Do you want to stand apart from other applicants? Or prepare for the dreaded ‘why us?’ question? Then, it’s quite simple…research employers before you begin applying.

Not only will it help you decide if you want to work for the employer in the first place, research will help equip you with some genuine, inimitable reasons for why you want to work for them, will help increase your sector understanding and identify similar employers.

With the wealth of information available, starting your research can seem daunting; why not write yourself a plan, based around some of the suggestions below?

1. LSE Careers employment sectors webpages

Start your research on our website where we’ve put together basic sector information and lists of reputable sites you might want to use to continue your search.

2. Visit employer websites

With vacancies pages, annual reports, future plans, achievements and awards, their values and much more, it’s a great place to learn the basics.

LinkedIn can also provide useful information, either on the employer’s profile – if any, or on some employees’ profiles who give details about their current projects.

3. Read sector news 

Whether you’re interested in international development or banking and finance, your sector will be in the news. Does the employer you’re researching appear? What have they been up to? Is their work interesting and motivating to you? Check the professional body website for your sector too, there’ll be even more news there! A research on Google News can also give you other ideas of specialised websites to look at.

4. Speak to employers

Attend careers events on campus run by LSE Careers and your student union society. Check employer websites (and CareerHub) to see if the employer is running presentations in their offices. Prepare for meeting them by planning questions you’d like answered beforehand.

5. Conduct informational interviews

Use your contacts, or create some by writing professionally and concisely to alumni on LinkedIn or the Alumni Mentoring Network and asking if they could answer your questions about working for their employer.

6. Visit us on Floor 5 of SAW

We’ve got sector specific guides by careers information companies such as TargetJobs, InsideCareers and more. Most include company profiles, to help you learn more about the sector relevant employers.