Best Ways and Places to Research Your Target Employers

by Meg Guiseppi on December 15, 2014

Savvy executive job seekers know that the very first steps in landing a great-fit job are TARGETING (selecting, say, 10-15 employers that you feel will provide the kind of job you want) and then RESEARCHING each one for industry and company market intelligence.

Executive Job Search Research

Don’t even think of diving into updating your resume or LinkedIn profile, until you’ve done this!

You’ll use this information to determine the expertise and qualifications you possess, that will help them increase and improve business.

You’ll then define your personal brand and unique promise of value to them, and showcase your value-add in your personal marketing communications (resume, biography, LinkedIn profile, etc.).

Research to uncover the following:

  • Company overviews and history
  • Primary market
  • Products and services
  • Historical financials
  • Competitors
  • Challenges they’re facing right now
  • Corporate culture
  • Company structure
  • Company leaders and key decision-makers
  • Other employees
  • Customers
  • SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • Latest industry trends

Some places to find all this juicy information:

  • Company websites
  • Google Search – Employees, products, services
  • SEC – Reports on public companies
  • Yelp – Consumer ratings for various service-related companies
  • LinkedIn Company Profiles
  • Twitter and Facebook
  • ZoomInfo
  • Hoovers Online
  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Glassdoor
  • Google Finance
  • Industry/Professional Association Websites (See’s massive Association Directory.)

And two other places you may not have thought of:

→ Job aggregators like Simplyhired and Indeed

Find job descriptions that look like a mutual good fit. Use this information to align your qualities and qualifications with the requirements for your career target, and source relevant keywords and phrases.

→ Libraries

Often overlooked, libraries are all about research and librarians are trained research experts. Tell them what you want to find out and they’ll lead you to the resources . . . possibly information you can’t find online.

What will all this company and industry market intelligence help you do?

  • Gain access to the goldmine of “hidden” or unadvertised jobs.
  • Determine how you’re uniquely qualified to help your target companies overcome current challenges.
  • Learn how to align your personal brand and ROI with their needs.
  • Identify those all-important relevant keywords and phrases to use across your personal marketing communications.
  • Prepare you to craft your resume, LinkedIn profile and other brand communications around what will resonate with your target companies.
  • Circumvent the gatekeepers, avoiding the HR-driven search process, by positioning yourself in front of and connecting directly with key decision makers.
  • Complete your due diligence on potential employers.
  • Prepare you to speak intelligently about your target companies and industry when networking.
  • Nail interviews by being an informed, knowledgeable candidate.

You should have no trouble finding in depth information for established companies. Early-stage start-ups can be trickier. Through networking, you may be able to uncover current employees/partners and investors/investment firms, to then spend time researching.

Ultimately, you’ll want to know such things as how well-capitalized it is, how the rounds of funding fall in place, if it’s yielding income yet, etc.

graphic on Wikimedia

More Information About Landing a Great-Fit Executive Job

Stop! Before You Write Your Executive Resume or LinkedIn Profile …

How Do I Find a Job in the “Hidden” Job Market?

Toxic Executive Job Search Belief: I don’t need to target my resume

How to Network Your Way Into a Great-Fit Executive Job

Serenity Now! Simplify Your Executive Job Search



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