to Research Employers on the Internet
Crucial to a successful
job search campaign is knowing how to research potential
employers. The more you know about a company, their business
objectives and goals, the better able you will be to communicate
your value to them. You may wish to convey your understanding of
their needs in a tailored resume and cover letter and you will definitely
want to communicate this during your interview. The hard work that
you put into your research will almost always pay off by reflecting
your interest and enthusiasm to employers.
Job Search - How To Research Employers On The Internet
Begin by trying
to locate general information about each company
you are interested
in. Focus on details that will relate to your skills, knowledge,
and qualifications. You may wish to develop a filing system to organize
the information that you obtain.
Here are some
ideas to get you started:
• What is the
age of the company?
• What is their location? How long have they been established
• How many locations are there?
• What are the services and products that they sell?
• What is the size of the company?
• How many employees do they have?
• What are their sales? assets? earnings?
• What has their growth pattern been like?
• What are the various divisions and subsidiaries?
• Who are their competitors?
• What are the names of key executives?
• What is the general reputation of the company?
• Is the company publicly or privately owned?
• Is the company foreign owned?
• How successful is the company? What has been their major
• Have there been
any major issues or events in the recent history of the company?
• What are the objectives and philosophy of the company?
• What is their forecast of anticipated growth?
You may also want to gather several other items on each company
• Brochures and sales flyers.
• Magazine and newspaper articles about the company.
• Trade journal articles.
• Press releases.
• Reports from Dunn and Bradstreet and the Better Business Bureau.
• Employer recruitment brochures.
Although the Internet
will be invaluable research resource, your college, university,
or local library is still one of the best places to locate information.
The reference librarian should be able to point you in the direction
of many useful directories and indexes.
Examples of resources
that you will find there are:
& Poor's Corporation Records" - Contains
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" - Data
on publicly and privately held companies arranged alphabetically,
geographically, and by sales volume. O.K. If you are ready
to go onto the Internet to begin your research, keep a few
things in mind...
1. Know what you
are looking for before you go online. Keep a list beside you
so that you can cross items off as you locate them. It is too easy
to get distracted if you do not remain focused!
2. Bookmark major sites as you come across them. Most browsers
will even allow you to create folders or directories to organize
the links even further. Make the effort to stay organized now and
you will be glad you did later on!
3. Print out a hardcopy of important information. If you
are concerned about saving the trees (like I am), you could save
a copy of the document to your hard drive instead.
Because there are
numerous Internet sites that are valuable for conducting research
on employers, it is beyond the scope of this article to list them
all. The links presented below will get you started by pointing
you to some of the best. You will undoubtedly find many other lists
of links by browsing through the sites.
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
You may want to begin by contacting the chambers of commerce
in the communities your companies are located in. You will find
a searchable comprehensive directory of North American chambers
Many companies maintain homepages. Locate them at the Online
Career Center's List of Company Homepages or at JobTrak's
Listing of Employer Profiles
EXCHANGE COMMISSION This site provides a searchable database
of financial filings and annual reports of publicly owned companies.
EXCHANGE A listing of companies can be searched by stock
symbol, company name or company homepage
THE BIG BOOK
This is an outstanding resource for finding companies listed
by industry or state.
Search the Fortune 500 database by company or browse it by a
variety of categories. Provides the Fortune 500 ranking, sales,
profits, and assets.
Search for company information at no charge or order detailed
company reports for a fee.
THE INSIDER'S LIST
Information and links to publicly owned companies on the web.
Their searchable database currently holds information on over 2300
If you are looking for a non-profit organization, the place
to look is the Philanthropy Journal, which has a meta-index of links.
U.S. 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.
Author: Michelle Dumas, CPRW, NCRW is a nationally
certified professional resume writer and the owner and operator
of Distinctive Documents. From an office based in Somersworth, NH,
USA, Distinctive Documents provides comprehensive resume services
to job hunters worldwide. For more information about the services
of Distinctive Documents or to contact the author about this article,
please call (603) 742-3983, send an e-mail message to
[email protected] , or point your browser to
Copyright © Michelle Dumas 1997