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Landing the ideal job takes a lot more than quickly updating your 5 year old CV, sending it with a cookie cutter covering letter, and turning up at the last minute for your interview unprepared. You should take time gathering evidence for your CV, customise it and your cover letter for every application, and you should prepare yourself ready for any interview that you are asked to attend.

Whether you are sending your CV to leading companies in your industry, are applying for a role that you have sourced through your professional network, or are applying through an IT recruitment specialist, the more research you can do, the better equipped you will be to land your new job and take the next step on your career ladder.

1 – Research The Company

Research the company’s history and their mission statement. It is commonplace for recruiters to ask if you know anything about the company, although they won’t usually expect a chronological history. If you know when, why, and by whom the company was started, as well as any important dates in the company’s history, then you can hold a more informed discussion.

You should research as much as possible about the company, and don’t just do it while you’re sat waiting for your interview or even on the morning of the interview. Take your time to prepare; the better prepared you are, the less likely you are to be too nervous, and you will have all the information that you need to give you a better chance of landing your dream job.

2 – Research The Role

Even if you are looking to move from on position to a seemingly identical position at another company, do your homework on the role that you are applying for. Social networks and corporate websites are your friends. Take a look at the roles and requirements, determine how you fit into them, and gather evidence that shows you are capable of meeting the needs of the position.

3 – Research The Interviewers

If possible, find out who will be interviewing you, and research their own position, role, and areas that they specialise in. You should have a greater understanding of what they will be looking for, individually. If you know nothing about your interviewers then you will be on the back foot as you look to strike up a rapport. If you can walk in and say that you familiar with a person’s work, then you will already have started to build a professional relationship with them.

4 – Research Products And Services

Determine the products and services that your potential employer offers. Determine who they target, how they target, and even the major competitors. Some recruiters will want to hear specific ideas that you have and that you might want to implement. If you are already armed with information on what they have to offer, it will make the conversation a lot easier and your research should provide you with some good ideas that you can also carry with you when you start working with the company in the future.

5 – Research The Market

Knowing your competitors is a critical component to business survival. Whether you are working in IT security, web development, or even infrastructure architecture, you will be in a better position to successfully conduct your work in the future, if you understand the market. Research the main competitors of the business, determine areas where they could expand to, and even look at prospective business partners.

6 – Research Potential Problems

Except in a few rare instances, where candidates have fully prepared themselves and conducted thorough research, it is extremely unusual for an interview to go perfectly. The recruiter is likely to ask something you don’t know the answer to, or you may have a hole in your skills or knowledge.

Determine these potential tripping points, and then research what you can do about them. At the very least, this will provide you with a beneficial response to the infamous “weakness” question. You can highlight a genuine weakness, and show that you are taking steps to remedy it. Consider suggesting training or research even.

7 – Research Your Own Value And Worth

Be prepared for questions regarding how much you are looking for. Determine your financial value, look at average salaries, take into account your own experience and other factors to come up with a reasonable salary request. Don’t be afraid or nervous about asking for the amount that you feel is fair. If you won’t be happy working for less, then don’t tell recruiters that you will be. Very few companies will pay you more than you ask for.

Whatever your profession, and whichever industry you are experienced in, preparation and research are key to success. This is also true when it comes to applying for open positions and trying to advance your career onto the next rung of the career ladder. Recital Consulting is a recruitment consultancy specialising in IT careers and jobs. They connect potential candidates with the most relevant and most appropriate open positions at some of the best companies.

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