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Career Exploration

Iona University Libraries Guide to Career Exploration

Learn About a Company

Learn all about a company before your interview or application.

Learning about the organization you are applying to or interviewing at is critical. You want to showcase your knowledge of the organization's history, leadership, operations, and trends. The extra work to learn the ins and outs of a company will help you stand out from other applicants.

Preparing will help you compile interesting and relevant questions to ask at your interview and make you more comfortable.

Researching a company can be done using the databases available at the library (listed below) or by going on the company website and looking for "About Us," "Investor Information," or "News." Look for recent press releases to give you the most current information.

Public companies must file annual reports with the SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) found on the EDGAR: SEC Search Portal database.

SWOT analysis shows a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Several databases showcase this information:

Private companies are not publicly traded on any stock exchange and, as a result, are not obligated to submit detailed information to the SEC. The absence of mandatory disclosure makes accessing information about private companies challenging. Company websites and articles in trade journals and business newspapers are often the best sources of information on private companies.

What to Look For When Researching a Company

  • Mission, vision, and values ​
  • Names of key players ​
  • Managers' backgrounds ​
  • Training programs offered ​
  • Office, division, and headquarters locations ​
  • History ​
  • Recent news and current events ​
  • Recent layoffs ​
  • Benefits and employee-perceived "quality of life"   
  • Brand objectives ​
  • Future direction (where is the company headed?) ​
  • Products and services ​
  • Who the customers are ​
  • Direct competitors, their products, and what differentiates them ​
  • Company size, number of employees, and locations ​
  • Recent accomplishments ​
  • Reputation/industry standing ​
  • Short- and long-term goals ​
  • Financial status​
  • Career and growth potential (do they hire from within or outside?) ​

Library Databases for Company Research