Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Researching employers


During the recruitment process, employers will be assessing your understanding of their business, it is important that you do the appropriate research.

Recruiters will be looking for candidates who have commercial awareness, that is an understanding of their company - its products or services, customer base and an awareness of business trends in the sector.

Commercial awareness

Four graduate recruiters talk about  commercial awareness and how they assess it during the selection process. 


What you need to know

  • What are the company's key products and services? 
  • What is their mission statement and values?
  • Where are they based? Do they operate in other countries?
  • Who are their customers?
  • Who are their competitors and how do they compare?
  • How are they performing financially?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Have they been in the news recently? If so, why?
  • What are the trends and developments in their sector?
  • How are they responding to developments?  

Sources of company and sector information

Start with the company's website and social channels (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) but ensure you have a broader and unbiased picture of the company and sector by using a variety of sources.

Types of jobs pages
Sector skills councils and professional bodies

Sector information

TARGETjobs Employer Insights
Independent reviews of graduate employers

e-Library Gateway
Print and e-resources available in the University's libraries

For the latest news on companies or sectors, use the search facility to identify relevant articles

You can also read specialist journals or magazines:


Glassdoor is a great resource to use when researching employers and jobs in your area. The active community of reviewers provides their opinion of:

  • companies
  • jobs
  • salaries
  • interviews and questions

Visit the Glassdoor website


Careers and Employability Service

The University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679