Reputation matters, and finding it can find you a job

I was told, “I want to work in a Fortune 100 company.  That’s where the action is at.  Then I will really be going places.”  It could be true.  Just remember, Enron was in the Fortune 100 club too.

Size isn’t everything.  It seems that in every Fortune 100 company there will be whole divisions laid off or sold every year.  The CEO may call it pruning. The people in the division have more explicit names for it.

For you, the job seeker, company reputation is important.  It will make a difference in how other people view your career.  The reputation of the local division is even more important.  Your success will be tied directly to the local division’s performance.  The reputation of your new manager is critical.  He’s the one that will make your job paradise or purgatory.

If you go to the newspaper and internet you can find the official company news releases.  That’s what they want their reputation to be. For the people outside of their industry, it will really be their reputation.

Their reputation in the industry and in the community will not be too hard to find. Try calling some independent recruiters that work with the company.  If they submitted you there then they ought to already know the company reputation.  If they didn’t submit you, ask them about the company as you talk to them about your job search.  Independent recruiters talk to everyone going into a company and everyone leaving that company.  They know where all the skeletons are buried and which managers or departments are the best to work with.

Quiz anyone who has close contact with the company. Look up their competitors. It can be particularly interesting to talk to people who worked at competitors. How do you find these people?  Go to LinkedIn.com and search for company names in the “Person” search.

Suppliers and accountants are great sources. Expand your online search if it is a company you are very interested in.

Your search for their reputation can help you find other job openings too.  As you expand your circle of inquiry, more people find out that you are available.  Don’t forget to ask everyone who else you ought to talk to.  You may be surprised how important the comment of the friend of a friend can be.

Also call people doing the job you want in nearby unrelated companies. In many cases there are associations for your job.  Talk to the people running the association and those at the meetings. Ask them about reputation.  You want people from the same level you will be at because reputation can vary at different levels.  If you want to be a salesman, programmer or COO, the reputation of the company will have spread outside of their industry.

Make it a habit to do your “due diligence” as you start interviewing for a job.  Find out their reputation.  Contact people about the company.  It will help you select the right company with the right boss.  Your inquiries may also lead you to a different, better job.

Something To Do Today

Find out if there are any associations for your job or the job you are working towards.  Online search engines work well. Reference librarians are especially good at finding them. Go to your local library and ask for help.

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