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Resources for Employer Research

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Employer research takes place in two stages:

  1. Obtaining a list of 50-200 employers, and
  2. Gathering information about employers prior to the first interview, as well as more in-depth research after a job offer is made.
A survey of professional recruiters indicated that knowledge of the company was one of the three most significant factors in successful interviews. "What do you know about us?is a favorite question of many employers. Fortunately, for most companies over 50 employees, information is available.

Local Resources



Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages are valuable because organizations have been categorized by industry, service, or function. Most city libraries will have dozens of Yellow Pages for other cities in your state plus the Yellow Pages for most major cities in the country.

Metropolitan Directories. Contacts Influential, and several metropolitan directories like CI, come close to being the ideal local resource. Each resource covers an entire metropolitan area, including suburbs. Virtually all businesses, even one-person businesses, are included, making these resources usually the most complete resource available for those metropolitan areas where they are published. The resources provide names, addresses, zip codes, phone numbers, key managers, and their titles. With a coded system, you can determine the number of employees, and whether it is a local, branch, or headquarter's office.

The resources each have an alphabetical section and a zip code section, but most people will find the SIC (industry) section most helpful. For most people the alphabetical section will simply be too over whelming. Even after you learn how to scan a page and look for companies of a certain size, it could take many hours.

Those who do not want to commute long distances often do well with the zip code section. A map in the resource should help you identify which zip codes are of interest to you. Since size is often a key factor, you can then scan through, stopping at those which fall within your desired size range.

Other Local Resources. People with no desire to leave their current geographical area will get better results with local, rather than national resources. It would be impossible, of course, to list all local resources, we can surely find them. The best place to start is in the business reference section of your library.

State Directories. Every state publishes a list of manufacturers operating in that state. The alphabetical section gives names, telephone numbers, ad dresses (including divisions and subsidiaries), key executives, SIC numbers, products manufactured or services provided, number of employees, locations of branch offices and/or plants, whether they are importers and/or exporters, annual gross sales, and year established. State directories also have SIC and geographical sections. Many are published by private companies, but all are published in conjunction with that state's department of commerce. Arranged by state in alphabetical order, the directories are:
  • Alabama Directory of Mining and Manufacturing
  • Alaska Petroleum and Industrial Directory
  • Directory of Arizona Manufacturers
  • Arkansas Directory of Manufacturers
  • California Manufacturers Register
  • Directory of Colorado Manufacturers
  • Connecticut State Industrial Directory
  • Delaware Directory of Commerce and Industry
  • Principal Employers, Metropolitan Washington D.C.
  • Directory of Florida Industries
  • Georgia Manufacturing Directory
  • Directory of Manufacturers State of Hawaii
  • Manufacturing Directory of Idaho
  • Illinois Manufacturers Directory
  • Indiana Industrial Directory
  • Directory of Iowa Manufacturers
  • Directory of Kansas Manufacturers and Products
  • Kentucky Directory of Manufacturers and Products
  • Louisiana Directory of Manufacturers
  • Maine Marketing Directory
  • Directory of Maryland Manufacturers
  • Directory of Massachusetts Manufacturers
  • Minnesota Directory of Manufacturers
  • Mississippi Manufacturers Directory
  • Missouri Directory of Manufacturers and Mining
  • Montana Directory of Manufacturers
  • Made in New Hampshire
  • New Jersey State Industrial Directory
  • Directory of New Mexico Manufacturing and Mining
  • New York State Industrial Directory
  • North Carolina Directory of Manufacturing Firms
  • Directory of North Dakota Manufacturers
  • Ohio Industrial Directory
  • Oklahoma Manufacturers Directory
  • Directory of Oregon Manufacturers
  • Pennsylvania State Industrial Directory
  • Puerto Rico Official Industrial Directory
  • Rhode Island Directory of Manufacturers
  • Industrial Directory of South Carolina
  • South Dakota Manufacturers and Processors Directory
  • Tennessee Directory of Manufacturers
  • Directory of Texas Manufacturers
  • Directory of Utah Manufacturers
  • Directory of Vermont Manufacturers
  • Virginia Industrial Directory
  • Washington Manufacturers Register
  • West Virginia Manufacturing Directory
  • Classified Directory of Wisconsin Manufacturers
  • Wyoming Directory of Manufacturing and Mining
National Resources. Some of the national resources listed below cost over one hundred dollars per year and are found only in libraries with a major business section. Go to your nearest library first to find out what local and national directories they have. Eventually you may need to visit a larger library.

National resources are useful primarily for those who want to work for companies over 500 employees and are willing to relocate to do so. If you want to remain in your metropolitan area, or at least in your state, there will virtually always be local directories which will be more helpful than the national directories.

Industry Directories. Thousands of directories exist which are helpful to job seekers. As an example, the Whole World Oil Directory lists all oil and gas companies, drilling companies, oil well services, and refineries. It may be the only resource some people would need.

Keep in mind that while being very useful, no directory is complete. Small companies are often listed haphazardly, and even large ones are sometimes left out. The information may be outdated or sometimes just plain wrong. Frequently businesses have moved or gone under. Still, these directories are great sources of information.

Several resources are available to help you locate useful directories. Most libraries will have either the Guide to American Directories or Directories in Print. Both list and describe over 5,000 directories that are divided into over 300 categories. They are quick and easy to use. They have an alphabetical section and a subject section. They will also tell you what the directories cost and where to order them.

Obtaining Information about the Organization

Once you've landed an appointment or an interview, it's time to shift into high gear and get prepared. Since knowledge of the organization is critical for interviews, researching an organization can en able you to go in armed with knowledge. This knowledge will give you added confidence in your appointments and interviews. Avoid over whelming the interviewer with your knowledge about products or financial figures, though. Instead, keep your information in reserve and use it only when appropriate.
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