In the run up to the launch party for our You’re Hired! Graduate Career Handbook Korin Grant and I are posting a series of blogs aimed at students and new grads which offer some tips on career building. In this fifth post we look at the importance of researching your future career.
Research is a vital part of career development. Without it we might never know that certain jobs even exist! (Fancy doing something really unusual like being a Professional Sleeper, Island Caretaker or White Hat Hacker?)
No matter what stage of your career you are sure to benefit from being curious and asking questions. Research will help you to:
- Explore and make decisions about jobs and careers.
- Increase your understanding of your value on the job market.
- Increase your chance of success in applying for roles.
Here are a few ideas to get you started on (or improve) your research.
- Think about what you need to learn/ask. In the Graduate Handbook we provide a list of things you need to learn about the role, the company and sector before you apply for a job.
- Use the organisation’s website (of course) but remember to do some comparison shopping as well. What roles do similar organisations offer? What are the key differences?
- Investigate LinkedIn groups, professional associations and sector news.
- Set up web alerts and sign up to tailored job alerts on more than one site.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis of the company or industry. Use your research to make a list of the company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and potential Threats.
- Audit your network. People close to you can be helpful but they often have similar experiences and networks to you. People a bit further removed (your cousin’s friend, your boss’ daughter, an alumnus from similar discipline…) can be even more useful to you. Just remember to offer to reciprocate when asking for help.
- Use your information in recruitment. Tailor your skills on your application to mirror those valued in the role, mention something you’ve learned in the news at your interview, and demonstrate your understanding of the organisation’s values and beliefs with your behaviour throughout.
Good luck! I’m off to learn more about how to become a Chocolate Consultant.