16 Things Companies Want You to Know Before You Apply
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: If you want to stand out in the job search, your best bet is to be an informed candidate.
Why exactly is this so important? Well, when you do your homework on a company, that shows recruiters a few things: A) that you’re genuinely interested in the position, B) that you’re a motivated self-starter, and C) you’ve done enough research to determine that it’s a good fit both ways, to name just a few.
But with so much information about an organization available, what are the most important factors to focus on? We reached out to recruiters and employers to get their thoughts on what you need to know before you apply to their companies — here’s what they said.Start Slideshow
1. What Their Work Style Is Like
"Job seekers should research the Life Sciences industry, and specifically the technology to automate all aspects of clinical trial development. They should also research what it is like to thrive in a fast-growing technology company, especially if they are coming from an industry that grows at more traditional rates."
—Susan Hailey, Vice President at Medidata SolutionsSee Open Jobs
2. Passion Is Just As Important As Skills
“Job seekers should be able to articulate the reasons why they want to work in the healthcare field before applying to Northside Hospital. You must have a passion for patient care and service excellence to fit into our culture at Northside Hospital. I believe that applicants that don’t grasp the ‘why’ in what we do every day will struggle in any position with our team. The technical skills of any position can be taught with time but one must come with the passion for quality in healthcare.”
—Kelly Piccininni, Manager, Talent Acquisition at Northside HospitalSee Open Jobs
3. Online Presence Matters
“Make yourself easy to find. This means more than just having a LinkedIn profile. Thoughtfully determine the best online resources for your industry and create a presence there. Ensure that all relevant keywords are included in your bio. Recruiters utilize search engines and LinkedIn to locate the best talent by keyword, location and skill set. Setup a personal website or blog with a link to your resume. You'll have control over the privacy settings to allow visitors to contact you as desired.”
—Julie Cox, Sourcing Manager of Talent Acquisition at AECOMSee Open Jobs
4. A Little Background Research Goes a Long Way
"I expect candidates to be familiar with our company and space - what we do, and what value they can bring to the table. I understand the hiring landscape is competitive, but doing a bit of research on what the company does, any notable press and what it's like to work there is important to do prior to your first call with a recruiter. If a passive candidate accepts an offer to speak about new opportunities, I would hope they would put some skin in the game and at minimum google AppD and click through interesting links. Something else I look for is thoughtful questions from the candidate - have they thought about the company and role, and what working will look like? I want to see that they are seriously thinking about how the job would fit into their life."
—Heidi Newiger, Global University & Diversity Recruitment Programs Manage at AppDynamicsSee Open Jobs
5. Caring About the Greater Good Is Essential
“First and foremost, Clorox is looking for people who are aligned with our set of values. People who have a real need to be a part of an organization that cares about the world around them, the organization they're in and how they operate. For example we have a commitment to corporate responsibility so we're working on not only driving the business outcomes we want but doing it in the right way with reductions in our operational footprint for example or involvement in our community. We’ve recently donated Clorox Bleach to help following the flooding in Peru. People who really care about the world are think are one important part of our candidate pool.”
—Kirsten Marriner, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer of The Clorox CompanySee Open Jobs
6. What They Do in the Day-to-Day
“Recruiters at HealthSouth wish candidates would take the time to research what we do at our hospitals and the types of patients we treat. At HealthSouth, we specialize in inpatient physical rehabilitation and often get questions during the interview process that aren’t applicable to our clinical setting. Candidates may assume we are a drug rehab, skilled nursing facility or home care if they do not take the time to educate themselves prior to interviewing. Being an informed candidate to the company you’re applying to not only sets expectations, but also ensures a good candidate-company fit.”
—Whitney Thomas, Associate Director of Recruiting at HealthSouthSee Open Jobs
7. Collaboration Is a Must
“We are very proud of our culture of inclusion and collaboration at Commvault, it’s something that has come from starting as a small company and growing organically to the global organization that we are today. I want job seekers to look past the job descriptions and get an insider’s look by checking out our CommvaultLife channels on social media. That way you can learn more about being a Vaulter and see firsthand if Commvault is the place for you.”
—Tracie Giles, Head of Talent Acquisition at CommvaultSee Open Jobs
8. The Ins and Outs of Their Industry
“To ace an interview at Cengage, job seekers should research the transformation of learning tools and content driven by technology, the ways in which going digital has improved outcomes and access to education, and what students need to be successful in today’s academic environment.”
—Jill O’Connell, Head of Talent at CengageSee Open Jobs
9. What They Care About Most
“We'd like all applicants to research our core values. Too often, these are artifacts of a company’s early days, not adhered to and certainly not top of mind. We live and breathe our values every day, and want team members that embrace them. We want ambitious individuals who are self-aware, insatiably curious, excite innovation, are always chasing a new challenge and have a clear drive to win. And, above all, we want people who care deeply. This transcends beyond your daily work and position; we want team members who care deeply about those around them. The sense of community is important at Kabbage, and we want folks that will help it flourish. Expect a high laughter quotient at Kabbage, and a team that doesn’t tolerate differences—but embraces them. We want people who are unafraid to raise a hand for help, and always willing to lend a helping one. It all goes back to our core values, and if that sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you!”
— Amy Zimmerman, Head of People Operations at KabbageSee Open Jobs
10. What Value You Can Bring
“Know the basic facts. Don’t just apply for any job you think you may have the skills for. It may be hard to believe, but sometimes candidates aren't even sure of the name of the company they are interviewing for. Basic facts like the industry, scope of our business and of course, the name of the company are all crucial to your success in the interview. We don’t expect you to be an expert, but you should have an understanding of what we do and how you see yourself contributing to our organization.”
—Josie Sandlin, TA Manager at NutraboltSee Open Jobs
11. How Your Values Match Theirs
“When looking for your next job, look for more than a skill fit. Look at the culture, the values and the purpose of the company. At Masonite, we understand that People are Key. Our purpose is ‘We Help People Walk Through Walls.’ This is why when an employee knocks on the door of opportunity for growth and development, We Hold the Door Open….”
—Catherine Watkins, Talent Acquisition Manager at MasoniteSee Open Jobs
12. Authenticity Is Key
"We’re looking for individuals who want to Inspire Smiles and Make a Difference – in our restaurants and in their personal lives. If the position description is of interest to you, we encourage you to visit one of our restaurants, review our company website, and Google us to read about our brand in USA Today, Business Insider, or your favorite news website. Most importantly, we value authenticity, so be yourself! We look forward to meeting you."
—Dina Westerly, Director of Talent Management at Arby’s Restaurant GroupSee Open Jobs
13. What the Role Entails
“Before a candidate applies to become an agent, they should visit https://www.newyorklife.com/about/careers/roles/ to learn about the career. They need to be aware that this is an entrepreneurial position where one is essentially responsible for building a financial services practice with the help and support of New York Life professionals. We like to say our advisers/agents are ‘in business for themselves, but never by themselves.’ They should know that in order to succeed, they must have networks to utilize in order to build their business. The candidate should visit the local General Office website they are looking to work with to become familiar with the management team and the culture of the office.”
—Ciara Salina, Senior Associate of Agency Target Markets & Recruiting Strategy at New York LifeSee Open Jobs
14. Culture Fit Goes Both Ways
“Job seekers should really check out many resources to learn more about the culture of a company. We have a unique culture at NAPA and want people to be able to bring their ‘whole self’ to the workplace. While we have a great culture, it may not be for everyone, and that is ok. Job seekers need to make sure that they are a great culture fit or ‘cultural add’ to a company no matter how much they think they would like the job. Company fit or add is so important and will make you so much happier in the long run. This is true, not just for NAPA, but any place that someone is looking to work.”
—Denise Jones, Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding Manager at NAPA Auto PartsSee Open Jobs
15. What Sets Their Product/Service Apart
"From my perspective within the sales department, it's crucial that candidates have a general understanding of the industry landscape and have clearly researched Sprout Social's position within that landscape. That also means being prepared to speak about our product. In the past eight months, I've participated in more than 100 interviews looking for exceptional talent to add to our team, and I've found that candidates often struggle to articulate basic aspects of the social media industry and where our company and product fits into the mix. These details are especially important when applying for a sales position, because if you don't understand the selling environment you are in, it's difficult to be successful."
—Kelly Marberry, Director of Sales Development, Sprout SocialSee Open Jobs
16. Who Leads the Organization and What They Do
“Obviously there’s no way that we would expect a candidate to know EVERYTHING about our organization, but knowing a few things can really help spark conversation, make you feel confident about applying and hopefully lead to being selected for an interview. Try finding out some info on key players of our organization or the recruiter. Any recent news, events and achievements. The client history, company culture and unique positioning are also good places to start. The purpose isn’t to dazzle us with your knowledge of our business, but to help you draw comparisons with your own experience, abilities and drive. In a nutshell, to show that you would add value to the organization and fit in. Of course, you have to bring a lot more than just that to the table, but doing your homework on our business is a great way to get going.”
—Pam Weaver, Senior Recruiter at The Marketing StoreSee Open Jobs
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
The job market is booming, and hiring isn’t taking a 3-day vacation this weekend. If you’re on the hunt for a new job or a new company, now’s a perfect time. Research companies you’re interested in, explore how much you could earn, and become an informed candidate that employers just can’t resist.
Here are 25 hot companies hiring now. Apply today!View Next Slideshow