Company Listing for Jobs: Your Goldmine of Information

How to Use a List of Different Careers to
Your Advantage

A company listing for jobs has a lot of information on their website. The list of different careers is extremely valuable and useful for your personal career development plan.

Never restrict yourself to the company listing for jobs site - branch out into the other areas of the website to fully understand their list of careers and position needs.

As you go through the website make it a habit of collecting and organizing the list of different careers and various company related information into a folder. You can either print specific pages or make notes in a journal.

The information you will be looking for can be grouped into three major categories.

They are:

  • General information, products and performance
  • Work culture and career opportunities
  • Unique factors and issues to look out for

Let us look at each of them in more detail below...

1. General information, products & performance

In this category you are collecting information that is related to the company, its products and services. You are also trying to get an idea of the company's performance and future outlook.

  • Find the company website - this is the first thing to do. If you do not know the website address, go and look it up in a search engine. The company listing for jobs website is also a good place to start. Take note that some companies may have a corporate home page and also country or department specific home pages. It is useful to take a look at both.
  • Home page - take a look at the company listing for jobs website or the home page. What is your first impression of the company? Does it look organized? Is information readily available or is it hard to find or not even there? Is it conveying a particular message or theme and if so what is it? This may seem trivial but you can pick up a general feel. Remember, what you see on the website may not be truly replicated or practiced inside the company - that is where your off-line and real time research comes in!
  • Vision and mission - what is the company's vision and mission? Is it clearly communicated or is it too complicated to follow? A complex vision or mission statement may be difficult to follow and may be replicated by similar behavior inside the company. More importantly does the vision strike a chord with you? Do you feel you and your career aspirations are in harmony with what you see? These are important issues to consider as you undertake your career research. You may be offered a high paying job but if you do not like the company's values and the way it goes about doing things then it is likely you will not enjoy your job and last long in the organization.
  • Management team and structure - what are the key management positions and who is in them. What is their background. How long have they been in those positions and how long have they been with the company? Is there constant churn or does it look stable? Do they say anything about their goals, objectives, values and core principles. What do they stand for? Finding answers to these questions from the company listing for jobs website or home page will enable you to get deeper into the company's work environment and way of doing business. What does the management and department structure look like? Is it simple or complex? Remember, structure defines behavior and behavior leads to culture.
  • Products and services - what are the company's products and services? Are they run of the mill or do they stand out from their competitors. What is their competitive strength and uniqueness in the market? Who are their customers and what appeals to them? What is their position in the market and industry? Are they leaders or followers in the market place? If you do not get these answers on the company listing for jobs website or the home page then go to the web and look for it - you will be amazed at what you find. Sometimes what one tries to hide the other reveals.
  • Annual report or performance - this is one of the best sources of information about a company's performance, financial health and future outlook. It is easier to find them for publicly listed companies than the private ones. Look for the chairperson or CEO's report that will summarize the performance. Key figures to look out for are: market and segment share, growth, cash flow and cash reserve, market capitalization and share price and performance. To get a better perspective find out who the competitors and market leaders are and then compare the company's performance with them. In the end you are trying to assess if this is a healthy company which you should consider joining.
  • Company history and milestones - how and where did the company start? What are its important milestones? How has it grown and developed over the years? By understanding this you will also be able to glean a lot about the company's philosophy, its values and beliefs which shape and guide the company. You should also be able to assess what its future looks like.
  • Life cycle - at what stage of the life cycle is this company and its products and services at? Is it a new and entrepreneurial company in a new industry or is it a mature company in a fully saturated industry? This will give you a feel for the future prospect of the company.
  • Competitors - who are the main competitors and how does this company compare with its competitors? Does the company offer something unique to its customers, suppliers and employees that the competitors do not?
  • Community presence - what does the company listing for jobs website or home page say about its community presence? How is this company regarded in the wider community? Is it well regarded or are people and communities against its practices? Does it contribute positively to its communities.

If you are happy with what you have found out so far move on to the next part below...

2. Work culture and career opportunities

Now that you have a good idea about the company it is time to turn to more specific research on the company listing for jobs website around careers and career opportunities.

  • Career opportunities - go through the company listing for jobs website or their careers section to get an idea about what it is like to work for the company. Find out about career prospects and opportunities in general.
  • Departments or functions - the company listing for jobs or careers section may also contain information about the type of departments or job functions in the company. This will tell you if the career or profession you are in or want to move into exists in the company. If there is department specific information then it is useful to go through it so you get further insight into the specific roles that exist and the type of people that work there.
  • Core competencies - this will be very useful in your career skill assessment process. You may have to do some digging around in the company listing for jobs section but if you read carefully and sometimes in-betweenthe lines then you will be able to pick up the leadership and technical/functional competencies that the company is looking for in its people. This information will also help you establish what gaps you have and then develop an action plan to close those gaps.

  • Company policies - the company listing for jobs website may also contain policies. Issues such as work-life-balance, leave, career development, education assistance are important to consider in your career development plan. If they are there then read up on them so you get to understand the company's position on these important issues and if they are in harmony with your expectations. If the policies are not there then you can also ask for them during your off-line or real time research.
  • Presence and reach - how big is this company and what is it's reach? Is it only in one region/country or does it have a wider presence? Does it offer opportunities to work in different business units and in different countries? The answers will help you establish the scope of career growth you may experience with this company.
  • Culture and work ethos - by now you should be starting to form a picture of the company's culture and work ethos in your mind. If there is a specific section on culture in the company listing for jobs section then go through it. Use the information to calibrate your expectations. Does it go with or go against your way of life, your values and beliefs?
  • Recruitment process and contacts - while you are in the company listing for jobs section try to get further information on how the recruitment process works. Some companies have a lot of information to assist potential candidates with this process even to the point of including on-line exercises and tests so you see if you are eligible to apply. Most also have a point of contact so note it down and it will come in handy when you want to call them and discuss your career prospects in more detail.
  • Job or career fairs - companies also promote themselves in job or career fairs and information sessions at university campuses, in industry events and other public events. If they are advertised in the company listing for jobs section then make a note of them and use them to have a face-to-face discussion as part of your off-line research.

3. Unique factors and issues to look out for

Finally, one last place of research is additional information about the company that may or may not exist in the company listing for jobs section or in its home page.

  • News or media releases - this is usually available on the home page and a good source of information on various media releases and events done by the company. Apart from good news some of the media releases/events are organized to put forward the company's position on certain external events. By going through this you will get a good idea of some of the issues the company is faced with. These are worth noting down for future follow-up.
  • Additional on-line research - finally, before you turn off your internet connection make sure you do some additional research on the company from neutral or third party sources. Usually these include industry bodies, independent research houses or simply events or issues available through the web. They will offer you a different perspective from what you have seen on the company's website and may even prompt you to think of issues or concerns that may not have come up before.

As you collect all this data remember to document it. Print or write it down and organize it so you can find it easily. Go through it and write down your observations. If there are things that bug you then investigate them further during your off-line or real-time research.

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