Use this handy list of criteria to narrow down your job search…

The Employer

Company details

  • Company name (check spelling!)
  • Research company’s main website
  • Research company’s careers page
  • Main location (HQ) and regional locations
  • Company size and annual turnover

Company business

  • What services does the company provide?
  • What products does the company make?
  • What is the company’s mission statement?
  • Can I sum up these details in my own words?

Clients and customers

  • Who uses this company’s services/products?
  • Where do clients and customers use these services/products – is the company’s business local, national or international?

Competitors

  • What other organisations offer similar services/products in this area?
  • How do the companies compare to your prospective employer?

News

  • Check to see if the company has made any recent press releases.
  • Check to see if the company has been in the news lately.

The Position

Relevant opportunities

  • Work experience/internships/placements/school leaver schemes
  • What does the opportunity you are applying for involve?

Position requirements

  • Is there a required degree background or result?
  • Are there minimum UCAS points required?
  • Are there any necessary skills or experience?

Application details

  • Type of application (covering letter and CV, online form etc.).
  • Application deadline – make sure to get yours in well before the given date.
  • Contact details – who should your application be addressed to?

Selection process

  • What is the company’s selection process – tests, interviews, assessment centres etc.?
  • If this information is not available on the website, are there contact details for the recruitment team?
  • Does the company’s website give any application tips or layout any necessary application elements?

The Culture

Company image

  • What does the company state or imply its core values to be?
  • How does the organisation brand itself?
  • Can you concisely summarise your thoughts and opinions on the above?
  • Has the company won any awards related to its products or services recently?
  • What do current interns and graduates say? Read employee profiles here.

Expectations

  • Will you be based in one location or does this opportunity involve travel?
  • If travel is required, how often and how far?
  • What training is on offer?
  • How is your training structured?
  • What is the company’s record for employing graduates who have previously completed work experience with them?
  • Are there any benefits on offer with this opportunity?

Reflection

  • After completing all this research, what are your thoughts on the organisation?
  • Why do you want to apply to this company?
  • What can you offer this company?
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask at interview.
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