Updated Mon, Feb 08, 2010 by Space Junkie
Joining a corporation is the single most important thing that you can do to improve your EVE Online experience. Whether you are cruising the in-game recruitment channel, perusing the in-game recruitment rolodex, posting your EVE resume in the Alliance and Corporation Recruitment Center on the main EVE site, or just asking around, you need to sort the good corps from the lemons. These ten tips will help you find the corporation that best suits you.
1. Does the corporation take players of your skill level? If you are a newer player, you should find a corporation that is willing to take and train newer members. There are plenty of corporations out there that do this, even in null security space. EVE University is perhaps the most famous empire-based organization that specializes in training newbies, but there are others out there. Many corporations are willing to take on new players and train them as long as you seem smart and invested in being good at the game.
Conversely, if you are a PVP master, make sure that the corporation you are thinking of joining is run by serious players that know what they are doing. Look at their killboard (they have a killboard, right?) to see if they have more kills than losses. Check out their ship fittings on there to see if they know what they are doing.
2. Does the corporation seem well established? It's usually best for newer players to avoid start-ups and head straight for corporations that have already found their footing. Dozens of ten-man empire corps full of strangers with dilettante leaders are formed and dissolved, every day. Don't join them if you want a well-run corporation, you're wasting time that could be spent in a corporation that already has an active membership and engaged leadership.
3. Does the tone of the corporation match your comfort level? If excessive profanity or insensitivity is a deal-breaker for you, ask your recruiter about the general maturity level of the corporate membership. Most corporations in EVE are probably going to have at least some 4chan memes and teasing, but some corporations can be downright hostile.
The reverse case is something to be aware of, as well. If your new corporation has a "no cussing" rule, and you were in the navy for ten years, you may wish to seek greener pastures.
4. Does the corporation have the out of game trappings of a successful corporation? Do they have a teamspeak or ventrilo server? Do they have forums or a message board of some kind for out of game communication? An irc channel? A wiki? Many smaller or medium-sized corporations won't have their own killboards because of the features offered by free killboard sites, but it's always a bonus if they do.
The very minimum that a good corporation should have is a teamspeak or ventrilo server. Using EVE voice doesn't cut it for a real corporation because it lacks certain frills, has poor security in some respects, and because it does not allow the same coordination between channels and groups of people as an out of game voice communication client. If you are considering a corporation that lacks these things, you may be getting into bed with a fairly inactive bunch of people.
An out of game communication method is important to the success of a corporation, as well. IRC channels are probably best for this, as they allow corp-mates to chat while working office jobs or hanging about the house, and if there is a situation requiring members to log in and assemble a fleet, a speedy response is possible without notice.