Researching Potential Employers
The primary reason to do company research is to obtain information about the organization and
industry where you intend to apply your skills and experience. You will be spending a lot of time
there, whether the position is for the summer, an Intern/Co-op period or full time. It makes sense
to know as much as you can about your potential work setting!
Perhaps most importantly you can really shine in an interview by demonstrating in-depth
knowledge of an employer and /or industry.
There are many resources to assist you in researching employers. The Career Services Library on the second floor of the Student Success Center is a good place to start and the reference desk of the campus main library is an excellent resource. Of course the Internet, on-line databases, the On-Line Career Library, WETFEET, and the Employer Profiles that are included in CareerBuzz are essential to your research.
What to look for:
• What does the employer make or provide? Are these products/services compatible with your interests?
• Who are their customers and where are their markets?
• Who are their key competitors?
• Are there any recent newsworthy items?
• What are their recent successes and/or failures?
• What skills do you bring to this employer?
• How many divisions does the company have and what is the primary work done by each?
• Where are the locations?
• Do they hire individuals of your background?
• Are they dependent on specific suppliers or industries?
• Profits? Losses? How is the company performing over time? How does it stack up against competitors?
• How has the stock performed in recent quarters?
• What research and development activities are underway?
• Is the company closing divisions? Adding new businesses?
• Any recent layoffs?
Where to look:
Career Services Library
• Books about various career fields
• Reference materials on career planning and development
• Salary surveys (bachelor's degree, master's degree, or doctoral degree)
• Current issues of popular business publications
Price-Gilbert Memorial Library
• Extensive collection of directories, periodicals, and publications
• Source of business performance information and articles relating to
specific industries and companies
• On line databases provided through GT library
• Although biased, employer websites will provide organizational overviews, product descriptions, press
releases on new products/services, etc. and represent a good starting point for your research.
• The Wall Street Journal and other business publications. Articles and features found in these publications
are extremely valuable and will improve your overall knowledge.
• Friends who are working can give good insight to an employer's culture.