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HOME > Review > Guide to Job Searching on the Internet
Guide to Job Searching on the Internet

If the company is public, Yahoo can be a great source of information. Look for the following

  1. Stock price back two years. This is a reflection of what the company has been through over this time and is a good reflection of the atmosphere you will be stepping into.
  2. News. Obviously, look at the news headlines. Red flags are obvious, but include: layoffs, litigation, and failed clinical trials.
  3. Message boards. These need to be taken with a grain of salt, however can yield a lot of information if read with a discriminating eye. For example: if you looked at the Yahoo! posts for Enron, there were actually posts that were concerned about the off-balance sheet activities...
  4. Investment recommendations. Again these need to be read with discrimination, but can yield insight into the health of a prospective company. Usually, this is more a diagnosis of the health of the business and there are very few critical insights into the technology.
  5. Layoffs. These are not usually announced, but you can use the wayback tool on the Alexa toolbar to check fluctuations in the employee number on the corporate profile page.

Company website. The company website can be a source of information as well.

  1. Website maintenance. This may seem trivial, but look for the maintenance of the website. Is there broken links of gifs that don't exist. This attention to detail is important! Is the website consistent with what you were told in the interview?
  2. Programs. Do the programs make sense given the state of technology development? The red flag here would be a small company which has an unproven technology that is going after only huge markets and intends to develop and market the product themselves.
  3. Positions open. Do the positions open match what they are looking for? Ask the HR rep what other positions they are hiring for and double check that with the website. A lot of companies will advertise positions they have no intention of hiring people for...
  4. Use the wayback tool. Use the wayback tool on the Alexa toolbar to look at the products page and the other pages of the company website. Look for programs that simply fade away or drastic changes in direction of the company. Also, using this tool on the employment pages will allow you to get a feel for the personnel turnover.

Other sources of information:

  1. theLabRat.com. Check out the company profile, message boards, and opinion poll sections for the company you are considering
  2. Biospace.com. A good source of information, but it tends to be the "company line.
  3. Layoff notices from government. Many states have enacted laws that require notices before mass layoffs in addition to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) legislation that was effective February 4, 1989. California has a webpage which lists notices back several years (http://www.edd.ca.gov/eddwarn.htm).
  4. Other stock message boards. Several other stock boards exist which can sometimes yield good information, Raging bull is one.


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