Researching Companies & Industries
- to identify potential employers
- to tailor your resume and cover letter to a particular position and / or company
- to prepare for an interview
- Products / Services
- History / Reputation
- Recent Changes / New Products or Projects
- Organizational Goals
- Structure / Divisions and Subsidiaries
- Number of Employees / Locations
- Financial Status
- Competitors within the Industry
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- Utilize the library's reference section to check business and industry directories, indexes and CD ROM databases.
- Ask the reference librarian for assistance in finding these resources.
- Standard & Poor's Corporation Records- Information about publicly held companies in the USA including financial records, brief history, products, subsidiaries and properties, and more.
- World Business Directory- Profiles of 100,000 businesses worldwide.
- Ward's Business Directory - Information on publicly and privately held companies arranged alphabetically, geographically, and by sales volume.
- Start with the company's home page, if they have one. Use any of the major search engines to search for the company home page.
- Government sites, professional associations and industry guides can also provide valuable information.
- If you have trouble locating a company's web page, check to see if there is a parent company that has an Internet site.
Company Research on the Internet -This business research tutorial presents a step-by-step process for finding free company and industry information on the World Wide Web.
LinksThe links listed here are to get you started. There are many more Internet sites that are valuable sources for company research that you may stumble across as you do your research.
- The Big Book - This is an outstanding resource for finding companies listed by industry or state.
- Company Research- A Web site on researching companies from Langsdale Library Academic Library, University of Baltimore College of Liberal Arts.
- Fortune 500 - Search the Fortune 500 database by company or browse it by a variety of categories. Provides the Fortune 500 ranking, sales, profits, and assets.
- Hoover's Online: The Business Network - Search for company information at no charge or order detailed company reports for a fee.
- Non-Profit Organization - If you are looking for a non-profit organization, the place to look is the Philanthropy Journal, which has a meta-index of links.
- The Riley Guide: Tell Me About This Employer
- Securities & Exchange Commission - This site provides a searchable database of financial filings and annual reports of publicly owned companies.
- Federal Government Agencies - Government Agency homepages can be useful for both research purposes and for finding job listings. The best directory is maintained by the LSU Library.
- Yahoo! Employment
- Contact the company directly and request an annual report or other information.
- Contact the chamber of commerce in the company's community.
Contact the Better Business Bureau
- When possible, gather other items on each company, such as brochures and sales flyers, magazine, newspaper and trade journal articles, press releases, reports from Dunn & Bradstreet and the Better Business Bureau, and employer recruitment brochures.