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The Importance of Reviewing A Prospective Employer's Website

April 18, 2013

Tags: CDO, 2013

Do you know how to target a specific employer and increase your chances of getting hired? One of the best ways to do so is to review their website before sending in a cover letter or going to an interview. Employer websites contain a wealth of information that can help you tailor every aspect of your job search — from deciding to pursue opportunities there, all the way through interviewing, and deciding whether you want to accept an offer.

Here are eight reasons to spend time on a prospective employer's website.

  1. Mission Statement.
    Be clear you understand the employer's purpose and mission. Who are they? What do they do? Why do they do it? How do they do it? How do you fit into this mission?
  2. Corporate News.
    Look at the recent events section. What's going on? What cases or other legal activities are they involved in? Pay particular attention to the news that's relevant to your practice area or practice groups. Asking your interviewer about recent developments and events will show that you've spent time researching them and demonstrate your genuine interest in them and what they do.
  3. Organization Structure and History.
    Understand as much as you can about the employer. Do they have offices all over the world? Are they a boutique? Have they recently expanded or undergone other changes?
  4. Practice Areas.
    Be sure the employer actually does the work you're interested in. Once you've done so, take a look at their types of clients, industries served, and more.
  5. Professional Profiles.
    If you know who will be interviewing you, review their profile(s). Look at their career paths. How did they get to where they are today? Look for common ground. Did they go to your school? Are they from your area? Look for discussion points.
  6. Recruiting and Professional Development.
    Larger employers often have a lot of information about recruiting, interviewing, training, and professional development. This will give you tips about what to expect in the hiring process, but also what to expect during the summer or beginning months of employment.
  7. Dress Code.
    In addition to former headshots in individual profiles, many websites contain photos of employees at work. These photos will show you what employers consider "formal" business wear, as well as what's acceptable "everyday" wear. Pay attention! Do you see flashy jewelry and high hemlines? Do you see brightly colored shirts and ties? You'll need to dress formally for the interview, but the photos will give you a sense of the corporate culture.
  8. Confirm Location.
    It should go without saying that you should be absolutely clear on where the office is, how to get there, as well as any parking or other transportation considerations. Take time to anticipate your commute. Be sure to plan out your route before your big interview!