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Looking for work? Research company websites

Gone are the days when you see a job advertised, submit your generic resume, and then hope you get an interview.

Adapting your resume and other job application collateral to each position is critical in today’s market. It’s your competitive edge and arms you with knowledge you can leverage to pack a punch. It also speaks volumes about your motivation, drive and dedication.

Be prepared, because this process takes time – not weeks, but invest a few hours and you’ll reap the rewards.

Start with the company’s website and social media presence. Here are guiding tips.


Home page

The home page of reputable websites highlights main messages and priorities. It’s prime real estate and typically a great overview of how the company presents itself to the world. Explore for quick insights.

‘About’ section

The ‘about’ section (or equivalent) of a company’s website is a goldmine. You’ll often uncover essentials to use in your resume, on your application, and when preparing for an interview. This can include:

  • purpose
  • vision
  • history and length of time in business
  • customer/client base
  • service and geographic reach.

This section can also feature valuable details on the company’s culture, such as:

  • inclusion, diversity and equity
  • community advocacy and contribution
  • awards
  • why the company believes they’re a great place to work.

When reading, take notes of the keywords and phrases the organisation uses. Reflect these in your resume and job application material. The company might, for example, refer to these attributes:

  • professional services firm with a global reach
  • long tradition of integrity
  • dynamic approach to advising clients
  • collaborate with stakeholders to solve complex challenges
  • support community wellbeing.

Team section

The team section often has bios on the company’s leaders and an org chart. Here you’ll learn a bit about names, titles, how leaders work and how the business operates.

Concentrate on who is in charge of the division or section you’re applying for and note how it’s structured.

Service areas section

This is where the services the company provides are typically outlined. Zero in on the area you’re applying for, to build your knowledge.

Publications section

No one expects you to read all company publications, but take note of what it publishes and, where appropriate, read more in-depth. They may have, for example, published a report on a topic that’s relevant to your expertise.

Careers section

Some companies have a careers section and it’s worth having a look. Job descriptions can be a great way to familiarise yourself with how the company sees itself, describes itself and what it’s looking for in terms of cultural fit.

You may also be able to glean information on whether there are long-term promotional opportunities or career development opportunities. And in this area you may uncover skills the company is looking for in staff members, like problem-solving and excellent communications

Media section

This might not at first seem relevant, but the media section can be insightful. Media releases focus on hot topics the company is driving They’re typically only a page long so are quick to read and can be useful to refer to if you’re interviewed.

Social media

Most organisations are on social media, although platform choice varies. Some use a single platform –X, Facebook or LinkedIn – and others a combination.

  • Trawl through and make notes of the messages the company is promoting.
  • Assess the visuals presented, which give insights into the company’s personality.
  • Read comments to glean responses to the company’s online presence.
  • Read Google reviews (and responses, which tell you a lot about the company’s professional approach).

Why is this so important? Read this case study

Case study – Jane versus Bob


Jane applies for a position in a management consulting firm. She has 2 decades of experience in the area and lands an interview.

A Director asks: ‘What do you know about our firm and what do you like about our culture.”

Jane pauses. She hasn’t done her research. She mumbles something vague. It quickly becomes obvious that Jane can’t speak confidently about:

  • how long the company has been in business
  • what their specific service areas are
  • what their geographic reach is
  • what the culture is.

Jane continues to draw a blank. She’s in trouble.


Bob applies for the same position and is asked the same question. He has done his research and gives an informative, succinct response:

‘You’re a professional services firm with a global reach and deep expertise in audit and assurance, my line of work. You were founded 30 years ago and now work in an impressive 150 countries with more than 200,000 partners. A main feature I admire about your culture is respect. And I admire your key values of courage and drawing strength from differences.’

Bob advances to the next stage of the interview process.

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