Exploration Preparation

How to Find Great Employers

Looking to find employers you’ll love working for? It’s possible! You just need to do your research. Luckily, there are many amazing resources to help you. Follow the steps below to guide your research.

Step One: Reflect

Before diving in to your research, make sure you know what you’re looking for. What are your top priorities? (industry, size, location, values, culture, healthcare benefits, prestige, growth opportunities, etc.) Write them down. This will serve as your guide. If you would like help with this process, we encourage you to make an appointment to discuss your goals with a career coach. 

Note: Researching different employers will help you refine your priorities. You may even discover new priorities.

Step Two: Jump Into Handshake

Handshake is an incredible tool to use to learn more about employers. Almost every employer has a profile on Handshake. Click on “Employers” in the top menu. Narrow down your search by using filters based on your priorities (industry, location, size, etc.) and see what pops up.

Explore employers by clicking on their profiles. Employers will include information about their organization as well as open postings. Even better, their profile will include reviews from peer students who previously interned there. In just a few minutes, you’ll gain a great understanding of the employer and their workplace culture.

Check out this video to learn more:

Discover Inclusive Employers:
Now more than ever, its important to find a workplace that promotes an inclusive culture. The Career Center has developed a label system to help you identify inclusive employers in Handshake. Learn more here.

Step Three: Dive Deeper

Once you narrowed down your list of employers, take a deeper dive to further refine your list. Visit the websites of the employers you’ve identified. Read about their mission, vision, and values (typically found under an “About” section). Visit their “Careers” page to see the types of benefits and resources they offer.

Take the next step and Google search the organization and view recent news articles. If they are a public company, check out their stock value and recent 10-K filing. If they are a nonprofit, look at their recent annual/donor report. You’ll quickly learn about the current state of the organization as well as any potential red flags.

Step Four: Make Connections

Even with all of the available information on the internet, there still is no better way to really learn about an employer than by hearing from people who currently work or previously worked there. Reach out to students or alumni to set up an informational interview to learn more about their experiences and ask questions that came up during your prior research. Below are a few resources to use to make connections.

  • Handshake: Like you saw above, there are peer reviews from students on each employer’s profile. You can reach out to them directly via the platform to ask questions about their experience.
  • Eagle Exchange: Use the platform to search for alumni who work at the employers you’re interested in and reach out to them.
  • Internships Database: Use the Career Center’s Summer Experience Database to find and connect with students who interned at employers of interest.

Step Five: Apply!

Once you’ve completed the first four steps, you should have a great idea of the types of employers that you are interested in working for. Use Handshake to follow employers and track their open job/internship postings. By following the employer, you’ll be alerted if they are attending an upcoming career fair or hosting an informational session.

Also, keep in mind that some openings may only be posted on the organization’s website. Ask your connections when opportunities are typically posted and regularly check their website for openings.

Image of Allison Postlethwait Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications
—By Allison Postlethwait, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications

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