Career Talk

/ 1 year ago /

 Article by Graduate Coach

What to research before applying for a job

It is a great feeling when you discover a graduate job that seems perfect and is open for applications! Naturally, you will feel compelled to hit the “Apply” button and begin the application process.

However, if you do this, you are missing out a very important step that could boost the quality of your applications and subsequently your chance of making it to the next stage of the process. That important step involves conducting research before applying for the job. 

In this post, we will share the things you must research before starting your application. 

We have divided the post into three easy to follow sections with key actions you can take when conducting research before starting a graduate job application. 

The Role

Instead of skim reading through the job description, read through it slowly and ensure that you understand the:

  • Requirements 
  • Tasks you’ll need to perform
  • Skills necessary to excel in the role

Once you are sure that you meet the requirements, the next task is to do some research into the skills you will need to demonstrate throughout the application process. 

All graduate recruiters regardless of the role you are applying for will expect you to have these six employability skills:

employability and research skills

Do some research into any additional skills that would help you to demonstrate your ability to perform the tasks in the job description.

To find out more about why these key skills are necessary, purchase a copy of The Student Book.

The Company

It is important that you do not overlook researching the company before starting your application. It’s necessary because you’ll not only need to demonstrate that you are right for the role, you will also need to demonstrate that you are the right fit for the company.

The company’s website is a good place to start. There are two webpages that you will find particularly useful, the:

  • About us page
  • Company values page

Take the time to research the company and what matters to them the most. This will help you to show empathy in your interviews. Showing empathy will signal to the graduate recruiters that you genuinely care about the things the company cares most about.

The Industry

Before starting your application, spend some time researching the industry that the company you are interested in is in. Having an understanding of what is currently happening within the industry will help you to show your commercial awareness skills. 

It is also a good idea to research the company’s competitors. This will help you to gain a better understanding of what makes the company you are interested in applying to stand out.


  • Taking the time to conduct research before starting your application can really help you to send a higher quality application. 
  • Having a better understanding of the role, the company and the industry the company is in will be evident during the application process.
  • Subsequently, doing this research before applying for a graduate job can help you to stand out from the competition.


Don’t forget to check out our other posts on ‘How to discover your career path’, ‘How to build a career plan’, ‘How to answer difficult interview questions’ and ‘Mistakes to avoid when applying for graduate jobs’.

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