Knowledge about the prospective employer -- company, school, nonprofit, LLC, government, or something else -- is the foundation of a smart job search. Knowing, and demonstrating that knowledge, will impress the company and will help you avoid the bad ones.
Note: We'll call all employers "companies" here, but the research tips and resources we will share with you can also usually apply to nonprofits and even to some government employers, too.
Solid research is a necessity for a successful job search in today's highly competitive job market.
A good foundation of research into potential employers can actually shorten your job search.
Without a good understanding of the employer, the employer's organization, and the employer's position in the marketplace, you can be wasting your valuable time pursuing the wrong employers.
Without research you won't understand the employer and will have no insight into how and where to get their attention, so you will be ineffectively applying for jobs, too, another waste of your time.
With many years of experience in Human Resources and recruiting, Debra Wheatman founded Careers Done Write in 2005 to provide professional career coaching and resume writing services, and she began contributing articles for this column of Job-Hunt in 2011.
See the articles listed in the right column, in five sections, to help you with your job search company research. If you are new to company research, start at the top and read them all. Or, pick the ones that seem the most relevant to you.
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.