Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Making Your List (And Checking It Twice)

One of the first big steps to jumping into your job search is creating a master list of all of the companies that you would like to apply to. Since Santa will not be handing out job offers like candy this year, it is going to be VERY important that you start figuring out where to send resumes. Luckily for you, taking the time to make a top company list and starting research on each company will help you prepare for the Career Gallery this October and look like a super star because you will not be the kid asking "So what is it that you company does?" By the way, if you ask a company that question, it will be quite obvious that you did not do your research. Please do not ask that question. For my sake and for yours.

Here's a step-by-step tutorial on creating a company list:

STEP 1: Find a piece of paper and a pencil or pencil. (Whoo! Easy step, right??)

STEP 2: Start writing down industries that interest you, locations you'd like to work in, etc.

STEP 3: Start looking for companies that fit your criteria. The best ways to find companies is to search the web, or ask your peers/career counselors/your mom. I'd highly suggest searching through Fortune 500 Companies or companies that rank in searches like "100 Best Companies to Work For", "50 Best Companies for College Grads", etc.

STEP 4: Get as many plausible companies on your list as possible. It'd be a good idea to check things like the MSU Career Gallery company list from this year's career fair to see if any of your top companies have attended the CG.

STEP 5: Narrow down your list to about 5-10 companies. These are going to be your "1st Choice Options".

STEP 6: Start researching your top companies. Checking job listings, tracking financial reports for the company and looking for news related to the company are all great ways to get a better idea of what is going on with your top companies. This research will be a huge asset when it comes to perfecting your resume and ultimately applying for jobs!

STEP 6.5: Create company profiles for your top companies. Include the following information:
  • Company Name
  • URL of Company Website

  • Size of Company (Divisions, Numbers of Employees, Etc.)

  • Locations (Headquarters, Plant Locations, Regional Headquarters, Etc.)

  • Financial Profile (Annual Income, Trends over the last 5-10 years, Stock trends, etc.)

  • Recent News (Significant news relating to company over the last few years)

  • Products/Services (General list of products and services provided by the company)

  • Company Contacts (List any contacts you may know at the company)

  • Have you applied? What positions have you applied to? Did you receive a candidate number?

  • Do you have an interview date set? Who will you/did you interview with? Have you sent them a "Thank You" e-mail/card?

If you can get all this information together, you will definitely be a super star at your upcoming career fair or interview!

If you have any additional questions about any of the material I covered this week or any other questions, please send them to

Like always,

Good Luck Job Seekers!

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