It is awful to read a job application or sit through a job interview where it is clear that the applicant has not done even the basic research or homework. It is especially disappointing when promising candidates go to the effort of putting together a good job application only to fail the job interview by revealing their ignorance about the advertised role.
What a waste of everyone’s time!
This slack approach contrasts – in a bad way – with job applicants who take the time to do some research about the organisation. These well-informed people shine by showing:
- their understanding of the organisation’s key strategic objectives, flagship programs and current concerns
- how their experience and skills relate to the role and particular needs of the organisation
- their research skills
- their recognition of what is important to the selection panel.
Often, it can be quite little things that made a difference, for example, using the actual name of a new initiative. This reference sparks the interest of selection panel members and differentiates you from other candidates in the field.
There are many ways you can do some research, such as reading organisational publications and talking to people who work there or know about the job. The most obvious method is through the internet, which has made research so much easier. It is simple to undertake a quick search for the organisation and access information about the organisation’s mission, aims, structure, programs and track record.
As little as 15 minutes work can yield good results!
Doing research before submitting your job application pays off in getting an interview, as well as checking that this is the right job for you. It is important to follow up again before the interview to refresh your mind and check if new information is available.
Ask anyone who has been on a selection panel and they will tell you that it is hard work sifting through a large number of applications and listening in job interviews. Make it easy for selection panel members by using research to build a bridge between where they are coming from and what you have to offer. This is how you can win that job.