Using Directories to Get Information on Jobs

Numerous business directories provide much information about specific businesses, industries, organizations and governmental agencies. Good places to begin looking are Klein's Guide to American Directories, which tells you where you might locate information in different published directories; the Encyclopedia of Associations, which lists the major incorporated national-level (and some state-level) business, trade and nonprofit associations, along with the addresses and the names of officers; Marlow and Thomas's The Directory of Directories, which lists 9,600 plus business and industrial directories, business rosters, data bases, and other lists and guides under 16 broad subject categories; Constance Winchell's Guide to Reference Books, American Library Association, which lists every conceivable reference source and often provides leads to information in unlikely places; and The Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources, which includes a wide variety of useful information, and divides information by industry and type of business.

Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives is a three-volume annual, kept up to date during the year with three supplements. Employers are listed alphabetically, numerically (by Standard Industrial Classification [SIC] code), and geographically. The listing for each includes brief information about the corporation, its chief business, telephone number, number of employees, names of board members and major executives. The listings in Standard and Poor's Register are very large incorporated businesses. For that reason, very large private businesses are not listed, nor are smaller corporations who don't meet the size requirements of the register. The headquarters address may be the only one given, and the locations of the individual executives are generally not noted. However, for major corporations, it's a fine source of relatively current information. Standard and Poor's also publishes other information (for example, Standard and Poor's Stock Reports), but these are less widely available.

Moody's Industrial Manual lists large industrial (manufacturing) companies whose securities are traded. Employers are listed alphabetically, along with a description of their location, line of business, size and officers. If you're interested in a position in the industrial sector, this book would be a better source for you than Standard and Poor's Register.

Standard Directory of Advertisers: Classified Edition. Describes companies that allocate at least $75,000 annually for national or regional advertising. Discusses media uses, names of key advertising, marketing and sales executives. Companies are arranged by broad industry categories. Includes "Trade Name Index," a list of brand names and companies that own them.

Moody's Public Utility Manual, Moody's Transportation Manual, Moody's Bank and Finance Manual, and Moody's Municipal and Government Manual contain information for other sectors similar to that in Moody's Industrial Manual.

The Thomas Register of American Manufacturers provides about the same information that's in Moody's Industrial Manual, except that in its 12 volumes, it covers nearly every product and product line and nearly all U.S. companies engaged in manufacturing, not just those traded on the stock exchange. Either directory will be of value to you, and you might want to consult both.

Dun and Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory and Middle Market Directory provide information on smaller companies. Companies are listed alphabetically, numerically (by SIC code), geographically and by product classification. Indicated are the company's location, telephone number, line of business, sales, total employment and the names of executives.

Dun also produces a number of other useful business information sources. Dun's Business Identification Services is a microfiche collection of the names and addresses of all the companies for which Dun and Bradstreet has credit reports, and lists names, addresses and officers for more than one third of all U.S. business enterprises. Dun's Business Rankings presents the top 7,500 public and private U.S. companies, ranked by number of employees and sales volume. The Career Guide, an annual, provides an overview of numerous major businesses, discusses employment opportunities, gives a list of disciplines hired, the address(es) and name or title of person to contact. Excellent resource.

Fortune's Plant and Product Directory will give you national information on who makes what and where if your experience and interest is with a specific product or product line. Fortune also publishes an annual Fortune Directory of US. Corporations, which contains the information from Fortune's annual Fortune 500, plus additional information.

A number of states publish directories on the businesses they've licensed for operation. For instance, the New Jersey Industrial Directory lists by county the businesses and industries doing more than a million dollars worth of business in the state. Information includes business location, name of the officer in charge, headquarters office address and top executive, number of employees at the site, preceding year's sales, and general type of service or products.

Membership rosters for various trade and manufacturing organizations State Education Directories (published yearly or every other year). These list school districts and schools, members of the board of education, the superintendent of schools and various supervisory personnel. Useful for people considering education as a second career, as well as for professional educators. Many of these membership rosters can also be accessed through the various data bases, and are listed in the Directory of Directories discussed earlier.

Phonefiche. A microfiche collection of the white and yellow pages of the telephone directories for many U.S. cities and towns. Libraries may have this resource if they do not have paper telephone directories.

Many libraries today are equipped to do computer searches on a variety of public and business data bases such as GEnie, CompuServ, DIALOG, BRS, ORBIT, NEXIS, Dow Jones News/Retrieval, NewsNet, and others (libraries appear to be somewhat partial to DIALOG and NEXIS, although many subscribe to other services as well or instead). If you have a home computer with a modem, you can subscribe to one of the services (CompuServ is the least expensive of the major services at the time this book is being written, although that can change quickly), and use it to obtain the information you desire. The biggest advantage of on-line data base services is their availability. They provide information that even the biggest libraries may not have in their collection, they provide more information than is available in the print version of their data bases and, more importantly, the search process usually takes just a few minutes.