Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Job Research Strategies

It is important to do ample job research before you apply to a nonprofit. You should always know what you are getting into before you start blindly filling out applications. Given the amount of resources available to job seekers today, there is really no excuse not to do your homework. This doesn't mean that researching a job should be treated like an inquisition. On the contrary, you only need to do a few simple things to get the most out of your research:

  • Don't just rely on the information in the job description or on the organization's website. This is part of the equation, but you should also visit employee or company social media accounts. This can give you a better idea of the kind of atmosphere you can expect if you work there.
  • Thanks to sites like LinkedIn, it is easy to review the background of your potential boss. You should take advantage of these resources to find out more about this individual. What do former employees say about the boss? What is the person's management style? This is a person you will be spending a lot of time with if you get the job, so it is helpful to find out whatever you can.
  • Know how much you are worth. There are salary surveys all over the web and you should use them to get an idea about what the average pay is for the position for which you are applying. This can be a useful tool when you get down to negotiating a salary.
  • Just because you have years of experience doing a particular job does not mean you will be a good fit for the company. Every nonprofit is different, so it is essential to know just what they consider to be an ideal candidate for the position. This is where career networking really comes in handy. By making connections with employees/former employees, you will have a better idea of what will be expected of you.
  • Finally, try and find discussion groups about the nonprofit you want to join. You shouldn't necessarily take these groups as gospel, but they are a decent source to find out information that you might not find on the company website.

Applying to jobs takes a lot of hard work, so it's important that you follow these job research strategies before you invest your time and effort.

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