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College of Arts and Sciences

Researching Employers & Programs

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Researching employers is a key step in applying for jobs.  You need to have a thorough understanding of different industries, positions, and organizations to land the right position.  

LinkedIn is a very under-utilized resource.  You should be using LinkedIn to do advanced searches on other Cornell alumni, but also to get a feel for the industry or organizations you’re interested in.  Is there a company that you’d like to work for, or a job you’d like to get?  Look at people who have held similar positions on LinkedIn to identify patterns and see what steps you can take to get to your end goal.  Do all students in PhD programs at a particular university have another degree to prepare for the PhD program they’re currently in?  Do all analysts at a particular company have a similar position earlier in their career, or a certain kind of summer internship?  Once you find patterns in people’s backgrounds, you can identify steps can you be taking in the next month, six months, and year to get closer to your end goal.  Keep networking and chatting with alumni and connections to understand industries and positions.

Also take a close look at job descriptions that you could be interested in.  Do they all have similar qualifications, and are you missing any?  Are there any areas that you could improve in the next month, six months, or year to eventually reach fulfill this qualification?

Use LinkedIn to identify connections at places in which you’re interested.  Have a conversation with people you know at organizations of interest to discuss their work, the company and the industry at large.  Get a feel for what they do and how you would fit in there.  

You should also research the company or industry in which you’re interested.  Spend time digging through their website!  Look at the organization and its mission, and see how you and your values align with it.  Find connections between yourself and the missions and values.

Read the news about these industries or organizations to make sure you have relevant information at hand if you’re speaking with anyone in the industry.  You can set up Google Alerts to receive notifications about certain topics to keep you well-informed.

There are also some resources to keep in mind to learn more about the inside of a company.  Vault, Bloomberg and Hoovers are all great places to start.

We have a variety of resources specific to Cornell as well as general job-searching databases to help you check out what’s out there in the world.  Handshake, our Cornell-specific database, is a great place to get started.  You can also review this in-depth spreadsheet of other job- and internship-searching databases like ZipRecruiter.  You can sort by a variety of factors, including industry, what kind of job, geographic locations, and more.  

In addition to these databases, it’s a great idea to check out some specific information on where A&S alumni have gone in the past.  We encourage you to review this list of places that have hired recent A&S grads (an aggregate from the last five years), places that have hired international Cornelians in the last two years, and law firms that have hired Cornelians.  We also have lists of general rotational programs, financial services programs, diversity programs, and retail programs - please set up an appointment to go over these resources.

Next: Applying to Jobs