Researching OrganizationsPage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/cdc/jobsandinternships/researching_organizations.html
"Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will." ~Vernon Howard
Researching organizations is essential when applying to jobs and internships as well as preparing for interviews.
Using Research in Application Materials
Take what you have learned from your research about the organization, and mirror the language from that information and the job description in your resume, cover letter, and any additional application materials. This will help show an employer exactly how you would fit in the position and that organization.
Example: If the organization uses the word “team” frequently on its website and in the job description, mentioning that you work well in a team throughout your application materials would be wise. Every application you put together should be customized to each employer to maximize success.
Using Research in Interviews
“What do you know about us?” is also a common interview question. To demonstrate that you are well-prepared for the interview, use your research to prepare for how you will answer this question.
Besides knowing what the company does, you should also be thinking about whether you have any relevant experience you can mention in the interview.
Example: If the organization specializes in insurance sales, you should think about any examples you could share where you worked with either sales or insurance.
General Researching Tips
- Check out the organizations’ websites and learn about their mission, noteworthy items that have been in the news, new program developments, and staff members.
- Mavjobs.com is a great resource for researching organizations that are specifically invested in Minnesota State Mankato students (See link to Video/Screencast below)
- Talk with people in your network to see if anyone has additional information about the organization you are interested in—often they have the “off the record” scoop and you can learn a lot from trusted sources.
- Keep organized notes on your findings to use as a resource in the application and interview process.
- Utilize your notes to form solid questions that you will ask at the end of your interview. You will impress them if you say “Upon doing some research, I found ____. Can you tell me more about this?”
- In any interactions with employers, know that they are the experts. Approach conversations with curiosity, not authority.
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