Researching employers is a vital part of the job application process.
Researching employers is essential, whether it’s to decide who to apply to, how best to tailor your application or just to impress an interviewer with your knowledge of the company.
Find out as much as you can about employers before you apply, such as:
- their main areas of business or objectives
- who their customers and competitors are
- current issues affecting their business eg stock market trends, government legislation, company mergers
Be clear about what the job you are applying for involves, and the skills and experience the employer is looking for.
Visit employer websites and read up on their latest news and 'About Us' sections. Graduate employers often have a dedicated careers section which can include case studies and graduate profiles.
Be proactive and meet employers at every opportunity. We also have some resources you can take away in the Careers Service, which include company profiles.
Research employers online
These website provide practical help, advice and information to help you with your research:
- Occupations - information for each particular sector
- TARGETjobs: Employer hubs - independent reviews about top graduate employers, see also their Graduate employer research checklist
- GradQuiz - insight into several top FTSE 350 employers, including advice on their recruitment processes
- The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers
- Sunday Times 100 Best Companies
- Journal Top 200 - 200 largest companies in the North East
- Guardian Careers article: How to research a prospective employer
- Vault - information resource for career management and job search, which includes employer profiles and rankings, and insider intelligence on salaries, hiring practices and company cultures
- Best Companies Guide
- Grad Diary: Graduate employers - lists companies in a range of sectors, including banking, finance, law and consulting
- Wetfeet - profiles of companies, careers and industries
- Prospects – see Graduate Employers and Job sectors
- Inside Careers
- AllAboutCareers.com: A-Z of Graduate Employers
- WikiJob - includes information on employers and their recruitment procedures
- theJobCrowd - read job reviews written by employees in a range of companies
- Glassdoor - includes company reviews, salary information and past interview questions from a wide range of employers
- Save the Graduate: employer profiles
- How to research a firm properly (PDF: 410KB) - advice from Chambers and Partners focusing on researching law firms
- Careerplayer - graduate employer directory and careers videos on a range of occupational sectors
- Graduate Connections - online networking tool of around 700 graduates who can give students/recent graduates information and advice about their job and the sector they work in
Online news sites
Search for news stories about the company you are applying to and keep up to date with industry news:
- Financial Times
- BBC Business News
- Google News
- FE Investegate - news and announcements from UK quoted companies, including market and stock news.
- The Gateway Online
Use our Occupations website to look for sector-specific industry news sources.
Business directories and databases
Look in business directories or listings to find employers:
- Kompass - business information provider
- Northcote Internet - free online research tool for listed company information, also provides company information including financial reports, webcasts and press releases
- Philip Robinson Library business subject pages – search online databases for business intelligence and market research reports
- Companies House: WebCheck - search for information on over 2 million companies