Targeted research can offer a tremendous advantage when it comes to executing a smart and effective job search, and employing multiple job search methods will help you land a role faster than using just one or two, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics referenced by the Michigan State University Career Services Network. 

While the Internet should not be your only means of searching for jobs, nothing beats it when it comes to smart sleuthing.  Below are five online tools to help you whittle down a list of companies to target, and a list of people who can help you get a job there.

1. Business Journals 

The Business Journals’ sites feature local business and industry news from 43 different markets across the U.S.  While city-specific business journals are available in print at your library and deep-dive details are available via online subscription, news articles and other nuggets of information are available gratis. 

Business journals can allow you to search thousands of professional careers from local employers or from around the country, and help you gain insight into specific individuals within corporations of all sizes. 

2. Corporate Websites

Company websites are a great resource for viewing annual reports (in the case of public companies), press releases, media articles and news coverage.

Perhaps more telling is the website’s layout and style of writing, which is often highly indicative of the company’s culture and vibe.

3. Job Posting Sites 

While not all roles get posted on public job postings site, a telltale sign that a company is looking to expand its workforce is an abundance of job postings. 

4. LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is THE place to see who you know who knows someone else and where they work. Even if you don’t know someone or know anyone who knows them, you can use LinkedIn to find out who they are and make an attempt to connect. 

According to career strategy guru Liz Ryan, LinkedIn can absorb at least 30 percent of your job-search-related research load. LinkedIn can save hours that back in the day would’ve been spent on some corporate database, researching who’s who and where. 

5. Twitter 

While many view Twitter as a place for teens or the rich and famous, Twitter is also home to corporate executives, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, career strategists and even HR recruiters. Here’s how to make Twitter another great tool in your job research tool kit: 

Let’s say you’d like to search for IT recruiters. Enter this term into the search field and Twitter will uncover users that include this verbiage in their bio.

Click on one or two results and check out their Twitter following. According to LinkedIn Pulse Contributor and The Interactive Footprint Founder Michael Sherman, if they have a large following, they probably are a good person to target. If they have a blog, they more than likely have a website address in their profile which you can use to make a connection.

To uncover a handful of like-minded individuals, access Twitter from a desktop and click on the “lists” button on an individual profile. Select “Member Of” to see who else made the cut on related lists.

Written By
Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW is a double-certified Executive Resume Writer and the owner of Virginia Franco Resumes . Her resumes are 100% customized for today's readers and garner interviews in 60 days. Her LinkedIn profiles are amongst the Top 1% viewed.

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