Do You Really Want to Work There?
Most job search approaches are Ready! Fire! Aim! Don't do it. Do your company research FIRST. What happens in the real job search world is that most job searchers in the interest of generating a lot of search "activity" will throw a lot of resumes against the wall and see what sticks. Knowing that job search is a numbers game, the thinking is that a certain percentage will fall your way, so why not stack the deck up front and follow up with those that "stick"? Here are two big problems with that thinking:
1. Having not done the basic research beforehand, should a call come through for an initial phone screen, you are caught dead in the water if you don't even have any basic knowledge about either the company or the job opportunity. Not only do you look foolish, you're now toast. You've just been ruled out of contention after a 5-minute phone call and your resume has just been thrown on the reject pile as the interviewer moves on to the next candidate to call.
2. Your resume is an application for working at this company. If you haven't put any forethought into the reality of this possibility, when are you planning to do so? Waiting until after you have interviewed for this position could put you in a more emotionally vulnerable state. Feeling more desperate to make some change now, you tend to overlook certain negatives that creep up once you get caught up in the excitement of the interview process and the possibilities of change.
Here's an example from my own career: Many years ago I was working for a large pharmaceutical company and desired a change to a more dynamic company. After a few months of being "available", I had an opportunity to work for a company I knew little about. I interviewed and let myself get caught up in the excitement and ignored the nagging doubts that told me the job responsibilities were not right. I accepted the job offer, and spent most of the next 11 months hating my new job. It was a great company, just a bad fit with my personality. I knew this AFTER I started interviewing, but I found it hard to say no. If I had done my research ahead of time, I never would have considered this opportunity.