AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

3 Types of Research That Can Help Improve Your Job Search

Image: research for job search

When conducting a job search, you will need to devote some time to researching. While there are many areas and ways to research, these essential three approaches are a good place to start to help you focus your search and make sure you're optimizing all the opportunities at hand.

1. Research Opportunities inYour Area

Unless you are actively looking to relocate, you are generally applying to the companies in your area, and you need to know your market! You want to know what companies are in your search radius, as this will give you a better idea of the types of positions available as well as the demand for these types of roles. Once you have identified the organizations you can potentially target, focus on how you can utilize your skill set and market yourself effectively specifically for these companies and positions.

2. Research Your Network

You've probably heard this one before: A large number of job openings are never widely posted publicly. If you have a strong professional network of colleagues, classmates and other contacts when you're searching for positions, it can help you tap into this potential market. First, research your current network. Do you have anybody you know who works for the organization you're targeting? If so, reach out to them about opportunities and suggestions. Do you know anybody who works in the field into which you are looking to transition? If so, try to set up an informational interview. These can be great ways to learn more about the industry and what it takes to succeed.

You also may need to take this opportunity to grow your network. Using LinkedIn as a starting point can help you reach out to potential networking contacts. You can search for individuals within organizations and reach out to them for advice. Don't forget to also tap into your alumni network. You would be surprised to find how many alumni may be out there to help you. Visit your school's University page on LinkedIn to find alumni to connect with. It is also best to remember etiquette when reaching out. While it is great to connect for information, reaching out for a job right away can be a turn off.

3. Research the Companies You Want to Work For

There are many reasons to research a company to which you're applying. First, you always need to know about the organization when going on an interview. You can get great information from the company web page, by following them on LinkedIn, and through reading industry articles in which they are mentioned. Also, are they a great place to work? There are many places where you can read online reviews of an organization. is a great resource to learn about the company, employee reviews, and tips on the interview process.

Interested in more posts on job search related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.

If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at