When you’re applying for a job, especially if you’re between jobs, you want to use your time effectively. You don’t want to put in the effort into writing a cover letter or attending interview if the job isn’t going to be a good fit for you. That’s why you need to do your homework.
Not only can you figure out of a job will be a good fit, but your research will help you answer questions and be informed in the interview stage. Here’s how to do research before you apply for a job.
Figure Out Your Priorities
A job that is perfect for one person might be someone else’s worst nightmare. While pay is important, there are more things to consider. Some benefits, for example, might be more important than others. Some people might appreciate transportation subsidies, while others would prefer a gym membership. While you don’t need to get everything on your list, consider what kinds of things are most important to you.
Consider more than benefits, too. Do you like to work alone, or are teams an essential part of being happy at work? Do you want to be able to work from home occasionally? Do you need an office that will be flexible so you can care for your children or other family members as needed?
Once you’ve determined your priorities, you’ll be more able to find companies that align with your needs and values.
Check the Company’s Website and Social Media
The website is the best place to learn about what the company does and if the work and mission will be something you want to do. However, it can provide a lot of other information too.
The company’s website and social media pages can give you details about their culture and values. While you won’t find salary details here most of the time, you can find clues about benefits and company culture. Look for videos of the staff interacting, the company’s mission statement, and the “About Us” page. For example, you might look to see if the company does any charity work and if that work aligns with your interests and values.
Read Company Reviews
Thanks to websites like Glassdoor, you can read reviews of how employees feel about the company. While you should take these reviews with a grain of salt, they can give you ideas of things to ask about or help you avoid a situation you wouldn’t like.
Contact an Employee
Finally, after you’ve decided to apply and you’re waiting for the interview, you may want to contact a current or past employee. Sites like LinkedIn can help you find potential contacts. Try to find people who worked in the same position whenever possible. Remember to be gracious and value the person’s time.