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How to Use Yelp to Research Companies

By Debra Wheatman

Yelp.com is a resource for millions seeking reviews and details of service for businesses. Yelp has approximately 61 million registered users and more than 20 million posted reviews. You may think of Yelp when you want a restaurant review. Actually, only 23% of the reviews are for restaurants.

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Another 23% of the reviews are for retail stores. The remaining 54% span healthcare, professional services, travel, entertainment, auto, beauty, fitness, and other business types. Reviews are more prevalent in large metro areas, however businesses across U.S. and Canada are represented.

A user may visit Yelp to search for a type of business or by name of business and include a geographic specification. Each listing will show a 5-point rating, reviews from other site visitors, and details of the business operations and services.

Portions of the content are updated by visitors and the business owner, respectively.

Company Information on Yelp:

1.) Yelp Profile of Business

Here you will see details of contact information, link to a map, link to company's website, and an overview of the company's services and operations.

2.) Photo Gallery

A photo of the company can help you identify the location when you go to your first interview.

3.) Rating & Review

The company's reputation in the community is an excellent indication of whether this company would be a good employer. If they have a history of treating clients poorly, they may also treat employees poorly. Also, reviews can be a sign of a company that is on the decline. Looks for multiple comments regarding under-staffing, poor quality of product, or failing service as red flags.

4.) Response to Reviews

Did the company respond to reviews? Sometimes the response is private, so you won't see it. However, there are times when a company will reply publicly to explain a situation. Many good companies take time to reply to positive reviews as well. That is a sign of excellent public relations and attention to detail.

5.) Profiles of Company's Competitors

You can also use Yelp to look for competitors. Research the same information as you would of your target company. This could lead to more prospective employers. Also, this information provides insight into your target company's place in the market.

Like any research, it is valuable to help your decision-making process. Also, you may be able to make note of review quotes from Yelp to mention in interview. This shows the interviewer that you are an excellent researcher and reinforces why you are interested in the position.

Bottom Line

The more you have researched a potential employer, the better prepared you will be for an interview.  And, you will also be in a better position to determine if you want to work for this employer.

For more information on company research, visit these job-hunt.org articles on job-hunt.org's Company Research Home page.


About the author...

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 debra@careersdonewrite.com, or you may visit her website at CareersDoneWrite.com. You can also circle her on Google+.


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