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Career Readiness Through Experiential Learning

Discover library resources to help you prepare for your career and develop important job skills.

Learning about Companies

Job searches and interviews search two purposes.  First, a company can identify potential employees who would excel at their positions and second, potential employees can identify companies and other organizations where they can thrive.  Researching potential employers can ensure that students and other hopeful employees are best staged to meet the needs of the marketplace.  A well-prepared candidate demonstrates their self-motivation, interest in the position, and experience in the field through the questions they ask and the conversations they have with interviewers.

Company websites can provide a lot of important information about the values, major initiatives, and direction of a company.  Depending on the nature of the organization, you may want to investigate the following sorts of pages:

  • About Us
    • What is the mission and values of this organization?  What sort of projects, initiatives, or other work do they choose to highlight?  What are their major accomplishments? 
  • Careers or Human Resources
    • What sort of jobs are currently listed?  What types of education or experience do they require?  Go beyond the number of years or minimum degree requirements.  Are there any special skills or certifications they tend to prioritize?  What sort of documents do they require in applications?
  • Annual Reports/SEC Filings
    • What sort of activities do they report?  Which are most heavily highlighted? What major events have been effecting the company?How might you contribute to those?  How is the company positioned in its field?
  • Key Personnel/ Executives or Board of Directors
    • What people are highlighted on the website?  What are their interests?  Can you find interviews with them?

The library provides a number of databases that give company reports and profiles for many public businesses.  Use the following resources to find company overviews, financials, and more.

Outside Sources On Your Organizations

You can also look in outside sources for more information about the company.

  • Review sites
    • Google Maps, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Consumer Reports all give people a place to air their views on companies as clients.  How is your organization typically seen?  Are they responsive?  Have there been any major incidences or long term trends?
  • Networking sites
    • Sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Twitter can sometimes give a glimpse inside companies.  How does the culture seem?  What do their employees say about their work experience?
  • Social media
    • What presence/services do they favor?  How often do they engage the public?  Who is their primary target audience?
  • Competitor's pages
    • What is your organization's presence in their field?  How do they compare to other companies providing similar services or products?  Why choose one company over the other?
  • News
    • What sorts of projects is your organization known for?  What sorts of things do their marketing department push?  Have there been any major events that affected this company publicly?