RESEARCH (INDUSTRY AND ORGANIZATIONAL)Research is the key to an effective and successful career plan and work search. Research is necessary to define career goals and before conducting information and job interviews or writing cover letters and resumes. It is also an critical skill in order to find opportunities in the hidden job market. Fortunately, the internet is a wonderful resource tool which you can access 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, from your own home.
Employers continually complain about applicants who don't demonstrate that they have any knowledge about the company they have applied to nor the industry in which they are seeking employment. By doing your research first, you'll be able to demonstrate this knowledge, initially in your cover letter, and then again at the interview stage. And you'll have a much better chance of getting the job!
Here are a few basic tips for doing online research to help you learn more about your chosen profession, keep abreast of current developments, target specific employers for your job search and prepare for upcoming information and job interviews.
Visit the organization's web site...
.... it will usually give you a good feel for the company and what they do. The more you know about the company, the better your cover letter will read and the better off you'll be in an interview. Yahoo Canada is a good place to start if you don't know the web address of the company.
Read newspapers to find out what is happening in the industry you are in....
... the American Journalism Online has a comprehensive list of Canadian newspapers, searchable by province. The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, and Canoe are good sources of Canadian news and information.
Visit the web site for a professional association in your field....
... industry associations can provide you with valuable insight into how your industry operates, who they key players are, what the current trends are, and may provide networking opportunities. If you the address of a web site of an association for your industry, try the resources in our Industry Information page or do a search on Google Canada.
Find some other sources to research the company you are interested in...
...try searching recent press releases at Canada Newswire, visting SEDAR, or order an annual report from the Globe and Mail (see the Report on Business section). The more you know about the company, the better off you'll be in an interview. There are lots of ways to use the web or your local public library to research organizations and industries. It is worth the effort.
Some other good starting points for research online include:
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