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Are you 'In the Know'? (hint: it's all about the research)

You’ve heard that research is an integral component of conducting a targeted job search.

You may be asking yourself "So…what exactly should I research? And how should I go about it?"

Here are 3 Ways you can begin:

  1. Identify skills your targeted employers are looking for. Review job postings you're interested in on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, and emerging sites to ensure that you’re using the right keywords on your resume to describe your experience. Another great source for keywords is the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Search by job title to identify the skills, education, and experience that employers seek.

  2. Find employers who hire people with your skill set. Do a reverse search in Indeed identifying a skill you’d like to use in your work.

  3. Build a list of potential employers:

  • Check out your local Chamber of Commerce’s Business Directory.

  • Use Hoover’s Research (a tool in REA’s Online Career Center) to identify local companies in the same industry as a previous employer.

  • Use The Quintessential Directory of Company Career Centers to find lists of “best companies,” top private companies, and top public companies.

  • Check out REA’s Pinterest board on “Best Employers” to find lists of nationally-recognized “best places to work.” While you’re in Pinterest, take a look at other tips on Researching Employers.

Once you’ve identified your list of targeted companies, here are 6 ways to find positions and appropriate contacts?

  1. Look in various job boards, especially Indeed. Check our Pinterest board, Job Boards, to find other promising sites.

  2. Check LinkedIn for both job postings and contacts. (in fact, always check LinkedIn to see if you have 1st or 2nd degree contacts for the organization.) Click on the search bar at the top, then click on the magnifying glass icon to create an advanced search.

  3. Use Hoover’s Research--and make sure you log in with your LinkedIn account—for full advantage of this useful tool. As you research companies, this tool will generate a contacts list.

  4. Look at the company’s website. Not every position is widely advertised, so you can uncover other opportunities on an internal job board.

  5. Follow targeted companies on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can expect them to share press releases here, and you’ll get a sense of their corporate culture and values. Sometimes they’ll share job postings, too.

  6. Use your network! Often, there’s a backdoor to an interview. Pursue the application process that is advertised, but if you know someone in the organization, float your resume through that channel as well.

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