Doing your research can help you decide whether an organisation is the right fit for you. An overall understanding of the sector, what the business does, its size, turnover, clients, competitors, brand, products, direction and culture, will help you develop commercial awareness and prepare you for applications and interviews.
Employers want to hire students who can do the job, are enthusiastic about the role/company and are the right fit for their business.
Where to start
Visit their website, follow them on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. This will help to give you a feel for the business and their brand.
Find out about any upcoming employer events, ‘Meet The Employers’, networking opportunities & career fairs on campus, as these provide excellent opportunities to speak directly with a prospective employer and enquire about possible career opportunities or work experience.
Meeting face to face with an employer is invaluable, and gives you the chance to make a great first impression, so avail these opportunities when they arise!
- What does the business do?
- Which sector/industry are they in?
- Size of the business?
- Who are the clients/ customers?
- Who are the competitors?
- What are their market trends?
- What is the culture of the business?
- What are their values?
- What skills and experience are they looking for?
- What is the recruitment process?
- Have there been recent stories in the press?
- What do they post about on social media?
- Any interesting blog posts or staff stories?
Research for an Application or Interview:
- Read the company’s annual report.
- Connect with current employees on LinkedIn.
- Research the sector and similar roles on the company site and Prospects.
- Research new projects or achievements.
- Check out their ‘Careers’, ‘Work with us’ and ‘Meet the Team’ sections and see what skills and qualities they value in their staff and prospective employees.
- Be familiar with their ‘Mission Statement’ or ‘Statement of Purpose’ and their values.
- Research their community activities or charities they are associated with.
Have you completed a company recipe sheet
? You may find this a useful way of organising and planning your research.
Where can I look for information?
As well as company websites, there are a wide variety of online sources to support your employer research from newspaper websites, top rated employer surveys, to online journals:
The Library Databases
The Manchester Met Library databases can provide you with a range of information on companies and industries. Visit the Library website
here for details of the key databases that can help you to research employers or your chosen sector.