The quality of your employer targeting and research determines much of your job search success.
Long before your first interview, target employers with the greatest potential and desire to actually hire you! In fact, complete employer research starts immediately after resume writing and serves as a major component of effective cover letters/e-mails. In order to elicit employer interest, a strong letter matching your skills and accomplishments to specific employer needs must be developed.
After creating a targeted list of employers, you will use your time more effectively by exploring opportunities with only those employers whose needs match your qualifications. Remember: the quality of your employer research directly determines your success in the job search.
By now, you should clearly see the links between all elements of the job search. Each building block is directly linked to the success of other job search components. A thorough skills assessment and understanding of accomplishments leads to an excellent resume, serves as a basis for cover letters and E-mails, helps identify target employers for contact, and ultimately improves your interviewing skills, hopefully leading to job offers.
Conducting Employer Research
What to Find:
Products or services, major competitors, customers, current conditions, market niche and share, parent company, leading-edge projects, growth goals, training programs, locations, job descriptions, career paths
Where to find it:
Sources: Career Services office, Chambers of Commerce, professional associations, newspapers and journals, local career services, major specific links
Networking: Alumni, professors, co-op/intern students, research contacts, consortium contacts, family and friends