You may have heard of the 3 R’s before, but this time we aren’t talking about school anymore. These 3 R’s are about your future, and they all point to one thing - research. Before applying for a job, you must know what the company does, what the position involves, and whether you’d be a good fit. All of these are good areas for you to focus on when conducting research for your resume.
Research the Company
A company’s website is a great place to start your company research. On their website you should be able to find information on company background, community involvement, special events, executive bios and annual reports.
You can also physically visit the company to find whatever literature is available. You can even call the company directly. During such a call, you are looking to find out how the company is structured, what qualities they generally seek in their employees, job openings, names of department heads, etc.
When you are finished, thank the person and ask who would be the best person to direct a resume to.
Research the Position
It almost goes without saying…almost. The more you know about the position, the greater the chance that you will be able to target your resume to that position and the better you will be able to sell yourself. If possible, see if you can speak with somebody who does the same job. Find out the particulars of the job, if there is any on-the-job training, whether emphasis is placed on experience or education, and how frequent turnover is. Find out what they like about the position and the company, and perhaps more importantly, what they don’t like. Speaking with somebody already in the position can give you valuable insight into the sorts of things that will be asked of you in the interview, as well as day-to-day.
Your goal is not just to find a job. Your goal is to find a job that you enjoy. After finding out all you can about the company and the position, make sure it is in line with what you really want to do and where you really want to be. Perhaps just as important, be confident that you are capable of doing a good job in the position. While you may not spend your entire career in this position, it could be the base of your lifetime career. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you spend too much time doing something you do not enjoy, working with people you do not like, living somewhere you do not want to live, or in a position that isn’t challenging enough, or worse yet, one you are not capable of doing.