When it comes to finding and securing a new job, effective preparation is vital – and your Alumni Library Online (ALO) is here to help. By providing access to top quality resources, the ALO helps you to feel assured that you understand the organisation you are approaching, and that you have core information and the skills to face their interview questions.

Three ways to use the ALO for job hunting success

1) Background information on organisations

Research industry background information viaFitchConnect
If you are changing sector, or just want to update your knowledge, you can gain background information on an industry by accessing This resource contains market research on a wide range of industries including agribusiness, food and drink, telecommunications and water. Coverage is global and reports provide a view on each industry such as its size, value and performance, knowledge of competitors, and trends in the market. BMI has both daily analyses alongside quarterly and special reports on topics such as cyber risks and American politics so it will also help to keep you up to date on current hot topics in your area of interest.

Stay up-to-date on recent company and industry developments through academic, trade and business publications

For recent developments in a specific company or industry it is useful to check out what has been written about it in academic, trade and general business publications. EBSCO Business Source and ABI/Inform Global both enable you to limit your search to recently published articles using the search features.
NB: These resources and many more are all found in the Databases section of your ALO.

Other tips to help you prepare

If you live in a large metropolitan area, it may be worth checking out resources in your public library. For example the City Library in London has a dedicated area available to business which provides access to information on companies.

Don’t forget the company website itself – many have useful background information available for free, including news and information on their products. Many companies will also have an investor’s information area, where you may find the latest annual report which includes the financials and other useful company information.

2) Keeping up-to-date

As well as proving you have done your homework on the organisation you have applied to join, you may also be able to impress the panel by speaking about current trends or latest research in their areas of interest. There are different ways you can choose to do this:

  • You can use the databases to look at the most recent issues of journals that cover your subject area.
  • Perform a keyword search in your area of interest, then amend the date range of your search to view the latest articles.
  • You can browse a large number of open access journals. Visit the General Resources section of the ALO and check out the eJournals section.
  • You can look at the latest research in your area:
  • Search CERES and CORD to see what Cranfield researchers have been doing
  • Use resources such as eTHOS and OpenDOAR to see UK / worldwide research
  • Journal alerts
    There are several tools in the ALO that can provide you with regular journal alerts – this will usually be an email whenever a new issue of your chosen journal is published. These alerts won’t necessarily provide the full text of all the articles in the journal but they will keep you aware of what is being published. The best of these services is called

How to access JournalTOCs:

  • Within the ALO, go into the Useful websites section
  • Select ‘Keeping up to date’
  • Select ‘JournalTOCs’

Why we like it:

JournalTOCs has a very broad coverage – there is something here for everyone. It also covers open access journals which you WILL be able to get full-text for. It currently covers over 33,000 journal titles, and nearly 16,000 of these are open access titles.

How to use it:

You can just search it whenever you want to, or if you register for a free account, you can set up alerts for:

  • Newly added journals
  • Most popular journals

To sign in – look for the link in the top right hand corner

Search for the title of your favourite journal and then…

  • Tick in ‘Follow’ box
  • Go to your account to right hand corner
  • “Show your followed journals” to check it has been added
  • If you change your mind, simply untick to unfollow!

Top Tip: You can also browse the Subject A-Z for ideas of what other titles you could follow.

3) Maintaining the edge in interviews

If you have not looked at it before, check out Vault in the Databases section of the ALO. Vault is a comprehensive career resource that provides support for research on employers and industries, career advice, and access to jobs and internships. It includes advice on interview techniques, and even has example questions.

We also took a look at some of the core ALO databases to see what advice academics can give on being successful in job hunting. Here are just a few examples of articles that give insight into what employers are expecting from graduates:

Articles in Emerald

Chhinzer, N. and Russo, A.M. (2018), "An exploration of employer perceptions of graduate student employability", Education + Training, Vol. 60 No. 1, pp. 104-120.

McMurray, S., Dutton, M., McQuaid, R. and Richard, A. (2016), "Employer demands from business graduates", Education + Training, Vol. 58 No. 1, pp. 112-132.

Tomlinson, M. (2017), "Forms of graduate capital and their relationship to graduate employability", Education + Training, Vol. 59 No. 4, pp. 338-352.

Articles in Sage Journals

Mowbray, J. A. and Hall, H. (2020), “Using social media during job search: The case of 16–24 year olds in Scotland”, Journal of Information Science.

Sandal, G. M. et al. (2014), “Intended Self-Presentation Tactics in Job Interviews: A 10-Country Study”, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 45 No. 6, pp. 939–958. 

Smart, K. L. and DiMaria, J. (2018), “Using Storytelling as a Job-Search Strategy”, Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, Vol. 81 No. 2, pp. 185–198.

Song, L., Shi, J., Luo, P., Wei, W., Fang, Y., & Wang, Y. (2020), “More Time Spent, More Job Search Success?: The Moderating Roles of Metacognitive Activities and Perceived Job Search Progress”, Journal of Career Assessment, Vol. 28 No 1, pp. 147–164.

Advice on finding a job during COVID-19

Job search tips during COVID-19 (Jobs.ac.uk)

Job-hunting in the COVID 19 crisis: headhunters’ top tips (CMI)

Accessing the Alumni Library Online Service

  • Go to your alumni portal
  • Log in with your account (see advice below if you have forgotten your login)
  • Click on the down-arrow next to ‘Alumni’ – this will display the full range of alumni services
  • Click on ‘Alumni Library Online’
  • The homepage for ALO will then be displayed – click on a heading to access a section e.g. ‘Databases’

Acceptable use of ALO

Please remember that all ALO resources are provided to alumni free of charge for personal development and are not to be used for commercial gain or shared with others.

Further help

If you have any queries about the above, or would like to send us feedback about any of our resources, please contact the ALO team..

Forgotten your portal login?
The ALO service is part of the alumni portal. If you having a problem with your login account please contact the Alumni team.