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Identifying Potential Companies
Finding companies to target in your job search usually involves looking at company
directories – many of the most popular of these are available in the Career Resource
Library or online. Most directories are either focused on a specific industry, or
geographic region – although some are indexed by degrees or programs of study.
By Industry or Region
You can access a number of specialized industry directories including finance, biotechnology,
and the environment in the Career Resource Library. For those industries not covered
in a specific industry directory, you may want to consider:
- Scott’s Directories or Contact Toronto. These directories
cover the major companies in the Toronto area, searchable by industry.
- Strategis Canada This government website
features a large database of Canadian companies called Canadian Company Capabilities,
searchable by geography and industry.
- Associations Canada directory. Professional associations’
websites often provide a directory of companies who have joined as members.
- Local Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade associations. These can be especially
helpful when searching for smaller businesses by geographic region. The Chamber Navigator provides links
to these associations in Canada and abroad.
- For more general or industry specific directories, check out the Company Information
and Career-Specific sections of our
For research centers and think tanks, try these sites:
For more information about industry and labour market trends browse the industry
files and industry specific books in the Career Resource Library, or check out the
Industry & Labour Market Research tipsheet.
By Degrees of Applicants Hired
If you don’t have an industry in mind, you can start by searching for organizations
who have hired applicants from your degree area. This can give you a sense of what
industries might be of interest. Check out degree-indexed directories like the Career Directory or the Canadian Student
and Grad Job Directory.
Ask in the Career Resource Library for access to the Delisted Job Postings. Use
these to search all the previous Career Centre job postings by degree to get a sense
of what employers have recruited for your degree in the past.
Because directories do not provide a comprehensive list of options, do not limit
your research just to these resources. Once you have a sense of what industries
interest you, consult some of the directories mentioned above. If you are feeling
uncertain about your career options, consult the Choosing a Career guide in My Career to get you
Finding Information on a Specific Company
Once you have identified a few organizations to target, it is time to conduct some
individual company research. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- What are their key products, services? Who are their clientele? What are their most
well-known items, total earnings per year, and new projects on the go?
- What is their mission statement, key objectives and reputation? Are their values
and goals similar to your own personal ones?
- What is the organizational structure? Do they have foreign operations? Subsidiaries?
- Who are the main competitors in the industry?
Find out if the company has their own website (most do). You can find a lot of the
answers to the above questions there. Also, check if they have a link to press releases,
which will give you the most current information regarding that company such as
new projects or trends in the field.
Company information in the Career Resource Library
For brochures, annual reports, newsletters and other information from individual
Canadian companies, look in our Organizational Files, available in the library.
The companies in these files generally conduct recruitment through our Graduating Students Employment Service
or participate in our Extern Job Shadowing Program.
For detailed profiles on several larger U.S. corporations in the fields of Investment
Banking and Management Consulting, ask the reference desk for the "Wetfeet
Press Insider Guides".
Company News and Trends
For a more balanced view of the company, read articles from the mainstream press
– these are generally written by third-party journalists and not company representatives.
To view article archives, use online databases like Factiva, accessible from the U of T libraries
Try talking to people who work for organization you're interested in. They may reveal
information on new projects or research that the company is currently conducting
or even discuss emerging trends in the industry. You can begin this process by attending
career fairs & employer info sessions or conduct an information interview.
Consider using professional associations and boards of trade to help you with networking
(see the By Industry section above for details on finding them). Their websites
will provide industry information and descriptions of upcoming conferences or networking
events. Volunteering at these events can give you an opportunity to make contacts
with industry insiders.
Additional Sources of Company Information
There are many other libraries on campus that offer business resources, directories
and periodicals specific to your industry. Robarts Library and the Business
Information Centre at the Rotman School of Management are excellent starting points.
The Toronto Public Library system also offers a host of resources. Visit the Toronto Reference Library
or the North York Central Library for extended collections. Finally,
the Virtual Reference Library provides links to company directories
listed by industry or province as well as information on associations.