Create a list of targeted companies. Be specific and selective. Examine them.
Start your research on targeted companies beginning from their corporate websites (Google those companies). The next stop would be the companies' corporate pages on LinkedIn.
As of January 2011, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2010 Fortune 500 companies as members; its hiring solutions were used by 73 of the Fortune 100 companies as of March 22, 2011. More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages. Read more about LinkedIn stats here.
Click on “Follow Company” for each company you’d like to work for and you will start receiving every update that company shares on LinkedIn such as new job openings, new employees, promotions and departures, and more valuable information.
Next, do more in-depth research on the company’s page and look through the profiles of the employees featured there. See how they describe their jobs? Which keywords are used? Do they match the keywords which you used in your profile and resume?
Then match your skills, experiences, knowledge, and strengths against those the company's employees have and see how your skill set may fit the organization or solve a problem for the company.
Using the obtained information make written notes so you can create a targeted resume to show off your strengths
for each company in case there will be a position at that company.
What connections do you have to these people? Are any of them your 1st degree connections or personal contacts? If so, then use them, talk to them, and meet with them. Communicate, communicate, and communicate!
The more you know about a company and its employees, the more chances you have to get a foot in the door. Moreover, all this information will make you more confident while preparing for an interview.
Another good way to research specific companies is to find a person who used to have the job that you are
applying or interviewing for.
By contacting people who used to hold the position you can get the inside information on the job. If the communication is available, you might consider setting up an informational interview with those people.
Create a list of the positions (or job titles) of your interest including different variations of the same position using different relevant key words.
Do your research in the same way as it was just described above for the companies but based on the key words search in the People Directory of LinkedIn.
Go through the profiles which appear in the search results on the first two-three pages because those profiles will be the most relevant to your search request. Make notes and incorporate them into your written communication with a perspective employer.