The simplest way to start your company research is on a search engine, like Google or Bing. Google the company. Visit their website, but also look for news releases they’ve published (these can spotlight new products and services that might lead to new job opportunities in the near future), and links to trade industries and other sources that can give you additional insight into the company from third parties. Publicly traded companies also must file all kinds of disclosure documents. You can search the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database for some of these documents:
Glassdoor is another excellent resource for “insider” company research. You can learn about the company from current and former employees. In the green bar at the top of the home page of the site, select “Companies” from the drop-down menu to locate information on a specific employer. (Membership in Glassdoor is free, as long as you contribute information to their database.)
- Find trade groups and associations within an industry, and look for participating companies. Then, check out the directory of members to identify possible employers. How can you find these groups? You can conduct a Google search, check on LinkedIn for people in similar industries and see what Groups they belong to, or use the ASAE’s free online search directory (http://www.asaecenter.org/Community/Directories/associationsearch.cfm). You can also purchase a book like “WEDDLE’s Guide to Association Web Sites” ($49.95) available online from WEDDLE’s bookstore. (Now in its fourth edition, the reference guide lists web sites for more than 3,000 associations, including whether the site offers a job board, resume database, discussion forum, and/or bulletin board).
- Search the Yellow Pages (or the online equivalent) and make a list of potential employers to research further. If you can identify the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for an industry, you can search for companies within that classification that meet your criteria. (SIC and NAICS codes are assigned by the U.S. government to identify the primary business of the company, and these classifications cover all types of economic activities, including agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, mining, construction, manufacturing, transportation, communications, utility, trade, finance, insurance, real estate, personal and business services, repair, recreation, and public administration.) You can use the U.S. Census Bureau’s website to research and look up SIC and NAICS codes: http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/)
- Research possible employers using mailing list/database companies. Running a search on companies using a site like InfoUSA (http://www.infousa.com/) can not only help you generate a target list of employers, but you can also purchase the data in the form of a mailing list or email list, which you can then use to make contact for unadvertised opportunities.
- Use Google Maps to identify the geographic radius of your search. Find the companies located within that radius. Narrow your focus to those in your industry or of interest to you.
If the job search process is overwhelming you, contact me today. I offer an instruction manual and coaching on the job search process that gets better results than applying online.
Glassdoor image courtesy Glassdoor.com. Green check image courtesy yodiyim via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.