You know LinkedIn.com as a professionally oriented social networking site. LinkedIn is also a resource for company research. If you are in the early stage of company research, start broad with an industry search.
As you narrow your target, you can search details of a particular company. You can also uncover job postings and connect with employees within that company.
In the top menu bar, click on "Companies" and enter keywords for a particular industry. Results of top companies in the industry will appear. You can narrow the results by location and company size.
Company Pages are a comprehensive guide to companies. The companies themselves update much of the data. These are the current categories you will find in this area: Overview, Careers (including job postings), Products/Services, Key Statistics, Company Description, Company Employees, New Hires, Recent Promotions/Changes, and Popular Profiles.
As a potential employee, you can find almost everything you need to know about a company in this area. Beyond the corporate facts, the company overview and descriptions sections will hint at the culture of the company.
In fact, companies are encouraged to share information to give outsiders a snapshot of the company culture. Looking at the New Hires and Recent Promotions/Changes sections, you can compare yourself to employees recently hired.
Within the company you can search for current employees. Your connections will be displayed under the company overview tab. These contacts are valuable as you seek the inside scoop on the company or pursue introductions to hiring managers.
While on the company page, you will see more facts in the right sidebar. This information is provided by outside sources, such as CNBC. Additional data includes: key statistics (company size, revenue, locations, map, company website, and more), job openings posted on LinkedIn, recent company news, and stock information.
All of the above information is available to LinkedIn members at no additional charge. In future articles, we'll explore other free online company research tools. In the meantime, check out all the company research advice and resources on job-hunt.org, like Advanced LinkedIn Strategies for Company Research.
Debra Wheatman is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). She is globally recognized as an expert in advanced career search techniques with more than 18 years' corporate human resource experience. Debra has been featured on Fox Business News, WNYW with Brian Lehrer, and quoted in leading publications, including Forbes.com, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNBC. Debra may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may visit her website at CareersDoneWrite.com. You can also circle her on Google+.