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Why Research Industries and Companies?
Does the industry and company you work in really matter, as long as you have a job? The answer is: Yes, it matters a lot! Different industries and companies have different ways of working, cultural atmospheres, processes, work environments and more. You are not just looking for any job. You are looking for the job that is right for you.
The results of your research will allow you to zero in on specific industries and companies that match your goals, interests, values and work style.
Doing research on different industries will help you learn:
- The types of industries that exist
- The skills employers seek
- The education/certifications needed
- The strength of the industry
Doing research on companies will help you learn:
- Which to target in your industry
- Which to target in your location
- Corporate culture and working conditions
- Points of contact
Where Do I Go?
Places to Conduct Research:
Thorough research will help you match your skills to an employer's needs, target your resume, set realistic expectations, and expand your career choices to jobs you may have overlooked. Be sure to visit various company's websites and expand beyond that by visiting other sources, such as those listed below.
Simply type the industry or company name into a search engine and see what comes up. This is a good way to see any recent news stories about a company or industry. Keep in mind that nobody polices the Internet. Just because you read it online doesn’t make it true. Do further research through multiple sources to get a clearer understanding of the industry or company. You can search for information directly from the companies themselves. Look for annual reports, company websites, and other marketing or recruiting materials.
Industry Organizations and Associations
Use an Internet search engine to search for "industry organizations" or "industry associations" plus the specific industry of interest. For example, you could search for "industry associations law enforcement" or "industry organizations nursing." Read about these organizations and consider joining one of the associations to increase your career network.
Virtual Career Library Industry Guides
Virtual Career Library Industry Guides are a great place to learn more about specific industries and job growth opportunities.
Employees, Former Employees, Friends and Family
Don’t forget the power of face-to-face communication. Ask everyone you know about working in a specific industry or with a specific company. You never know what you might learn from a relative or that guy you play golf with a few times a year!
Sites such as LinkedIn and others are designed to help you connect professionally with others. LinkedIn, for example, allows you to look for people in your network who might know someone in another company. This allows you to make contact with people already in a company you are interested in.