In your job search, you must learn as much as possible about potential employers so that you can target those that are the best match for you and so that you can stand out among other applicants. Learn about their mission, products, services, and their clients. Find out about their organizational structure and the workplace culture. This will put you in an excellent position to make clear connections between your skills and their needs when you prepare your resume and cover letter, or in an interview.
Employers have usually put some time into creating and maintaining a website of significant depth and breadth about their company, its history, its mission, and even its future. Because this information is publicly available, it is reasonable for employers to expect that the ideal candidate for a job has read and considered this information before applying.
Applicants who don't do this usually communicate a lack of knowledge or interest in the company, which does not help them to beat their competition! Similarly, the more knowledge that an applicant can appropriately demonstrate in their resume, cover letter, and interview, the more likely it is that the employer will view them as a motivated applicant and good potential hire. There are several ways to research a potential employer:
- Start with the company website, and read every page
- Many companies have a listing on LinkedIn, describing the work culture of the company so as to attract good applicants
- Check other social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, for the company's online presence
- Google the name of the company and then click "News" at the top of Google to find recent articles about the company
- If you know the name of the hiring manager, you can do similar searches for information on that person which can help you to apply more effectively, (e.g. She's all about numbers, or, he values creative thinking over blindly following routines)
For more, Quintessential Careers also provides an excellent
Step-by-Step Guide to Researching Companies.
The following resources provide career-related information (such as online journals, job banks, etc.) specifically geared to people of color, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQIA people, and/or women in male-dominated fields.
Closing the Gender Gap
Financial Aid for Women
Minority Executive Search, Inc.
National Association for Female Executives
Pride at Work
Pro Gay Jobs
Saludos ("#1 ranked in Hispanic employment")
Viscardi Center (for people with disabilities)
Women in Underrepresented Careers