Why Should I Research Organizations?
Researching organizations is an integral part of your networking and job search process. Research is essential to target organizations that could be a good fit for you and employers expect you to know about their industry, organization, and position, and even something about the interviewer and his/her role. They expect you to demonstrate this knowledge in cover letters and during the interview and networking process. Your research in turn helps you to better reflect your capability, interest, and enthusiasm for the field, organization and position.
What Should I Find Out?
- Mission and values
- History of organization
- Leadership of organization
- Size of organization/office locations
- National and/or international presence
- Typical job titles
- Organizational culture
- Competitors and general landscape of the industry
- Current events/recent news
- Professional/educational background of the interviewer(s)
CCE Resources to Learn More about Organizations
- Insider Info - Log in using your UNI and Password to get the scoop from our employer outreach meetings with companies.
- Vault and Wetfeet - Log in using your UNI and Password to conduct in-depth research on companies, careers and industries.
- Career Exploration/Industries - Learn about a variety of industries/career fields, the types of jobs, professional associations, and Columbia specific resources.
- Check our Events 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/job database .
Other Recommended Online Resources
- Company/organization web sites — Check out the Careers, About Us, or Contact Us sections. Also be sure to read the News and Events sections, as you’ll find upcoming activities and recent press releases from organizations.
- Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — Look for pages/feeds on social media sites. Organziations often share unique information and job postings. Make sure your online presence is professional before you start connecting. LinkedIn is particularly helpful to learn about employees of the company and to find alumni employed there.
- Google News Alerts - Set up a news alert to get updates.
- Industry specific publications — There are a number to follow like Business Week, Engineering News Record, Nonprofit Times, Poets & Writers, Bloomberg, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Advertising Age, Fortune, Backstage, and Fastcompany.com.
- Industry lists — In addition to Vault and Wetfeet, there are other organizations that maintain ’top places to work’ lists, rankings, and more. These include Glassdoor, Crain’s New York Business, Hoovers, Working Mother, and Forbes. Quintcareers has an extensive list of other ranking resources.
Other Techniques for Learning More About Organizations
Informational interviewing, or initiating conversations with people in organizations and positions of interest to you, is a great way to obtain ‘insider’ information. For tips on how to arrange, conduct, and follow up on an informational interview, refer to the Networking section of the Career Planning Guide.