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    Effective Research?

    February 24, 2004

    It's hard to do too much research about your target companies. After you've identified a list of companies that interest you, look for associations that have news about that company, industry trends (and pay scales for Jobs in that industry), job listings, conference schedules, networking events, and prospective employers. The American Society of Association Professionals has a list of online associations. Or check out, which has an extensive list of professional associations from Yahoo. Both are good starting points for your industry research.

    Once you've narrowed your search down to a particular field, look for what companies are doing business in that field. Whether you use the Internet or not, don't forget to use the Yellow Pages. There are several Yellow Pages sites on the Web that have nationwide listings BigYellow, BigBook, GTE Superpages, and American Yellow Pages, for example. Regional Yellow Pages are also out there.

    For local listings, use the phone book and local Yellow Pages. The Internet is especially good for non-local, out of state listings, which your phone book doesn't cover. When using these directories, begin your search by casting a wide net, then eliminate geographic areas that are not feasible for you. If your searches are too restricted, try leaving the business name blank. As always, don't be afraid to vary your searches little by little to see what happens.

    Many avenues on the Net are dead ends, and others lead you in time consuming, frustrating, and circuitous directions. The more specific you can be about what you are looking for will directly the outcome and time required to find pertinent data. Your findings will reflect the quality of your research.

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