Resource Library - Researching Potential Employers

Once you have determined the type of job you want to do, you need to decide where you want to do it. Researching the organizations which could potentially employ you is a vital component in the career planning and job search process. By researching the various environments in which you could be employed, you can best determine the right fit for yourself.

Sources of Information

Printed Information

  • Company/organization homepages (services/products)
  • Newspaper, magazine, and industry journals
  • Annual reports
  • Professional Trade Associations
  • Job descriptions

People Information

  • Current and former employees of the organization
  • Recruiters for the organization
  • Public relations offices of the organization
  • Customers or clients of the organization (public opinion)
  • Friends, relatives, neighbors, faculty, and alumni

Experiential Information

  • Internships
  • Full-time, part-time, and temporary jobs
  • Volunteer experiences
  • On-site visits

Some Questions to Consider As You Research Companies & Organizations

Organizational structure

  • What is the size of the organization, number of employees, offices, branches or plants?
  • What is the history of the organization?
  • What is the mission statement, vision or goals of the organization?
  • What are the various departments within the organization and how are they related?
  • How does communication flow among them?
  • What are the organization’s services or projects?
  • Do they have any subsidiaries?


  • What is the future outlook for the organization: plans for change, expansion, merger, etc.?
  • What is the market or industry like and where does the organization rank within the field?
  • How stable is the organization and the market?
  • Do they have a 5 or 10 year plan?


  • What are some of the problems within the organization and within the department I am interested in?
  • What is the organization’s commitment to their employees?
  • What is the attitude of employees within the organization, particularly their employee turnover rate?
  • What is the organization’s connection/involvement with the community and its reputation in the community?
  • What is the reputation of the top management and what leadership styles are prominent?

Employment opportunities

  • What are the expectations of employees, written or unwritten?
  • What type of training program is offered?
  • What is the typical flow of advancement within the organization?
  • Is promotion generally from within or from outside?
  • What are some of the benefits or perks?
  • Why do they hire the people they hire? What are they looking for?
  • Are there openings in the field at this organization? How do I find out about them?