Tips | Company Research
Why Research a Company?
According to a recent Society of Human Resources survey, 87% of employers consider it important to tailor your resume and cover letter. Before applying for a position, you should develop an understanding of certain company facts: its products and services, organizational structure, market size and future plans. You can use the knowledge you’ve gathered to personalize your cover letters, resumes and to prepare for interviews. Begin your search by using the following resources.
1. UTM Career Centre Website Online Resources
Develop a list of companies by using the directories listed on the Career Centre website. Go to “Jobs”, then “Resources & Links”, and then scroll to Researching Organizations. You can also look at industry reports on the same website by going to Career Exploration and scroll down to industry reports.
Once you get an understanding of the market a particular company caters to and the industry in which it belongs, you can check out professional associations, labour market trends, and sector councils to learn more about the industry. Career Cruising, The Vault and GoinGlobal are resources you can access through the Career Learning Network, then click on resources.
2. UTM Career Centre Resource Library
The Career Centre library has an impressive list of books and binders that provide additional information on topics such as salaries, labour market information, and Canadian employers. To see our collection, you can visit us at the Davis Building, Room DV3094.
You can also view our collection by visiting the following:
This site lists the collection of books found in the Career Centre library.
You can borrow books from this site for a period of 14 days. To do so, go to the home page and follow the instructions.
The internet is also an excellent source to find companies that are of interest to you. Try some of the following sites:
Government of Canada: Search the Government Labour Market information site.
Search Engines: Search for businesses using your preferred search engine (e.g. Google).
Corporate Information: Provides information on companies worldwide, along with resources and links by country and industry.
Specialized online directories: the University of Toronto provides access for U of T students and staff to some useful online directories, via the Library’s E-References Sources. You can search for “directories” to bring up a list of specialized online directories for Canadian organizations like libraries, professional associations, environmental organizations, and publishers.
Research centers: To identify North American research centers, do an Extended Search by Organization through the Gale Ready Reference Shelf (through the E-References site listed above).
Canada’s Top 100 Employers: This guide rates businesses, associations, and educational institutions in terms of favorable working conditions and benefits.
Mississauga Business Directory: A directory of local companies and organizations.
Social Media: Most companies have social media accounts, LinkedIn, YouTube channels, Instagram, Twitter accounts, Facebook, and company blogs. Use these sources to find out more about the company culture, participate in online conversations and ask questions
LinkedIn is an excellent source for company research. For each business, you search you will get a short summary, and some company pages have a news section as well. Alternately, you can search for people who work for specific companies. You’ll get a list of current employees, new hires, and past employees, all people whom you can contact (if you are connected to them in your network) for an informational interview, a great way to gain an insider's perspective of the company. You can also see if the organization has U of T alumni on staff by using the alumni tool (on the University of Toronto LinkedIn page). For help on using LinkedIn for research and setting up your profile, you can attend the Career Centre’s LinkedIn Essentials workshop. Go to CLNx to see when the next LinkedIn workshop is offered.
5. Online Magazines, Newspaper Articles
Online periodicals and periodical indexes can help you locate recent articles on companies and industry trends.
Some key resources for company information are the CBCA (Canadian Business and Current Affairs) for Canadian publications, ProQuest which accesses a wide variety of publications, and Mergent Online for company profiles.
Some other major indexes are The Canadian Business Index, the American Business Periodical Index, and the Canadian News Index. Canada Newswire is a basic news-search site that is free to the public.
6. Public Libraries
The Central branch of the Mississauga Library System houses the Business Department, located on the 4th floor, which offers information in print, electronic, and CD-ROM form. Resources include corporate and financial publications; national, international, and local business directories; census information; corporate financial information; and the Mississauga and Toronto Business Directories (both on CD-ROM).
Toronto Reference Library
Business Department, 789 Yonge Street (*To gain access to directories and files, it is necessary to submit ID*) 416-393-7148
The Business Department, located on the 3rd floor, maintains files on companies. Also available are the Financial Post Investment Reports and the Ontario Securities Commission filings of annual reports for most companies listed with the Toronto Stock Exchange. The library also carries some international business directories such as Who Owns Whom. Periodical indexes are included in their collection as well.
If you need further help with your job search, you can book an appointment to meet with an Employment Strategist by calling the Career Centre at 905.828.5451
Please note that this information is subject to change. It is best to refer to the original sources for the most up-to-date information. Updated August 2021