Whether you are approaching an employer speculatively about a role that isn’t advertised, or you are applying for a role where you are given little information, looking at the organisation’s website can give you helpful clues about what to include in your application.
So if you don’t have a formal job description listing essential skills, how do you make your application fit what the employer is looking for?
You can find out this information yourself, by learning how to research the company or organisation using their website.
Here are some common areas that you might focus on:
Most employer websites will have an “About us” page, which gives an overview of the organisation and what they do. These pages can be really useful for finding out about:
- Specific services that the organisation provides
- Sectors the organisation works in
- Relevant language or terminology that the employer uses to describe their work
- The ethos or history of the company
In this section, you might get some sense of what kind of people work at the company:
- Description of the transferrable skills or qualities they seek in employees.
- Information about the kinds of opportunities or benefits they can offer employees.
- Full job descriptions for other jobs, which can be used to guide your application.
- If you are a law student applying for a mini-pupillage, sometimes the page on full pupillages will contain more information that can be used to guide your application.
- Policies around equality and diversity
“News & Events” or “Annual reports”
Pages like this can be used to find out up-to-date information about what the company or firm is doing. You might use this to research:
- For legal firms, recent cases they have won or taken on.
- For businesses, any partnerships or deals they have been involved in.
- The names of the key stakeholders connected to the organisation.
- Ideas for how you might fit into the organisation, and what you could bring to their current work.
“Corporate Social Responsibility”
This page can be useful to gauging the wider outlook of the organisation. Many employers will find ways of giving back to the community as part of their day-to-day operations. Here, you might find out about schemes or activities that you can reference as a reason for your interest in the organisation. These might include:
- Charity work
- Environmental initiatives
- Educational work