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Do your research when applying for jobs

Whether you’re drafting an application, CV or covering letter, employers want to hear what you know about them and why you’ve picked them. Researching the company you’re applying to will help you draw on the information in your application; an essential step in attracting the employer to want to know more about you. It can also showcase and evidence the time and effort you have taken to research the company and sector.

Learn about the company culture and ethos

You may not have all the necessary information from the job advert and you may want to learn more about the company you're applying to.

Learn about the culture, ethos, values and future direction on company websites. You can usually find out:

  • when the organisation was founded
  • what services they offer
  • their mission statement
  • company values
  • latest news.

Use search engines for news and information about the company. This can sometimes yield interesting results from industry news stories, comments on internet forums, reports on (or by) competitors and also staff appointment announcements.

Look at the company’s social media channels. Most have a presence on the business networking site LinkedIn, but more and more organisations are utilising other channels, such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.

Learn about the sector and industry

You can develop insight into the sector to help you build a picture of the nature of the role and wider company direction. You can also draw attention to your knowledge of the whole sector.

Local and national newspapers can help you find labour market information.

Useful resources

Industry reports

Our Industry reports tool provides the latest insight and regular reports into labour market information across various sectors so you can keep up to date with the news that is impacting roles across industries and locations.

You have access to the Industry Reports through your OU account if you’re a current OU student or completed your study within the last three years. If you're not sure how to sign-in, see Help with signing into OU systems. You'll find more information about our careers tools and services, including how to manage your data, in About the Careers and Employability Services.

Last updated 5 months ago