Researching Organizations

It’s important to know as much as possible about the organization where you’re applying, as well as the position you’re applying for. First of all, you’ll get an idea of whether you’d like to work there and, if so, you’ll write a more targeted and knowledgeable resume and cover letter. Another plus is that you might learn about other organizations in the same industry and uncover additional job leads.

Hardcopy Resources

Research Organizations

  • D&B Million Dollar Directory:
    Basic business information on private companies.
  • Directory of Corporate Affiliations:
    Provides information and company profiles of the most prominent global public and private parent companies and their affiliates, subsidiaries, and divisions.
  • Standard & Poor’s Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives:
    Lists U.S. and Canadian corporations, public and private.
  • Ward’s Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies:
    Basic business information on private and public companies.
  • Hoover’s Handbook of Private Companies:
    Contains profiles on the largest and most influential private companies.
  • How to Find Information About Private Companies:
    Handbook on finding information about private companies including advice on constructing a search.
  • Ward’s Business Directory:
    Includes sales figures for private companies. Includes some public companies as well.

Research Industries

  • Standard & Poor’s Industry Surveys:
    Includes outlook, market and current trends with comparative financial data for industries and companies.
  • Standard Industrial Classification Manual (SIC):
    Classified by industry, this code is used to facilitate analysis of data covering the entire field of economic activities.
    View the Searchable Web Version
  • North American Industry Classification System:
    United States (NAICS): Provides common industry definitions.
    View the Web Version
  • Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries:
    Provides snapshots of specific businesses and industries where significant growth or the potential for significant growth has been exhibited.

Online Resources

The following sites contain great information about hundreds of organizations.

Boston University Pardee Management Library: Useful Databases for Career Research

Boston Public Library: Kirstein Business Library

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Directory Search
To use this database, click on “Business Databases,” then click on “Reference USA.” The database contains detailed information on more than 14 million U.S. businesses. Information includes business name, a management directory (if available), business type, employee size, and more.