Library Services' resources can provide you with a range of information on companies and industries. Using these materials can help you research your career path and provide you with information on specific companies and industries. By researching your potential future employers you will not only be preparing yourself for job applications and interviews, you will also be developing your commercial awareness.
Commercial awareness is an essential graduate skill, particularly for students going into the business sector. Some graduate recruiters have identified that commercial awareness is a skill often lacking in graduates applying for jobs. Therefore, improving your knowledge in this area could give you the edge over other candidates.
The key databases that provide company and industry information are listed here. Short videos demonstrating how to locate relevant information on these databases can be found below
Business Source Premier provides UK and international company and industry profiles. Company profiles also include a company SWOT analysis
Mintel provides market research reports which include company information in the context of that particular market.
Passport provides UK and global company reports within the respective industry sector and region in which the company operates
Whilst Lexis Library is primarily a law database, it also includes full-text articles from a range of UK national and regional newspapers. Use the News link to search for newspaper articles
Online version of the Financial Times newspaper. Create an account with your Manchester Met email address - see our help guide
Financial reports of major British companies, covering over 7 million companies in the UK and Ireland.
Retail Week provides breaking news, insight and intelligence for the retail industry
The playlist below includes videos demonstrating how to locate company information on the five databases listed above. Click play to view all videos, or use the drop down menu on the top left hand corner to select a specific video.
The PESTLE analysis is a simple tool which can be used to effectively identify key external factors that may affect a company or organisation:
|Name of company||Include any other names the company has operated under|
|Year founded||Include founder if known|
|Main location and other
areas of operation
|Include address of Head Office|
|Web Address||Include main address and recruitment address|
|Outline of main business||
How company sells? (e.g. online, stores, phone)
What is their main industry?
What product do they deal with?
What is the company’s current global position?
|Company vision or mission
|This is usually located on the company website|
|Number of employees|
|Number of stores or
|Latest recorded revenue||Is this an increase or decrease from previous year?|
|Size of market area||Consumer expenditure in this area|
|Top competitors||You may want to do a peer analysis of their top competitors|
|Strengths||Include details of the strengths of the company|
|Weaknesses||Include details of the weaknesses of the company|
|Opportunities||Include details of opportunities the company has|
|Threats||Include details of threats that face the company|
|Press coverage||Recent coverage in newspapers – what are the important articles and headlines for this organisation?|
|Awards||Has this organisation won any awards for its training, website or products, etc.?|
Research the sector you are applying to in detail.
What training and career development is available?
What are the issues and trends in this profession or industry?
What impact will economic & technological changes have?
What skills are likely to be needed now and in the future?
|Finding an employer that
is right for you
|You need to show commercial awareness; How does an employer operate? What are their ethical values?|
|Any specific job-related
skills or experience
Do I have what the employer is looking for? Look at case studies and profiles from current recruits.
|Company Culture||How does this employer like to see itself?
What are its core values?
What are its policies relating to equal opportunities, flexible working…?
|Selection processes||What are the selection processes?
What happens after the application?
Tests? Telephone interview? Assessment centre?
|Understanding the job||What will the typical duties be?
What is the work environment like?
|What can I offer this
|What evidence can I offer to address all the skills and experience which the employer is looking for?
What can I do to make my application and interview stand out?
Can I visit the employer’s site/store/location as part of my research? (Some employers
expect you to do this!)
|Interview Questions||What am I likely to be asked?
Can I find out what others interviewed by the company have been asked?
From my research, what questions do I want to ask the employer?
What are the opportunities for progression and career development?
Content developed in conjunction with MMU’s Careers and Employability Service.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.
The Library deliver online workshops throughout the year. You can find upcoming dates the Workshops booking page.
Details of our employability skills related workshops are also listed here:
Showing a potential employer that you really understand them and their sector is an impressive way to stand out in the recruitment process. This practical session shows you how to use the variety of resources available at MMU to research your potential employer and the market in which they operate.
Want to impress potential employers with your online profile? Worried that your social media accounts might not be showcasing your best self? This interactive workshop will provide practical tips for maintaining a professional online persona and equip you with the knowledge you need to effectively manage your digital footprint.
Learn to critically evaluate online information and identify fake news. During this session we will discuss the psychological, technological and societal reasons why we believe fake, biased or misleading stories/information. It will also look at the different motivations of the creators of false stories and misinformation. By investigating real life news from a variety of media, you will learn to identify fake news and misinformation.
Does your course require you to carry out some legal research and you don’t know where to start? This session is aimed at students who do not study law but have some elements of law in their course. This hands on session will introduce you to the legal databases the Man Met University subscribes to and show you how to search for legal information such, as cases and legislation.
Careers sessions are run by Manchester Met's Careers and Employability service throughout the year. Browse the full list and further details on their Events page.