25 May What to Look for on Company Websites
A company’s website can tell you a lot about its goals, attitudes, and practices.
You probably don’t always have your pick of where to work, but learning about businesses and organizations that may have a place for you is always a good idea.
By investigating a company, you can identify how it may fit with your ambitions and goals, whether you are likely to be productive in its atmosphere, and how you may be treated there.
If you are attending an interview with a company, it is essential that you try to learn as much as possible about it before you head to your appointment. You may be asked what you know about the organization, especially if it isn’t particularly familiar to the general public. To realize your career ambitions, you must be prepared for questions like these.
There are other reasons for investigating potential employers. You may discover that its mission or outlook is very contradictory to yours. You will always have to compromise in some fashion, but if you feel that the conflict will be too much, you may be better off sending your resume elsewhere.
What should you look for when visiting company websites? Here are several points that can be found on most substantive sites:
Mission and Goals
Most companies will express their mission and goals on their home page or in an “About Us” section. Of course, all businesses, even non-profits, want to make money, so you can safely assume that that’s a big focus! Similarly, they will most assuredly state their devotion to giving their customers or clients excellent service.
The goals that will be useful to you are more specific. Are they focused on innovation? If it is your ambition to be part of creating new ideas, products, or methods, this is a good keyword for you.
Do they lean towards tradition? Is there an emphasis on the location or community involvement?
Do they mention anything about what they hope to do for their employees?
Work Atmosphere and Practices
“Company culture” is a phrase many businesspeople love. For some, it is an attempt to get more people involved with their workplace and coworkers. For others, it is a category for all the things that make up the atmosphere and general practices of the day-to-day workplace.
See what the company has to say about itself. Are there overt mentions of discipline, creativity, or both? What is the literal environment like – is everything mostly done in one big room or is everyone spread out or isolated?
What is appealing is different for everyone. You may want to be friends with your coworkers or prefer to keep a professional distance. You might like straightforward work requirements or you may want something that is flexible and changing. It can be hard to figure out what the company’s attitude and style is until you’ve worked there, but a good website can offer clues, intentional or not, about what kind of atmosphere prevails there.
Don’t just think about what you’d like, think about what you need. Maybe you have a tendency to slack off if you’re not monitored or made to meet expectations. That’s a pretty bad thing for your ambitions, so maybe a hint that there is regular collaboration or that goals are taken seriously is a sign that the company’s way of doing things might be right for you.
Connections to Other Businesses and the Community
These are also indicators of the company’s general style and the opportunities it may offer. Connections to local charities and community events may be a drawback, a plus, or meaningless to you, but they are worth checking out.
Similarly, connections to other businesses can give you a better understanding of the company’s contacts and dealings. Some organizations may have a somewhat vague description of what they do or what their goals are. Learning about related businesses or industries can never hurt. In addition, it can give you a preview of future networking options and greater opportunities.
As much as you strive to complete your ambitions on your own, for most career and professional goals you will usually need some experience and connections. Make use of the public information available online. What a company puts out there can help you decide what exactly you’re looking for. It will also leave you better prepared to discuss the industry with professionals. Even if you’ve been involved with it or studied it for some time, knowing a few things about the local business can make you appear more thoughtful and prepared.
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