Are you writing a cover letter or preparing for a job interview with a company? Here are some of the things you will want to know about the company:
Adapted from Andrea Kay's This Is How to Get Your Next Job. AMACOM, 2013.
The amount of company information available depends upon the type of company.
Use Getting Started to gather initial information and to find out if the company is:
There is a great deal of information available on companies which trade on the stock market - SEC filings, annual reports, analysts' reports, news stories, books and case studies.
Information on private companies is usually limited to brief information in directories, news stories, and sometimes books. See web sites on the Private, Subsidiary, Branch tab for options.
Subsidiaries and Local Branches.
Subsidiaries are companies that are owned by larger companies. Research the parent company, but also search as if a private companies looking for articles in local papers.
The amount of information on international companies varies. If the company trades on the U.S. exchanges it must file annual reports (20-F) with the SEC. Other information can be found in directories, databases, newspapers and magazines.
Finances and other general information can be found in Form 990 which nonprofits must file with the IRS annually. Many are posted on the web at Guidestar.org. Some information can also be found in newspaper and journal articles.
See Strategic Management Insights for a refresher on tools for analyzing companies - SWOT, PEST, VRIO, Value Chain, etc.