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Researching Companies


Why Research a Company?

Research is important because it will help you understand the economy and industry trends, and how easy or challenging your job search may be. Researching a company or organization will help you understand what they are doing, how well they are doing it and whether that matches up with your career goals. Then you can decide whether it makes sense to send them your resume.

Learning about the company is also essential to a successful interview. You want to create a positive impression by appearing informed and goal-directed. During the interview you can demonstrate your goals by indicating why you are interested in that organization and how your goals, qualifications, and personality fit that employer's opportunities. When a job offer is extended to you, knowledge you have gained through research will help you make a good decision.

Suggested Info to Have Prior to the Interview

  • Size of company relative to the industry
  • Potential growth for the company/industry
  • Annual sales growth for past five years
  • Age/backgrounds of top management
  • Array of product lines or services
  • Potential new markets, products, services
  • Major competitors
  • Number of years in business
  • Organization structure
  • Geographical locations
  • Short-term profit picture
  • History of organization
  • Relocation policies
  • Location of home office/headquarters
  • Promotional path
  • Number of plants, stores, offices
  • Formal versus on-the-job training
  • Type of training programs
  • Name of recruiter/hiring manager
  • Recent items in the news
  • Average time in assignments
  • Typical career path in your field

Identifying Potential Companies

The Office of Career Services  & Co-op is a great place to start when gathering information. If you are wondering about relationships that a particular company may have with RIT, ask your program coordinator. He/she will be able to provide employment history, contact names, and more.

  • CareerSearch – We highly recommend this site that is accessible through a link in Handshake. By using CareerSearch you will easily be able to identify companies by industry and location. The company profiles provide a wealth of info about the company including contact people, web addresses, products and services and more. A CareerSearch guide is available to you with more details.
  • Wallace Memorial Library is a high-technology, multimedia resource center where you will find materials to help you identify potential employers. Wallace Library provides handouts (available in racks across from the Reference Librarian's main desk or at their website: to help you identify and locate companies. Some of the titles include How to Find Information on Your Career (by major), Where to Find Company Information and Industry Analysis. Each college is assigned a reference librarian so if you need assistance or resource suggestions, make an appointment to meet with him/her.
  • Directories offer information on companies including goods and services provided, financial information, key people in the company, addresses and sometimes even future hiring projections.
    • The reference section of Wallace Library has state and regional industrial and/or manufacturers' directories such as The New York State Industrial Directory provide addresses and product/service information for employers in a particular geographic area. National and international directories such as Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, are general in nature and are helpful in finding companies located in a specific geographic area or a specific field. Other directories are dedicated to specific industries or populations such as the National Restaurant Association Directory and Peterson's Engineering, Science, and Computer Jobs. There are several CD-ROM research tools in the library such as Dow Jones Interactive and Disclosure Corporate Snapshots, a database available through FirstSearch.
  • Job Choices is one directory we recommend. It is free and available in the Office of Co-op and Career Services and Wallace Library. Ask your program coordinator to recommend additional directories and other resources that they think may be especially helpful for your job search.