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KNOWLEDGE IS POWERWhen it comes to your job search, a little knowledge about a company can really pay off. Being armed with as much knowledge as possible about a prospective company is in your best interest, whether you're at the beginning of the application process or ready to go in to your interview. Not only will it help you formulate a more insightful cover letter and better interview questions, knowing a little bit can boost your confidence a lot.

If you're interviewing, your interviewers will expect you to know about the company. If you don't, how can you credibly claim that you'd be interested in working there? Furthermore, knowing about the company helps you come across as a serious, intelligent and diligent candidate. As Info World points out, knowing a lot about the company in advance "can get the interviewer to see you as an advocate for the company instead of simply an advocate for yourself to get a job with that company."

Furthermore, it's in your own best interest to research the company and where it is going. Any publicly traded company must provide its financial results for investors to review, so check out whether the company on the upswing or appears to have dark days ahead-- it'll help you better decide if they're worth pursuing.

There are a number of websites designed to provide insight into companies: what the company does, the work environment, salaries, and how past and present employees feel about the organization. Here are some questions that Info World suggests checking out before you even begin the application process.

• What type of culture does the company foster?
• How many employees does it have?
• What is the company history?
• What is its mission statement?
• Does the core vision/mission align with your personal views?
• What are their services and products?
• What is their online reputation?
• What does the company do?
• Who are its clients?
• Who are its main competitors?
• Are they a public company, family-owned company, start-up firm or venture-capital-funded business?
• What do analysts project in terms of growth for the market the company serves?
• Do they operate in an industry that's highly regulated with changes that could totally derail the business?
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"Knowing the answer to the questions above will help you craft a better cover letter, tailor your resume, perform better in the interview and give you some questions to ask the employer," Info World says. If you're job hunting, and want to learn more about employers, make sure you check out these great sites:

1. GlassDoor
2. Indeed
3. LinkedIn
4. Vault
6. CareerLeak
7. Hallway

As the saying goes, "knowledge is power." Obtaining the best possible insight to a company, its hiring practices, salaries, and operating procedures is both a huge credibility booster and helps you be more confident - which will make it easier for you to land, and ace, an interview.

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