As you start your job search, you may find that you need to identify several employers to which you’d like to apply. Once you’ve found these organizations, you’ll also need to research them thoroughly in order to write a tailored cover letter, prepare for an interview, or make a decision on offers. Below are suggestions for how to go about finding the information you need:
Identifying New Employers
Use CareerSearch. CareerSearch
allows you to research employers by industry, location and keyword and download company and contact information. Current students and alumni, please call the reception desk at 609-258-3325 for the referral key.
Narrow your search.
Look to employers in a particular geographic region or sub-specialty. Use our links by location
to find both large and small employers. An old-fashioned Internet search is a good place to start, too.
Read the news/journals for that industry.
Take note of those organizations that are making headlines, for better or worse. You can also look through member directories of professional associations
and read their newsletters.
Researching Specific Employers
Start with the organization’s website. It’s obvious, but worth mentioning as it is an absolute must.
Attend recruiting events. These include information sessions, meet-and-greet events, and open houses. Not only is it a chance for you to make an impression on the employer, you will also get a “feel” for what an organization is like.
Talk to people who work there. Look up alumni
who are current employees, or contact someone directly in the department you are interested in to see if they are willing to talk with you about the organization (this is best done before you apply for a position). You may want to talk with other contacts, such as professors, coaches, neighbors, etc., to see if they know anyone who has worked there.
Use the Princeton Library.
The Princeton libraries
are gateways to a wealth of information about all kinds of organizations, from established enterprises to recent start-ups, manufacturers to non-profit groups, entertainment agencies to research institutes. Ask a reference librarian for help.
Questions to Consider
As you do your research, keep questions like these in mind:
- What are the mission and goals of the organization?
- How long has it been around?
- What are its products and services?
- Who are its clients and competitors?
- How large is the organization and how is it structured?
- Where are its various offices located?
- Does it have international offices or partners?
- What does the annual report say about the stability of the organization?
- What does the website/other publications/employers suggest about the culture of the organization?
- What are the new projects/initiatives planned for the next few years?