Operation Hunt

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Q: For most of the information I’ve read on looking for a job, all the experts say it’s important to research the company you’re interested in working for. I would like to know how to go about that. Where should I start?
–Via e-mail

A: It is imperative that you investigate your company not only before you interview but also before you apply. You should try to best determine a company’s overall health so that you’ll be confident in applying for a particular position and be informed for your interview. Both will put you in better position to receive an offer.

According to Games Companies Play: The Job Hunter’s Guide to Playing Smart & Winning Big in the High-Stakes Hiring Game (Ten Speed Press; $17.95) by Pierre Mornell, doing your research “means not only being informed about a company but seeing if the organization has any skeletons in the closet.” Mornell recommends searching LexisNexis (www.lexis nexis.com) and Dun & Bradstreet (www.dnb .co.nz) to determine if a company has a history of legal issues.

It is easier to investigate large companies. Two excellent tools are www.vaultreports.com and www.wetfeet.com. The first has a database of more than 900 public, private, national, and international companies; WetFeet offers more than 1,000 listings. Both also provide articles and an analysis of a number of industries including finance, media, technology, and health. WetFeet also provides job market information as it applies to various cities, including a comparison table and a salary calculator.