Building a target list of potential employers is a crucial element of any job search. It can serve as a blueprint that will help you shift from self-assessment and internal reflection to actually obtaining a position in an organization that you are truly passionate about. Instead of merely relying on the advertised job market, creating a target list allows you to be proactive and focused on industries and functions that interest and excite you.

Custom target lists

Baker librarians can assist you in creating a custom target list of employers based on your needs. Using resources like Capital IQ, these lists can be created for you by Baker library based on your geographic preference, industry of interest, and even include companies that currently employ other HBS alumni. If you are particularly interested in working in the venture capital or private equity sector, Baker library can assist you by creating a list of fund managers using Preqin. Email Baker library or use the Ask Us page to connect via chat or Zoom.

You can also build your own list using D&B Hoovers, available via eBaker. By using the Search & Build a List function in Hoovers you can seamlessly screen for companies by a variety of filters, including location, industry, and size and then export it as a spreadsheet.

Use published lists

The abundance of ranking articles that you stumble upon on the Web is overwhelming. Whether it’s the “Best Companies to Work For” or “The Fastest Growing Private Companies,” keeping track of these lists can be cumbersome. Using The American City Business Journals, you can find hundreds of published and carefully analyzed lists for over 40 major metropolitan areas in the United States.

Identify companies using news and article databases

If you are interested in less mature emerging industries and/or obscure early stage startups, use Nexis and ABI Proquest to find articles that keep you up-to-date on particular industries and companies. Article screening will help enhance your target list and build your knowledge of sectors that interest you and events and changes within companies.

Browse career sites

Sites such as 12Twenty (our recruiting platform), Indeed, and LinkedIn Jobs will help you identify companies which are hiring. Even if particular job postings are not a perfect fit for you, these sites are a great way to uncover hiring trends and to refine your target list.

A well-researched and thought-out target list will move you one step closer to landing the position that you have always wanted and is closely aligned with your career vision. As always, Baker librarians are ready to assist you in creating your target list. Contact Baker Library to make your customized career research request.