If you think you may be interested in working for a company, it’s important to do your homework before you apply. The more thoroughly you research a potential employer, the better prepared you’ll be to make an informed decision – and to shine during your interview, when your understanding of the organization may be put to the test.

Here are eight tips for getting the most out of your job-search related research:

  1. Understand the type of company you want to work for.

Start by making a list of organizations or industries that pique your interest. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a wealth of information, as do the Best Places to Work pages on Indeed.

  1. Look for organizations that share your values.

By researching a company’s mission, vision and core values, you can ensure that they align with your beliefs and passion. For instance, if you value social causes, innovation or diversity initiatives, look for a company that makes that its focus.

  1. Learn as much as possible about a company’s business operations.

Research a company’s products and services, customer base and industry. Is it a start-up, or if it’s been in business for a while, how has it grown and evolved over time? You can find much of this information on company websites and use resources like Crunchbase to learn about funding, mergers, acquisitions and competitive landscapes.

  1. Research company leadership.

Use the company’s About Us page, LinkedIn and other resources to learn about a company’s CEO and other senior leaders. And when preparing for your interview, learn as much as possible about those you will be meeting with.

  1. Expand your research to include recent company news.

While a company website and social media are great places to begin your research, get a wider, more objective view by doing a Google search and checking out their recent external media coverage. Scanning customer forums and product reveals can also be very eye-opening.

  1. Research the available employee benefits.

To attract top talent, companies often disclose their healthcare and other benefits and perks, including stock options, flexible work schedules or unique on-site features such as gyms or catered cafeterias. There also may be special discounts related to a business’s own products and services.

  1. Turn to your professional network for additional insight.

After you’ve done your research, discuss what you’ve learned about an employer with trusted members of your professional network. Try and get the inside scoop on company culture, growth opportunities, and what it’s really like to work there. If you’re a recent college grad building a network from scratch, reach out to university advisors or alumni.

  1. Be ready to share what you know in an interview.

Think strategically about how you might use information learned through your research during your job interview. Tie it into how you connect your skills and experience to the job description, departmental goals and the overall company vision.

The TRC Professional Solutions powerhouse placement team can help you search confidentially and successfully for prime positions with leading employers and uncover career-building opportunities nationwide. Check out our job portal or contact us today to hear more.

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