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On a Job Search? How to Find Your Perfect Match

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It’s that time of year when some people take stock of their careers and may think about making a change, whether it’s to move within your current firm, take a new job, or change careers entirely. Much of the advice media sources offer centers on identifying companies that are a good match. In my experience, there are five questions you should explore in depth to help you make your decision:

  1. How would you describe the culture?
  2. Is the company visionary and well respected in your industry?
  3. Will there be an opportunity for you to take several career paths with the firm in the future?
  4. What is the firm’s interest/investment in your growth and development?
  5. Do your values align with the stated – and demonstrated – values of the company?

Identifying the right company may actually be the easy part. Sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and others vaulted to the top of everyone’s list when checking out what others are saying about a company. Edelman’s own research shows that employees are more trusted than executives and that “a person like me” is even more trusted than employees. That suggests that it’s more important than ever for job seekers to try and gather as much unvarnished information as possible before making a decision to switch to another employer.

That’s why it was disturbing to see this recent research indicating that only 51 percent of new hires reported feeling confident they had made the right decision to accept a new job. Many reasons were cited, primarily that the reality of the job or environment was not what they expected. This points further to the need to explore beyond the obvious. Search for the good, the bad and the ugly, rather than going on gut instinct or, worse, jumping at an opportunity because of a strong desire to make a change.

At Edelman, we take very seriously what others say and write about us because it gives us a chance to take corrective action when issues arise. Our vigilance has paid off. Just today we were honored with the 2013 Best Places to Work Award by Glassdoor. The list was compiled based on the unfiltered input of our employees, alumni and job candidates. Companies cannot apply for the honor.

How do you go about searching for companies that might be a match for you? What kind of information would you like to see revealed?

Claudia Patton is global chief talent officer

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