We’ve said it before, but now it is time to concentrate on it: one of the most important things you can do in the career transition process is research a new potential employer. Without doing your due diligence you’re not going to get very far.
Lately a hot topic in the job search chatter online has focused on standing out from the crowd. We covered it too, and it is certainly an important topic. However, I have found through personal experience that one of the best ways to stand out is to show that you can blend in. I’ll explain…
It has been mentioned that cultural fit is deemed a deciding factor in the hiring process, but it doesn’t stop there. More than just showing that your personality meshes with theirs, you need to show that you even know what their personality and their company is all about. The only way to do that is to thuroughly research your potential new employer.
Resume. The first step is to pay close attention to the words used in the job description. Look at what they are looking for in terms of skill, personal attributes and experience. If you possess some of those qualities, include them in your resume and cover letter. They will be skimming for those terms.
Cover Letter. Your cover letter should be broken up in to a few short parts – one of which should be mentioning why you want to work at this company and why you think you fit in. Mention things you’ve read online, whether on their website or other sites where they have published content, and show them that you did your research. Don’t go crazy though; when it comes to a cover letter you need to make a little bit go a long way.
Interview. During the interview you are likely to be asked if you have any questions, so make sure that you do! Afterall, the interview is a two-way street. Research the company and ask questions that go a little something like this: “I noticed on your website/facebook/twitter that you —–, how do you plan to incorporate —–?” Mention something that you already know and ask for them to elaborate. This shows that you are thinking outside of the box, are engaging, and have done your research!
Follow Up. Following up on an interview is key and should be done quickly, with confidence, tact, and a little bit of research. The research comes from the interview. Directly following any interview, write down a few notes about what you talked about with each individual so that you can mention one or two sepcifics during your follow-up e-mail. This way they know you were paying attention.
A lack of research will lead you to apply to jobs that you aren’t qualified for at companies that you don’t fit in to culturally, assuming that you even make it that far. This is an underrated task and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Make sure to “Google” the company and their key players, their social media presence and any other additional assets they may have online.
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.