Figure out what employers want before writing a job application, going to a jobs fair or showing up to an interview.
When talking to employers about jobs, you need to show them you understand their business. You also need to explain how your skills and experience make you a good fit for their business.
You can show the employer you are right for the job by doing some research on their business. This can take a little time but it’s definitely worth it.
What to look for
Find out practical information about the employer, such as:
- their business model – what do they do and how do they do it?
- how they recruit - do they like people to approach them directly, do they advertise online or through their website, through word-of-mouth, or do they use a specific recruitment company to handle it for them?
- the types of role and opportunities they offer – build an idea of the type of roles available at this business so you can understand what a ‘day in the life’ of this business might look like. This also gives you an idea of what career pathways are available in this organisation.
- what they expect of workers – are there any personal traits or skills that they value highly?
- their values and priorities – is it to deliver a great product? Have satisfied customers? Or to make the world a better place?
Where to look
- Check their website, social media channels, especially Facebook and LinkedIn. Do a general search for them online – look for any media (good or bad) or other content that gives you some insights into the business.
- Read the job ad (if there is one).
- Visit the jobs fair event website and check the exhibitor list to see which employers will be there.
- Visit them in person (if possible) and sample their products, take note of the staff and how they interact with customers and get a general feel for the business.
- Use your networks – do you know anyone has worked in this or a similar business? Can you gain some insights from them?
- If you can’t find anything about a specific business, look up their industry association online to see if you can find any information on the industry as a whole.