Researching Employers

Honing in on a few target employers can be helpful when you’re researching organizations for applications and interviews. Below are some suggestions to help you find the information you need to uncover opportunities aligned with your interests.

Identifying New Employers

Use CareerSearch.

CareerSearch allows you to research employers by industry, location and keyword. You can also download contact information. Current students and alumni can call Career Services at 609-258-3325 for the referral key.

See where alumni are working.

Search the Alumni Careers Network or TigerNet Alumni Directory for insight on where Princeton grads have landed. You will also find career-focused discussion groups.

Note that those in the Alumni Careers Network have volunteered to offer career insight to fellow Princetonians. When researching organizations, informational interviews can offer real insight into the organization, along with a valuble contact.

Peruse industry news/journals.

Take note of the organizations that are making headlines, for better or worse. Professional association newsletters and websites might also offer good leads.

Target by personal preference.

Depending on your goals, you may want to consider employers in a particular geographic region? Or maybe you are interested in a specific sub-specialty. Consider if you want to target large or small employers. These factors are more personal, but can be important guideposts.

Researching Specific Employers

First things first, start with the organization’s website. It’s obvious, but worth mentioning as an absolute must.

Attend recruiting events.

These include information sessions, meet-and-greet events and open houses. Not only is it a chance for you to make a good impression; you’ll also get a feel for what an organization is like.

Talk to people who work there.

Look up alumni who are current employees, or contact someone directly in the department you are interested in. See if they are willing to talk with you. You may want to talk to other contacts such as advisors, coaches or neighbors as well to see if they know anyone who has worked there.

Use the Princeton libraries.

They are gateways to information about all kinds of organizations, from established enterprises to recent startups, manufacturers to nonprofit groups, entertainment agencies to research institutes. Ask a reference librarian for help — and visit Career Services as well.

Things to Consider

As you do your research and assess your options, keep these things in mind:

  • What are the mission and goals of the organization?
  • How long has it been around?
  • What are its products and services?
  • Who are its clients and competitors?
  • How large is the organization and how is it structured?
  • Where are its various offices located?
  • Does it have international offices or partners?
  • What does the annual report say about the stability of the organization?
  • What does the website, other publications, and the employers themselves suggest about the culture of the organization?
  • What are the new projects and initiatives planned for the next few years?