How to research the company before sending your CV
One of the best pieces of advice we could ever give a job seeker is to research the company and role before applying. Not only will this knowledge help you to shape your CV, it will also give you an advantage during the interview.
Most employers will question a candidate during an interview on their knowledge of the company. Why? They want to ensure the job seeker is fully on board with the company and what the role will require of them. If the interviewee fails to answer these simple questions of ‘do you know what we do?’ they are going to look very foolish and under prepared.
Having little to no knowledge of the company would show a lack of care and passion for the role. However, someone who ‘knows their stuff’ would breeze this part, and demonstrate commercial awareness and dedication to their career.
It’s clear to see which of the two candidates an employer would hire!
Getting to the interview stage is never easy, and with so many other job seekers all fighting for the same position, your CV has to be perfect. Your application can also be written around this new found knowledge, and you will be in a far greater position to tailor your application.
Here’s how to research the company before you both write and send out your CV…
Answer these questions
Knowing what to look for is essential if you want to conduct the right research. To get you started, here are the questions you need to ask yourself:
What does the company do?
What do they strive to achieve?
What have they achieved already?
What does the company want for the future?
Who are their customers?
What product/service do they sell?
Read the company’s website
You will find a lot of information about a company from their website. The ‘meet the team’ page may reveal the company’s structure, and lots of other pages may give you a good insight to how they function.
One of the main benefits of reading the company’s website is to get a feel for their ‘culture’. Are they like Google and offer colourful couches, or are they a strict car sales department who expect a suited and booted team of professionals?
Social media pages are also a great way to see what their customers are saying. Most company’s have a Twitter, Facebook and maybe even Instagram account. Have a look to see if you can find any reviews, customer feedback, as well as marketing strategies. Depending on the role you are applying for, the approach that the business takes when advertising to customers may have a bearing on your job application.
If you were applying for a marketing position then this information would be vital to your success. It would help you to create your own strategies which could be proposed on your CV and in the interview. Get creative, and impress the employer with your knowledge and ideas.
Use this information on your CV
Now that you’ve done your research you can begin to tailor your application. A generic CV is not going to make it in today’s world, and with such a competitive market the only way to get ahead is to show the employer that you understand the role and the company’s goals.
Utilise the information you have gathered and highlight all the relevant information you know the hiring manager would like to see. The employer is obviously not going to be too concerned with any past roles that don’t have any bearing on their company, so they can take a back seat whilst you focus on highlighting the relevant skills, qualifications and experience.
Try to align your achievements with what the company would recognise as important to their own working environment. If the HR manager can see how you have performed in the past, they can begin to build up a picture of how you could perform for them. Overall, your commercial awareness needs to shine through on your CV and during the interview.
Stay up to date
Check out the latest trends in the market, and stay up to date with the company and the industry. Again, this knowledge may be useful for your CV, and will certainly be essential for the interview.
When answering specific questions about your skills and experience, you need to also be in a position to answer more complex questions about the industry. You may also be able to offer your own insights into the company’s future and throw a few ideas into the mix.
An employer would be greatly impressed by someone who is able to answer the set questions, and also offer more to the discussion. This shows confidence and an ability to be creative and think outside the box. Finally, it also shows passion and dedication to the role and the business – something which must be present during an interview.