I’m sure this has happened to you: A recruiter from Super Awesome Inc reaches out to you about a position you’d be perfect for, and they want to schedule a phone screen ASAP. Once your “Aw shucks, me?” humility wears off, it’s time to find out more about the company. So you go to its website and stalk its Twitter feed, but you’re still looking for honest feedback from employees… you need Glassdoor!

If you’re unfamiliar with Glassdoor, it’s a growing database of millions of employee reviews, and also features job openings, salary information, and other juicy bits of info that can help you during your job search. Once you create an account, you can read reviews for companies you’re interested in joining.

There’s a ton of great content on the site, so if you’re in a hurry, or new to the platform, here are a few things to check out when visiting a company’s page.

Engaged Employer Status

To find out if a company is taking their online reputation seriously, look for the green dot on the right side of the header. If you see “Engaged Employer”, you know that the company has claimed their profile, received some reviews, posted photos, and are actively using Glassdoor to represent their employer brand.

Overall Rating

When you scan a company’s page, look for the “Reviews” section to see the overall rating of the organization. It’s a five-star scale, so any company with a four-star or higher rating is most likely taking care of their employees. Be wary of a perfect 5.0 rating, and if you see something below 3.5, be prepared to dig into the reviews to find out why. You can even check out the “Rating Trends” link to see how the company’s ratings are improving, or sinking, over time.

Reviews

Company reviews are the bread and butter of Glassdoor, and if you want to know the details behind their overall rating, the reviews are what drives that number. Keep some things in mind when reading a review, like whether the author is a current or past employee, what their roles is, the official replies from the company, etc. Glassdoor reviews tend to be either really good or really bad, so look for trends if you want to truly understand what a company is like.

Salaries

If reviewers have left salary information, definitely check it out. This is one of the few online sources for salaries that is employee-driven, and can give you some context that may help your compensation negotiation later in the interview process.

Photos, Videos, Links, and News

If you see a bunch of videos, photos, news, job postings, etc., this is good news! Not only can you learn more about the company, but this indicates they are actually paying for an enhanced profile – which means they take their employer reputation, recruiting, and hiring serious enough to include Glassdoor in their strategy.

CEO Photo

This may seem like a tiny detail, but I always notice when a company has actually added a photo of its CEO. You can rate the company and the CEO, so having a photo shows that leadership is committed to owning the company’s reputation!

Along with a company’s careers page and social media accounts, its Glassdoor page is one of the best ways to gain insight into workplace culture, often directly from employees. So get out there, open an account, and start researching and reviewing!

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