linkedin as research tool

How to Leverage Linkedin Research in Your Next Job Application

Before applying for any job position, do you google the company and see if it fits your interest and competencies? Most people do.

To stand out from the crowd, conducting an in-depth company research will strategically help take your Career Marketing to the next level.

Let’s pretend you are a consultant for a while. Your objective of this research project is to find out in which areas the company is doing great, and where the company can further improve by what you have to offer. If you can generate insights and suggestions to the company, share them in your cover letter or interviews!

Here are 4 steps to approach your in-depth company research:
Step 1: Broad Research about the Company
Step 2: Research on the People
Step 3: Research on the Position
Step 4: Collect first-hand information as much as you can

>>>Watch the entire 4-Step Guide to Company Research HERE

Step 2: Research on the People

Next, let’s narrow down our research scope:

Who & What to look for:

  1. Senior Executives: Company websites are static, and very often are PR copies. Watching the top management members “walk their talk” can give you a glimpse of the company values, management style, and what they look for in employees. Search for media appearances like interviews, news, speeches at events or company publications.
  2. Potential Direct Supervisors: When you receive an interview invitation, ask for the names of the interviewers. Find out their career development path, and anticipate what interview questions they might ask. For example, if your future supervisor started his/her career in a technical role and got promoted to a management role, you would expect her to put more focus on your technical and practical work skills.
  3. Current Employees who are in similar roles: Take reference of their background and career paths, and see if there are any common connections between you, which could lead to an information interview for you to understand how it’s like working there.
  4. Ex-Employees who are in similar roles: Their ratings on their experiences working with the companies (e.g. Glassdoor) could speak volume. Beware of any red flags which could daunt on your career development. Their exit paths would be valuable information as well, which give you clues on future possible career development in that profession.

Why Linkedin Can Help

  1. Ease of Search: Background search your interviewer is so easy! Just type the full name + company into the search engine and their LinkedIn profile will probably rank top 5. Virtually you can get access to a wide pool of professionals as your inspiration for career options exploration.
  2. Career Path Research: Figuring out how to get your dream job? Find out someone who currently holds that job title, and see how he or she gets there. What are their entry points and exit paths? Another target of research would be someone who is holding the position you see yourself in 5 years, which could give you some clues on how to get there.
  3. Common Connections: If you have mutual connections with your interviewers, that would be a great conversation starter! If you’ve stumbled upon someone you really admire and want to get to know them, brave up and reach out by sending a short and friendly message to connect. You might even invite them for a coffee chat to conduct an informational interview and get insider’s tips of how it’s like to work in that company. Remember don’t ask for a job directly, just be polite and be interested in the person you are connecting with.
  4. Alumni Tool: LinkedIn offers statistics of the location, companies and job functions for alumni and I trust you can gain a lot of insights.
  5. Profile View Footprints: Many professionals will be curious to know who have viewed their Linkedin profiles. So it is possible that they will browse your profile in return, which definitely helps impress the future interviewers. Make sure you already have a compelling Linkedin Profile in place for this to work out brilliantly!

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