Guide to Researching Companies, Industries, and Countries


Where job-seekers will find all the best research tools and resources for conducting all types of critical career and job-search research -- including researching companies, industries, countries, and people.


A key resource for job-seekers is information. Job-seekers will not succeed in your job-search without knowledge of the companies you are interviewing with or information on the industries and countries where these companies do business. The materials you'll find in this section are designed to serve as a resource for anyone trying to conduct research and find more information about companies, industries, and foreign countries. Take advantage of all the online and print resources. Where do you begin? Read our Step-by-Step Guide to Researching Companies. (To find sources for researching careers, go to: Career Exploration Resources.)




Key Tools for Conducting Company Research


  1. The Best Research Sources?
    • Go to your favorite search engine -- our current favorite by far is Google -- and find the company's Website. Most public companies have a section of their Websites dedicated to investor relations and often have their annual reports online and in downloadable form.

    • Or go to our Quintessential Directory of Company Career Centers and find the link that takes you directly to the career section of the company's Website.


  2. Web-Based Secondary Sources:
    • Craft -- provides free, open information platform mapping -- providing data on dynamic sectors, companies, teams, people, and open positions. Its goal is to provide context in a rapidly changing landscape and help professionals discover and evaluate different opportunities. Simply type in company name and get the results you seek.
    • -- provides a place for people to rate your jobs and to do research on reviews of potential employers from others. It is not designed to be a rant and rave place, but a place where you can anonymously express your feelings about your current and past employers.
    • Jobitorial -- a great site for helping job-seekers get inside information on prospective employers -- where you can find anonymous employee job reviews (by searching company names or location) for thousands of companies.

    • BusinessWeek Online: Company Research
    • Job Search Intelligence -- a great salary research tool for job-seekers, with a comprehensive set of questions to provide accurate compensation data. (Currently offering information on 480 occupations, within 560 geographic regions.)
    • IRIN -- The Investor Relations Information Network: a clearinghouse of annual reports, fact books, and press releases.
    • Web100 -- Big Business on the Web: tracks the largest American and international companies on the Web (ranked by revenue), listing these corporations along with their Fortune500 and Global500 rankings. Can search for companies or scroll through rankings. Links under each company to sites that have more information about the companies.
    • Canadian Business Resource: offers in-depth information and profiles as well as links to more than 2,600 of Canada's top performing businesses -- some for free and some for a fee.
    • CorporateInformation -- a great resource for researching companies and industries in the United States and around the world. Search for company and industry information -- or search by U.S. state or by country to find companies that operate within a specific geographic region. More than 350,000 company profiles. Free to job-seekers.
    • -- well-known for its insider reports on thousands of companies.
    • allows you to search for public companies based upon their descriptions, where you can then follow links to other sources (including Zack's, Hoovers, BigCharts, and more) of key information about the company.
    • The Public Register's Annual Report Service (PRARS): includes the ability to order printed versions of annual reports (for free) and a service titled "Corporate Window," which provides various corporate and financial information for a select group of companies.
    • The Forbes 500: a comprehensive database of the 500 largest American public corporations as measured by sales, profits, assets, and market value.
    • Forbes Largest Private Companies: an annual ranking of the top private companies in the U.S., including number of employees, sales ranking, and a brief company description.
    • Lists: a variety of lists of the "best" and largest public companies, as well as links to industry information, and other lists.
    • The Inc. 5000: a listing and short description of the 5000 fastest growing privately-held companies in the U.S.
    • Better Business Bureau: includes links to companies that are members of the organization.
    • Small Business Administration Online Library: offers a great collection of information about business trends and small businesses.


  3. Web-Based Company Research Links:


Non-Profit Organizations & Association


Key Tools for Conducting Industry Research


  1. Web-based Industry Research Links:
    • Competia Express -- a great tool for job-seeker research, where you'll find research links (to associations, company information, online publications, and more) for more than 40 different industries.
    • Fuld & Company: an excellent source of information on a wide range of industries.
    • IndustryLink: where you can find a vast collection of resources on 25 different industries.
    • Industry Portals: a nice collection of industry portals for many different industries.


  2. Print Resources:
    • U.S. Industry & Trade Outlook. DRI/McGraw-Hill, Standard & Poor's, U.S. Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration. DRI/McGraw-Hill.
    • U.S. Industrial Outlook. United States. Bureau of Industrial Economics.
    • Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys. Standard and Poor's Corporation.
    • Annual Survey of Manufacturers. Statistics for industry groups and industries (including capital expenditures, inventories and supplemental labor, fuel, and electric energy costs). United States. Bureau of the Census.
    • Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios. Dun & Bradstreet Credit Services.
    • Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios, by Troy Leo. Prentice-Hall.
    • Annual Statement Studies. Robert Morris Associates.


Key Tools for Conducting Country Research


  1. Online Country Research Resources:
    • CIA World Factbook: detailed snapshots, compiled by the U.S. government, of just about every country in the world.
    • a great source for finding top-line information about just about every country in the world, including culture, geography, economy, political system, news, maps, and more.
    • Country Studies: from the U.S. Library of Congress. These guides cover social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of more than 100 countries throughout the world.
    • globalEDGE: a comprehensive global business resource center from the folks at Michigan State University. Key strength are links to further information.
    • Global Insight: provides comprehensive economic, financial, and political coverage of countries, regions, and industries available from any source -- covering more than 200 countries and spanning more than approximately 170 industries.
    • International Business & Technology: a learning portal that provides links to business, communication, import-export, linguistic, legal, marketing, media, monetary, public affairs, research, technology, trade, and travel information at both world and country levels. From BRINT Institute.
    • Sperling's -- where you'll find a wealth of data, statistics, and comparisons about U.S. cities, counties, and foreign countries.
    • World Trade Organization: a great source of worldwide business and trade information and trends.


  2. Global Job-Seeker Print Resources:


Key Tools for Conducting Research on People/Individuals


  • ZoomInfo -- a great tool for researching people. Calls itself a unique summarization search engine that finds, understands and extracts the latest online information about people and companies and instantly delivers it to you in concise and useful summaries. No cost to job-seekers.


Other Key Research Tools/Resources for Job-Seekers


  1. Other Guides to Researching Companies:


  2. Internet/Web-Based Reference Resources:


  3. Business-Related News, Magazines, and Newspapers:


  4. Media Clearinghouses:
    • Media Jumpstation: from the folks at Imediafax a search engine to more than 3,000 media.
    • supplying links to the publishers, catalogs, newspapers, industrial, technology, sports, fitness, financial, health magazines and news originations from around the world.
    • NewsDirectory: providing links to newspapers and media in the U.S. and internationally.
    • NewsLink: with links to major U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations.



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