Before you apply for a position, write a cover letter, go to an interview, or meet a recruiter at a career fair, it is important to know something about the company or organization. You will need to be able to express what you have to offer the company, how your skills fit their needs, and what interests you about the organization.
There are lots of resources with which to conduct your research. The company’s website, news reports, industry sites, as well as books and databases, can give you a good feel for the history and the goals of an organization. Read their annual report, find their mission or vision statements. This will help you determine whether this is a company you want to work for, and it will also help you formulate the questions you would like to ask in an interview.
Professional and trade organizations will also often have websites that can provide additional insight into the industry and the company - and may point you to other companies that are hiring!
The University Career Center maintains a library and files with company information, and our career coaches can help point you in the right direction if you are having trouble finding the information you need.