It’s Not Me. It’s You. Considering Company Culture in Your Job Search

By pairing your paper resume with your video resume, you’re giving employers the opportunity to see who you are as a person, what your personality is like, and how you could potentially fit into the company as an employee. Don’t forget that it’s extremely important for you to give the company a similar sort of evaluation!

The first thoughts that come to your mind when you’re considering a job position most likely include the facts: location, hours, salary, etc…I get it. These things are important. You do have bills to pay and don’t want to commute two hours roundtrip to work. But what about the atmosphere and culture of the company? This information is equally important. If the culture of your company makes going to work as exciting as watching paint dry, then this is a major issue!

So how do you get the inside scoop on your prospective company’s culture? Here are three good starting points:

1. The Internet is your friend.

Employers scour the Web to find any inappropriate or unprofessional Facebook posts, tweets, or high school articles related to you. Do the same to them! Look over everything from their social media pages to any articles and press releases you can get your hands on. What does this public image say about the company as a whole? Are they in the press for sexual harassment in the workplace or for their community volunteer efforts? If it’s possible, don’t be afraid to get in touch with current employees through Facebook or LinkedIn to ask them how their working experience has been. If the company has a Jobma profile, look carefully at the video the company chose to upload.

2. Be observant.

office cultureOnce you arrive at your interview, be observant of any details that could give you information about the company culture. What do the employees’ desks look like? Are they completely bare or decorated with family pictures? Pay attention to how everyone within the office is dressed. Is the dress code business casual or formal business attire? Notice the way the office desks or cubicles are arranged. Do they promote social interaction? Also, keep an eye out for the break room. Does it seem like a well-used spot for employees to talk about their weekends? You could even consider asking to do a walk-through of the office after your interview.

3. Just ask.

Company culture is a very appropriate topic to bring up at the end of the interview when the employer asks if you have any questions. Here are three questions to get you started:

  • If you could change one thing about your company’s culture, what would it be?
  • How would you describe your company’s culture?
  • What sorts of workplace issues does HR most commonly face?

Finding a job with a great salary, location, and hours is great. But remember that you actually have to go to work everyday and live in that environment for 40+ hours a week to get that salary. So while company culture may not be the first thing you consider in your job search, definitely don’t forget about it!

For a related blog post on how to consider location in your job search efforts and find out which cities are best for your career, click here!

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