Researching Potential Employers
SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification. SIC is a system formerly used by the U.S. government to group businesses according to the product or service they provide. Many directories and some electronic resources use SIC to indicate the types of businesses represented, rather than use a "yellow-pages" arrangement. Therefore a user looking for a certain type of business must know the SIC code for that business in order to find companies.
The SIC system is obsolete for government use, and has been replaced by a similar system called the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Many business directories still use SIC, however.
There is a tutorial on using SIC and NAICS codes.
Look Up Codes Here:
- A public company is one that sells stock on the open market
- It is relatively easy to find detailed information about U.S. public companies, because they are required to register with and report to the Securities and Exchange Commission; their stock prices are reported daily
- Small, local companies are usually private
- A large company may be either private or public
- Some large companies are private, e.g., Levi Strauss & Co.
- Private companies are not required to disclose financials and other information
If you do not find a large company in a directory, it may be private; many directories include only public companies. Another possibility is that the company you are looking for is a subsidiary, or smaller branch, of a larger company. The Reference USA database (in Online Directories) gives you information on where a company is in the chain by clicking on "Corporate Tree".
In searching for a job with a potential employer you will obviously need to know at minimum the name, address, and phone number of the employer. It is advisable to know the name of a contact person within the company, also.
| "First choice" = Try this one.
| Includes overseas companies
- Business Insights: Essentials [Gale]
- This contains both business news and directory information. If using this database from off campus, you will need your My Chemeketa user name and password.
- Has a clickable Web site directory by type of business.
- LexisNexis Academic
- Click on the Power Search link. A short video on using LexisNexis to search for type of company is available. For print hints on using LexisNexis, see LexisNexis Basics. If using this database from off campus, you will need your My Chemeketa user name and password.
- Reference USA
- Chemeketa subscribes to this resource, which includes a directory of 14 million U.S. businesses, large and small. You can search by SIC/NAICS code, geographical location, and more. If using this database from off campus, you will need your My Chemeketa user name and password.
- Thomas Register
- A directory of manufacturing companies in North America. You can search for a product or service by key words. It is possible to limit by state after the initial keyword search. Every company listed has address and phone information; many have links to the company's Web site or catalog, or both.
Beyond the most basic name and address information, what do you need to know to evaluate whether you would wish to work for an employer? Here are some things you might want to consider:
- Number of employees (The more employees, the more openings)
- Geographical location's climate, cost of living, etc. (Can you ski? How much will a house cost?)
- Length of time in business (Is this a stable company?)
- Financial standing (Will this company still be around in six months?)
- Compensation and benefits
Not all of these things are available from the same source; for some companies certain information may not be available at all. Many directories include information on the number of employees, years in business, annual sales, and/or credit rating.
If you are seriously considering whether you want to work for a company, you will want to find more information than you will find in a directory. Some directories will lead you to the Web site of a company. Another way to find information is to search for newspaper and magazine articles about the company. The library Database Page has a number of resources you can use, including those below. If using these databases from off campus, you will need your My Chemeketa user name and password.
- Business Insights: Essentials [Gale]
- Type the company name in the Quick Search space. Articles from thousands of business journals, many in full text. Also contains detailed company information including directory information and company histories.
- LexisNexis Academic (Power Search)
- In addition to financials and directory information (above, under Directories), LexisNexis lets you search for business news.
- Click News in the navigation bar at left of the LexisNexis home page
- Click "Business and Insustry". Notice that you can check off additional types of business news sources to search on the search screen, if you wish
- Type the name of the company in the Search For space
- You may wish to adjust the date to a recent period instead of the default "All Available Dates."
- Click Search
U.S. Public companies file annual reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports can be accessed on EDGAR, the SEC database.
- Put in the name of the company you are seeking. When you press the Enter key, a list of forms for the company will appear, in reverse chronological order.
- Look for the form number "10-K" in the left hand column. This will be the annual report, with substantial information about the company.
In addition to the sources already discussed, Chemeketa's library has an additional reference book which may be of use: International directory of company histories (R 338.74 In82) contains histories of large companies of all kinds. This resource is available online in Business Insights: Essentials.
If your proposed job involves moving to another area of the country, try consulting Homefair. Homefair has calculators and information for those who are considering a move, including, a salary calculator to compute the cost-of-living differences among hundreds of U.S. and international cities; a moving calculator to compute the cost of shipping household goods; and reports on cities and schools.
or call (503)399-5231.
Address for this
web page: http://library.chemeketa.edu/instruction/handouts/ELT111.htm