Determining if you are a good fit for an employer and vice-versa is not always as hard as it might seem. You first need to have decided that you want to work in the industry in which the company does business. If you are a functional expert, say in HR or finance, you might tend to think your skills are transferrable and can be applied anywhere. That might be true, but you need to understand and appreciate the context you are working in. Human Resources in a consumer goods company, which might be product and sales oriented, is quite different from an industrial company where manufacturing plants and unions are the order of the day. You need to like, or at least want to learn, about the business the company is in. As you move through your career, your industry, as well as functional knowledge are what allow you to move up the ladder.
Do your homework on the company
What is their current financial condition? Have there been layoffs lately? Is there frequent management turnover? What is their reputation? All of this information can be gotten from the company web site and numerous business periodicals and sites that track the latest company news (Yahoo Business, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, etc.). Once you have the big picture on the company, leverage your own network to get the inside story from current or past employees. Use LinkedIn, Facebook and your alumni network to contact friends, classmates or acquaintances who work or have worked there – or even those who work with the company as vendors or suppliers. Try to talk to people at different levels of the organization and of varying tenure to get a fair picture.
Know what you are seeking from the role the company is offering
If you are just starting out and need skill building with a large brand name, you might not be as picky about certain dynamics as if you are a more seasoned professional who is seeking specific competency-building experiences. Be sure the role you are being considered for fits with where you want to be long term. You need to have a free agency mindset that allows you to always know your worth and have an idea about where your skills are best deployed, now. As you grow professionally, your needs and wants change, and you need to be able to express to prospective employers what you are seeking from them (in terms of industry, company, function and roles), as well as what you can offer them. Having clarity about these things always gives you the upper hand.
Practical Tips To Find The Perfect Employer-Employee Fit