Q: I recently graduated with my master’s in communications and now I’m seeking employment. I’ve found a company I’m interested in working with, but I’m not sure how to research the firm aside from exploring their Website. I have a few job choices and want to choose the right one.
— O.A., Via Internet
The company’s Website should just be a starting point, because much of the information there will be subjective, highlighting accolades, awards, and the best the company offers. Independent sources will provide you with more objective information. A general Internet search can lead you to articles on the company from newspapers as well as general-market and trade publications. Also use search engines to research the CEO and other top executives. Websites such as Wetfeet.com, Vault.com, and Hoovers.com offer company and industry insider information. Nexis.com provides, for a fee, a “company dossier” search, which includes financial data.
To obtain personal insight, tap your network. A contact from an industry organization or your alma mater’s career resource center may connect you with an executive recruiter who specializes in that industry, a source who is currently working for the company, or even an employee working for a competitor.