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This Often-Overlooked Activity is the Best Way to Show Prospective Employers You Care

This Often-Overlooked Activity is the Best Way to Show Prospective Employers You Care

When I recruit, one of the easiest ways to tell if a candidate is genuinely interested in the open job is to ask questions about the company hiring for the job. For example, when I recruited for a global magazine publishing company, I asked candidates which of our magazines were their favorites.

I didn’t really care which ones they chose, or even if our magazines were their favorites. I was testing to see if they knew what we published. If they didn’t bother to get to know our products, then surely they didn’t care enough about the job.

[Related: CEO Stories: Moving Beyond Referrals]

Whether it’s getting hired into a new company or promoted at your same company into a new role or starting a business and landing those first customers, your dream career needs the buy-in of others. In order to get that buy-in, you need to show that you care and aren’t just reaching for any job, any promotion, or whatever business you can get. No one wants to feel like just another option!

Research -- about the company, the role, and the needs of the decision-makers -- is the best way to show that you care. You demonstrate your research (and ability to glean insights) when you tailor your marketing, networking, interviews, and meetings and other career actions to be specifically relevant and compelling to the decision-makers. The best way to tailor your job search is after you have completed exhaustive research on the role, company, and industry you are targeting.

[Related: Use Intuition to Guide Your Career Moves]

Research is so important that, when I created my job search course, I earmarked an entire module to research: how to find inside information, what to do with negative information, the most important research tool most job seekers don’t use.

After hiring thousands of professionals over 20+ years of recruiting, I know that research can make or break a search. How much time do you spend researching your prospective employers and clients?

[Related: How Will You Help Forge a More Gender Equal World?]


Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a longtime Ellevate member. Her mission is helping experienced professionals in tech, media, financial services, and other industries find work they love, earn more doing it, and achieve FI (financial independence). She is a Senior Contributor to Forbes Leadership and has appeared on CNN, CBS, and other media on job market issues. Visit the Dream Career Club to learn more.

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