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When you’re searching for a new job, one of the most challenging aspects is to evaluate each employer for fit. How can you tell if a company is the right place for you without actually working there?

One way is through reading online reviews. But these often must be taken with a grain a salt. While those on reputable websites are typically well-moderated, there are some that get through that could leave you with the wrong impression.

That said, reviews are still valuable in giving you insider information on what working at a company is really like, which can be helpful during the hiring process. It’s simply a matter of keeping the right perspective and reading them in a certain light.

Here’s how to do that, so you can use them to your advantage:

Look for patterns.

No company is perfect and even top employers will have some negative reviews. Don’t let a small handful discourage you from applying or accepting the offer, especially if the comments aren’t relevant to you and what you’re looking for in a new opportunity.

However, if there are dozens of negative comments, without any or very few positive ones to offset them, then it’s a red flag. There’s a reason so many individuals took the time to write about a company and it’s not something you want to ignore.

Look for themes relevant to you.

A company might have dozens of positive reviews online. However, the ones that are negative all focus on the fact that there’s a lack of scheduling flexibility. If you currently telecommute or work flex hours – and that kind of perk is critical to you – then take note.

On the flip side, make sure you look at the positive reviews too and consider those details that are important to you. You might find out that a potential employer you weren’t previously eager about actually offers the ideal culture for you.

Look for information you can use in an interview.

Another helpful aspect of online reviews is that you can find out more about what it’s like to work at a particular company directly from people with first-hand experience. Not only that, but you can dig more into those details during the interview.

For instance, if a review talks about how one of the pros of working at a company is that they invest in continuing education for their employees, ask the hiring manager to explain how. Or, if several reviewers bring up the lack of internal promotions as a con, you can inquire about opportunities for advancement and whether the company tends to hire from within.

Want more valuable job search tips and advice?

PrideStaff is here for you. As one of Phoenix’s top employment agencies, we can help you launch your next job search and land your next opportunity, all so you can achieve your career goals. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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