How to research employers

This is probably the most important page on the Careers+Placements website. More opportunities are thrown away because of a lack of company research than for any other reason. And yet, it is so easy to do. Find out how and more importantly, why you should research your potential employers. 

There are three stages to researching employers:

  1. For your initial job search - to decide which employers you would like to work for
  2. For your application
  3. For your interview 

1.  For your job search

The initial job search is about you. Is this a company or organisation that you like the sound of? Are there opportunities to progress? Do its values chime with your own? This research helps you to narrow down your choices and apply for the right jobs.

2. For your application

This is the stage that lets most people down. If your application is generic or you haven’t demonstrated your research, you are likely to be place on the ‘Thanks but no thanks’ pile. It’s that simple.

Tailor every job application to the organisation you are applying to, whether it is an application form or your CV. Match your skills to the skills that are asked for. Show evidence that is specific to the job description. 

The question “Why do you want to work for us?” is your big chance to showcase your research. Answer the question with specific details and show that you have digested information, reflected upon it and personalised it. Make the connection between yourself and the information you have researched.

3. For your interview

Congratulations, you have made it to the interview stage! Keep focussed on that research and make sure you demonstrate to your interviewer that you know about their organisation. Have some facts and figures to hand and show that you know about their vision and values. 

It is important that you personalise your learnings, rather than just telling the interviewer what they already know. Employers tell us that candidates who show they have researched beyond the company website and then reflected on what they have learned and personalised it are far more likely to be successful at interview.


How to do your company research

  • Read their website. Go beyond the customer facing pages and read their Corporate page and their Work for Us page – you will usually find these links at the bottom of the home page.
  • Make sure you are aware of their vision and values and their people culture. Explain why they strike a chord with you and think about how you can demonstrate that you fit their mould.
  • If it is a public facing organisation, visit them, experience their offer, order from them. Use your experience as a positive way to talk about them in your application or interview.
  • Use our Business Reference Databases in the Aston Library. For example, Business Source Complete (EBSCO) gives you company profiles including key facts, competitors and major products and services. The information here will give you some nuggets that really make you stand out from other candidates. Contact library@aston.ac.uk for guidance.
  • Follow them on LinkedIn for up to date news, job profile details and other information
  • Attend our recruitment events, which you can book onto by logging into Aston Futures. This gives you a chance to meet employers and ask questions. You can then talk about this in your interview.