Research Employers

Research is a critical part of the job search process. It can help you:

  • Identify companies that may be hiring in your field.
  • Focus your job search on employers whose values and expectations meet yours.
  • Learn about potential growth of businesses and industries.
  • Prepare you for a job interview.
  • Understand how you can apply your skills in a new field.

Identify companies

Visit CareerOneStop’s Employer Locator pop out link icon to identify and get contact information for potential employers in your local area.

Do your research

Once you’ve identified some companies you’re interested in or perhaps even scheduled an interview you can visit their Web sites to learn more about them.  Locate Web sites by entering the full name of the business into a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo. Below are some key questions you might ask about potential employers:


 Question  Where to Search

What products/services does the employer provide?



What industry trends are affecting the company?

Employer Web sites: These often describe of the company unit(s) that may be hiring in your field. They also provide details on the types of products or programs they offer.

Regional or state publications:

  • Chamber of Commerce directories.
  • Manufacturers' directories by state.

National publications: Most libraries have copies in their business sections.

  • National Trade & Professional Associations.
  • Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors & Executives.
  • The Macmillan Directory of Leading Private Companies.
  • Ward's Business Directory of Major U.S. Private Companies.
The titles above are just a few examples. Almost every type of field or industry has its own trade association.

How many employees does the employer have?

What jobs does the company typically hire for?

What is the employer's hiring policy?

Where is the employer located? Does it have more than one location? Is it on the bus line?

Employer Web sites: These often include size of their workforce, hiring policies, and job openings. It may also provide details on company location(s) and mass transit options. Also check recent press releases for news about plant expansions, new product roll-outs, or sponsorship of events.


College and university placement offices: Check if the company is recruiting on campus. Find out which qualifications they look for when they hire.

What are the employer's mission and values?

How long have they been in business?

Is the employer involved in community services? If so, what?

Employer Web sites: Look for annual reports or contact the employer's public relations office or personnel department. Annual reports outline the employer's successes, growth, history, and financial status. Companies that give back to the community often have a section of their Web site devoted their efforts.

What is the employer's financial situation? Is it making money? Has it downsized in the last five years?

Has there been any recent important news related to the company?

What do others think about the company?

Employer Web sites: Review recent and past press releases. Annual reports often include a financial report for the year. If the company has investors, detailed financial reports may also be online.


Current newspapers, trade journals, and business magazines: The business sections of most papers have articles about local companies and their executives. You can find back copies in library archives. Also check BusinessWeek pop out link icon for company and industry news.

What's it really like to work for this employer?

Current or past employees: Talk with people who are working or have worked for the company.