

  • Determine if this is a company where you want to commit the next few years.
  • Match your knowledge and talents with the needs of a particular company.
  • Increase your interest and enthusiasm for the company.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the company, interest in the company, and the value you would bring to this company.

What you need to know:

Below is a checklist of items to research listed by phases in the job search process. Each candidate is different, so you may need to know information not listed below.

Don't stop with this data. Use it as a springboard to learn as much as you can about the company.

For example, as you search news about the industry and the company, it will likely lead you to more interesting information.

Level One: Before You Send Your Resume

  • Company's industry
  • Services or products of company
  • Company's primary market
  • Company leaders (CEO, CFO, President, etc.)
  • Manager responsible for hiring

Level Two: Before the Interview

  • Company structure
  • Company culture
  • Top clients
  • Competition
  • Trends in industry
  • Company's successes, misses, and "headlines" over recent 2-3 years

Level Three: Before You Accept the Offer

  • Financial status
  • Biggest challenge that the company faces, biggest challenge of department or division
  • Advancement and succession policies
  • Opportunities for training, development, and promotion
  • Organization's chief values/philosophy

Bottom Line

This intelligence you gather will help you shine in the interview. In past years, I might have said that you may be the one in four candidates that make the effort to conduct research. In today's challenging market, all the savvy candidates do their research. Today, my advice is, don't be the one that does NOT do the necessary research.

Debra Wheatman About the author...

Debra Wheatman is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). She is globally recognized as an expert in advanced career search techniques with more than 18 years' corporate human resource experience. Debra has been featured on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading publications, including, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC. Debra may be reached at, or you may visit her website at

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