Employer Research


Do your Research! You may hear this phrase in many iterations … whether that is fact checking your favorite political figure, reviewing the specs on the next iPhone that does the same functions as the last one, or verifying if Rolls-Royce only sells cars. This is a statement you may hear when applying for your next career position, internship, or graduate school experience as well. Research is not a scary word. Glassdoor defines research as, “an individual’s ability to find and evaluate useful information related to a specific topic. Research is something we all do daily and a key skill that employers respect. The background research of a company helps display that skill while also providing insight on whether a position or company is right fit for you. This can be a daunting task to say the least. It is likened to someone sending you to a grocery store and they say bring back dinner. Ok??? What do you want for dinner? Are you lactose intolerant? Do you want something gluten free? Should I go to Publix, Trader Joe’s, or Wal – Mart? This request would leave you with more questions and answers. Many interviewees may feel the same stress and anxiety when researching a potential job. Hopefully, this blog will provide some substantial context for your next interview experience.

Understand You. Who are you? This is not a philosophical question but an essential inquiry. Beyond your resume, you should have a clear understanding of yourself as a candidate. Youshould be able toarticulate with confidence your experiences, skills, desires, and values to a recruiter.

Here are some questions to help you unpack this

  • What are my values and goals? 

  • What are examples throughout my college career that speak to skill set? 

  • What kind of work life balance do I desire? 

  • What expertise do I want to gain from this experience? 

  • What is a desired pay range that you can live off

  • Do I want to work full-timein the office or remote? 

  • Why am I applying for this position?

  • What areas of the country would I want to work in? Do these places have a Target

Having a logical understanding of your qualities and intention makes you more intriguing to employers. It also helps you understand which positions are the right ones for you.

Know Your Opportunity. We are not expecting you to do an IRS level audit of the company’s financial records. We are expecting you to know some general information about the company, position, and even the recruiter before the Industry/ Career Expo. If you do not know what exactly to look for, do not be afraid to ask for help. The list below should be a firm starting point.

Information you should be looking for
  • Whoare their customers?

  • What products do they produce? 

  • Who are their competitors? 

  • Who is on the hiring committee or interview team? 

  • What is the strategic plan of the company? 

  • What are some key tasks in the job description? 

Social Media Is Your Friend. In a 2018 Career Builder survey, 70% of employers utilize social media during their hiring process (Investopedia). This is becoming increasingly evident with the shift to more virtual interviews and recruiting. It is crucial for interviewees to utilize these same tactics when researching potential employers. The more prepared you are with specific company knowledge, the more invested in the position you appear. Always remember everyone wants to feel special, even billion-dollar, multinational aviation companies. 

Some key facts to look for
  • Key leaders and stakeholders 

  • Current trends and ventures 

  • Individuals on the hiring committee (LinkedIn is a reliable source) 

  • Insight into company mission and values (Do I align with these values?) 

  • Any blogs of former or current employees 

Social media gives a deeper view of the character of the company beyond their website. Use it wisely. 

Connect with Your Networks. This suggestion here is simple, talk to people! Your network can open doors for you that you could not open yourself. 

Connection opportunities: 

  • Career Services staff

  • Faculty

  • Company Recruiter (schedule a 1 on 1 meeting, they do not bite ... well not anymore

  • Company Recruitment Events 

  • Job Websites (Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed … not Craigslist...unless you want an old couch)

  • Alumni 

  • People In Your Personal Network (you will be surprised who people know) 

Please do not be afraid to reach out to people. No matter your aptitude, you will always need the help of other human beings (sometimes extraterrestrials if you are an Astronomy or Astrophysics major) to be successful. If networking scares you worse than Compressible Aerodynamics, do not worry,your Career Services staff will support you.


You do not need to have amazing research skills to better understand your future company. If you can search on Google or buy something on Amazon, you are already an expert researcher. Along with the Career Services Office, the Office of Undergraduate Research is here to support your career aspiration from the research perspective. You got this! 

About the Author

Dr. Ronnie Mack serves as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Research at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His doctoral research focused on the impact of orientation programming at public HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) on retention and belonging from the perspective of orientation professionals. Dr. Mack’s research interests focus primarily on the field of higher education with emphasis on HBCUs, the experience of student affairs professionals, the future of secondary education, and the student experience. He also loves hot wings. 


  • https://press.careerbuilder.com/2018-08-09-More-Than-Half-of-Employers-Have-Found-Content-on-Social-Media-That-Caused-Them-NOT-to-Hire-a-Candidate-According-to-Recent-CareerBuilder-Survey