Why Should I Research Organizations?

Researching organizations is an integral part of your job search process, whether you’re exploring options or preparing for an upcoming event or interview.

When exploring, your research will help you identify career options and organizations that could be a good fit for you

When preparing for a networking event or interview, your research will help you stand out as a candidate. Here are a few of our recommendations about what to know before you go.

Use research to identify Organizations That Fit What You’re Looking For

In advance of a multi-employer networking event like our Career Fairs or Industry Showcases, your research will help you identify which employers you want to meet. We recommend reading through the list of employers who will be attending, with the goal of creating a list of several employers that interest you.

use research to Demonstrate Your Interest and Preparedness to Employers

Your research will help you make a positive impression when you speak with an employer.

When networking, your research about the organization and the person you’re connecting with can help you show why you’re interested in speaking with them. You’ll be able to craft a more tailored outreach message, introduction, and questions, based on your research.

When networking or interviewing for a position, your research will prepare you to clearly articulate why you’re interested in the organization, industry, and specific role. You’ll also be able to demonstrate your preparedness to do the job well. In your interview, you’ll use your research to select which information to share and to identify the questions you want to ask the employer.

What Should I Find Out?

Though your research questions will vary depending on your interests and priorities, these topic areas can give you a sense of where you can start.

What makes this company unique?

  • Mission and values
  • History of organization
  • Leadership of organization
  • Key programs, projects, or initiatives

How do I know if the organization fits my priorities and experience? How do I know if there are opportunities that would interest me?

  • Size of organization
  • Office locations
  • Structure and departments
  • Typical job titles and roles; professional and educational background of people in those roles
  • Recruitment practices
  • Workplace culture

What is the organization known for? How does this organization fit in within its industry?

  • National and international presence
  • Competitors and general landscape of the industry
  • Recent company and industry news

Strategies for Researching Organizations

Your research will likely include a mix of online and in-person strategies. Below, we’ve included some resources and strategies that we recommend.

CCE Resources

  • Insider Info: Our Employer and Alumni Relations team posts exclusive updates from their outreach meetings with companies.
  • Vault: This website synthesizes in-depth research on companies, careers, and industries. You have access to it for free through our office.
  • Industries Page: On this page, we’ve compiled foundational information about industries, including subfields within the industry, how the industry appears on campus, and external job boards and professional associations.
  • Events Calendar: Check our calendar regularly for the latest on Career Fairs, Industry Showcases, Employer Information Sessions, and Alumni-Student Networking events.
  • LionSHARE: Read company and job descriptions in our internship and job database . 

Other Recommended Online Resources

Other Recommended Research Strategies

  • Informational Interviewing: An informational interview is a conversation you have with a person in an organization or position that interests you. It is a great way to get nuanced information about an individual’s career path, experience at the company, or advice in breaking into the field. Our tips on how to arrange, conduct, and follow up on an informational interview can get you started.
  • Networking Events: In addition to the many events we host, we also recommend checking out events held by student groups, academic departments, and professional associations related to your areas of interest.

Collecting and Tracking Your Research

We always recommend keeping track of your research, to make your exploration and job search easier.  Whether in a spreadsheet, document, or journal, having this information in one place will make it easy to refer back to when you’re preparing for applications, networking events, and interviews.