Job Search Tip of the Week #4 (2017)
Caressa Moy | January 23, 2017 | 9:00 am
How to Conduct Thorough Research
Part I: Incorporating Social Media
Want to have an advantage over all of the candidates you’re competing against? You’ll need to know more than the company’s “About Us” page. What’s the current status of the company? How is it fairing against its competitors, and in its industry? What does the company hope to achieve in the short and long term, and what does it need to attain those goals?
Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. Social media has made it easier than ever to find extensive information. We’ll soon discuss how to leverage social media to reach potential employers, but for now, a dissection of a few of the popular social media platforms to show you how social media can teach you more about a company than its website can:
On the company’s page, you’ll see an “About Us” section. It contains the company’s profile, often an abbreviated and concise version of important information you can find on the company’s website. In addition, it provides quick company details (website, headquarters, year founded, company type, company size, specialties).
Underneath the “About Us” section is a panel that tells you who you’re connected to that works at the company you’re looking up. If you want to access the full list of employees, it’s at the very top of the page in blue where it says “See all x employees on LinkedIn –>”. Individual profiles tell you what skills and experience employees had prior to working at the company, which indicate the kind of people the company hires and thus will be looking for. Make it a point to check out those who hold titles similar to the one you hope to attain to get a better understanding of your potential future responsibilities.
At the bottom of the page is the “Recent Updates” section, which contains meaningful content such as blog posts and company and industry news. And if you have LinkedIn Premium, you can also access exclusive “Insights” such as the company’s newly hired and promoted employees, recent departures, and leadership changes, which altogether will give you an idea of its growth, employee turnover, and career advancement opportunities.
Be sure to click on the blue “See Jobs” button at the top of the page. Sometimes companies will post job openings there instead of their website!
Facebook & Twitter
Companies tend to utilize Facebook and Twitter to develop and present a more personal brand of themselves with which they can engage their customer base (and prospective employees). Consequently, you’ll find more visual and interactive content on these platforms compared to LinkedIn.
Generally, Facebook statuses and tweets are used to broadcast company updates and events, job opportunities, and industry news, while photos and videos are meant to depict corporate culture and accomplishments.
Remember: Thoroughly investigate a company’s social media presence! The content a company produces and shares and who it interacts with are more representative of its culture, expertise, and niche than the company’s website (although that doesn’t mean you should leave it out of your research – more on that next week).
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