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student tips

The Number One Thing You Should Do Before Applying For A Job

When you’re looking for a job, you will do plenty of different things. You’ll prepare a resume, you’ll think about what roles you’re interested in, and you’ll practice interview techniques just in case you reach that stage.

However, there is one main thing you must do as well as all these other things; research. Yes, that’s right, you need to conduct research before applying for a job. What does this mean? Well, think about things from the perspective of the people looking to hire new employees. When they receive applications, they’ll research each applicant to see if everything adds up. They’ll go on your social media to ensure there are no negative things there, and they’ll search for your name in Google to make extra sure of it. Essentially, they research you to guarantee they’re not bringing a toxic person into their company with a bad history.

Bearing that in mind, shouldn’t you do the same to them? The last thing you want to do is get a job at a company that’s got a very bad past and a poor reputation. It could end with you having to do unethical things and not being happy in the workplace. This could be avoided if you did your research on the company before you applied for the job.

The question is, how do you go about researching various companies before deciding if it’s worth applying for a job or not? Personally, there are a few main avenues I’d go down, and I’ll list them below:

News Articles

Google makes it so much easier to conduct any form of research as you can type the name of a company in the search bar and be greeted with thousands of results. To make things even better, there’s a tab at the top of the results called ‘news,’ click it, and you’ll see all the news articles containing that company’s name.

What are you looking for here? Basically, any evidence that the company has a good or bad history. Are there articles talking about the company because of their great charity work or for helping out in their local community? Then again, are their articles talking about fraud or any illegal happenings the business has been accused of? Generally speaking, if a big business has done something bad, it will normally make the news. Check various articles to see if there’s good or bad evidence against the company.

One of my top tips is to search for the business with a keyword after their name. For example, search for the name followed by the word ‘fraud’ or ‘tax evasion,’ you know, various negative keywords that may show you some results. This is extremely important if you’re looking for a job in the financial industry. Typically, this is where the most corruption is, as their business revolves around money. As you can see here, rewards are offered for whistleblowers that expose fraudulent financial companies. This should show you how rife and serious the corruption is, otherwise rewards wouldn’t be offered! You need to conduct news article research for any company, but double down your efforts if you’re applying for a job in finance, particularly on Wall Street.

Employee Experiences

Another great way to conduct research is to see what the overall employee experience is. You can do this in two different ways. Firstly, as you can see here, there are sites that offer employee reviews of companies. This is great as they review the company anonymously, so they’re not afraid of telling the truth. It’s a really effective way of seeing what employee life is like and whether or not you want to work there.

Secondly, you can do some extra digging and go on LinkedIn to do some research. Search for the company name, and you should see lots of people that have included that company in their employment info. Here’s where things get a little tricky, you don’t want to ask any current employees as they may get suspicious. Instead, look for people that say they worked for that company in the past, but now have a new job. Ask them their experiences, and see what they say.

Personally, I prefer the first option as it’s easier. However, the second option is good for getting a proper honest answer from someone where they can talk about things in more detail. Either way, finding the employee experience is a great way to see if a business treats their staff well or if they’ve ever had to deal with some dodgy goings on.

Customer Reviews

Next, you need to concern yourself with how customers perceive the business. For me, this is a good way of seeing whether or not a company is trustworthy or not. If they have one-star reviews across the board, they don’t seem like the type of business you want to work for. But, if everyone has nice things to say about them, then you can feel a bit more comfortable applying for a job there.

Perhaps the best places to look for reviews are either on Google itself or Google reviews tend to come up when you search for the company name followed by review, there isn’t a particular site to go to. Some businesses don’t have Google reviews but do have Yellowpages reviews, and vice versa.

The last thing I’ll say is that you must be suspicious if you find no information about the company whatsoever. This is common for many jobs that are offered by call center businesses or door-to-door marketing companies looking to hire people. If you can’t find any info online about a business, not even one review, then that’s dodgy, and I recommend you don’t apply for the job.

Yes, getting your resume in check and doing all that stuff is very important. However, you must research a company before you apply for a job. Then, if you feel happy enough to apply, you need to research again if you get an interview. This time, your aim is to find out about the brand values, etc. so you’re prepared to smash the interview!

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Learn To Fight Back Against Freelancing Faux Pas In 3 Minutes Flat

Nobody ever said freelancing would be stress-free. Nonetheless, it can still be an incredibly rewarding career path. More importantly, it is one that is increasingly common in the age of work-at-home parents and digital nomads.

The positives can outweigh the negatives, but only if you are prepared for the challenge ahead. Freelancing can serve up a number of obstacles. Thankfully, removing the element of surprise will enable you to overcome those hurdles to remain on the right track for success. Here are the most likely elements that could hold you back.

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Poor First Impressions

Many freelancers fall victim to believing that their skills are enough to secure contracts. In truth, a bad first impression will end those hopes before they’ve even judged your work. Think of yourself as a small business, and make the necessary investments needed to secure those outcomes.

Great personal appearances will give you a winning platform. Meanwhile, a winning website and portfolio can ensure that potential clients take note. You may need to borrow a small sum of money with to perfect those tasks. Still, if those adjustments can enhance your long-term returns, they have to be worthwhile upgrades.   

No Motivation

The life of a freelancer requires a lot of discipline. This is just one of many reasons why maintaining a sense of natural motivation is essential. Without it, there is virtually zero chance of reaching your full earning potential.   

When you are blessed with that drive and determination, there’s no limit to what can be achieved. The inevitable improvement in your results should allow you to build a reputation within the industry. Not only can that lead to new clients, but it may also enable you to command an enhanced salary in the process.

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Underselling Yourself

As a freelancer, there will be periods where finding work is a challenge in itself. Sadly, many people will accept poorly paid roles due to those circumstances. In reality, though, a struggle for quantity should provide another incentive to boost the quality. Essentially, that means getting paid the amount that is deserved.

The world feels smaller than ever. Therefore, depending on your type of work, it may be possible to use online platforms to plug the gaps. Directories like can hook you up with digital clients. Once again, though, don’t be afraid to negotiate the best deal for you.   

Inadequate Equipment

Possessing the skills to complete the job is one thing, but you also need the equipment. After all, time is money, and ignoring this factor could come back to haunt you. Therefore, keeping your computer in good health and investing in the latest tools for various tasks is crucial. Otherwise, you’ll soon lose out to competitors who can provide those features.

Meanwhile, you must ensure that all communication facilities are of the required standard too. Human interaction is vital for all transactions and working relationships. If clients are left frustrated in this field, they’ll feel that it’s not worth the hassle. For your sake, getting this right is a must.

home office

The Advantages of Switching to a Freelance Career

Working from home is surprisingly doable thanks to advances in technology. You could essentially take a laptop, install some software on it and work from almost anywhere in the world. This is usually known as working as a freelancer and it comes with several advantages that could convince you to make the switch.



  1. There is less to worry about

At least, in most cases. Working on your own (or with a small team) can lead to a more productive career because you’re not focusing as much on other people, you’re simply working on your own and focusing on your work. In addition, there are fewer risks associated with working at home. For example, if you work in a warehouse for an employer then there are many hazards and risks that could injure you. If you’re harmed at work, you’ll have to go through the process of hiring a service like to fight your corner. As a freelancer, there aren’t as many safety concerns to think about and you can simply focus on your company, your work and your client.

  1. You can turn almost anything into a freelance career

If you have skills, you can market them as a freelancing career. Whether you’re a graphics designer, accountant, lawyer or even computer repair expert, you can turn it into a freelance career. The goal is to try and market your skills by basically doing what you currently do but for private clients instead. Take a look at this list of skills on to learn more about popular freelance opportunities.

  1. You can set your own hours

Working freelance has the advantage of being able to work whatever hours you want. Whether it’s working late into the night or early in the morning, you can set your own hours and you don’t need to listen to anyone’s schedule. However, this does have the side effect of giving you a little too much freedom and you might find yourself slacking off work on occasion.

  1. You can work from anywhere

Being able to work from anywhere means you can effectively make anything your office. You could travel all over the world and, as long as you have a compatible computer, you could work as you explore the world. This also means you can travel directly to clients if you work in a freelance field such as computer repair or law. It feels liberating being able to work from almost anywhere and it’s one of the major draws of becoming a freelancer.

  1. It can lead to your own business

Most freelancer starts small. Perhaps they take commissions for design work like logos and websites and then they finally upgrade by turning into a business. Many freelance careers have the opportunity of turning into a fully-fledged business. It does take a lot of work, but being a freelancer is much like being self-employed and owning your own business anyway, so there’s nothing wrong with taking it a step further.