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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research After Graduation: Researching a Company

Preparing to graduate from the University? The Library can help you through this transition.

Example of a Private Company Search

Follow the steps to the right.

  • You will not find as much information in Hoover's Company Records.
  • You will find recent news publications from the Business ABI/Inform Complete search.


  • ABI/Inform is only available to University of Illinois affiliates.
  • Visit a public library to see if they subscribe to similar databases you can use to research a company.

Looking for Additional Resources?

Why Research?

Research employers before you send in your application and before you are called in for an interview.

  • Find out if you want to work with the company.
  • Employers like applicants who do their research.
  • An employer's website is a promotional piece--it might be incomplete or biased.

Example of a Public Company Search

If you're having trouble finding information on a company, or need additional help, visit the Business Information Services Library (BIS). The Business Information Services Library specializes in helping students research potential employers.

ABI/Inform can be accessed from BIS'S homepage, on the left under 'Key Databases.'

Follow these steps to find an overview of a public company in Hoover's Company Records, a database withn ABI/Inform, and to find recent news publications about a public company from ABI/Inform Complete.

Step 1

  • Click on "Business databases" at the top of the screen.

shows where to click business databases

  • Then, scroll down to "Databases" under the "Search Options" section.  Click on the check mark by "Deselect all" to deselect all of the databases.  "Deselect all" will change to "Select all" after you click on the check mark.  Then, click on the box by "Hoover's Company Profiles" to select that database.

shows where to click Hoover's company profiles

  • Scroll to the top of the page and enter your company name into the first search box.  Then, click on "Search."

  • You will see a few results in Hoover's, this is because the records are updated so frequently. If you have more than one result, choose the most recent.  
  • At Hoover's you can see the company's contact information, an overview of the company, key numbers, key people, competitors, financials, and rankings.  To access this information, click on "Link to full text."

shows "link to full text" button

Return to the ABI/Inform search page by clicking on the ProQuest logo at the top of the page.

click on ProQuest to return to search page

Then, click on the "Searching 1 database" link at the top of the screen and click on the box next to "ABI/INFORM Complete."  This will select "ABI/INFORM Global" as well.  Scroll down and remove the check mark from "Hoover's Company Profiles." Click, the "Use selected databases" button at the bottom left of the window.

shows how to select databases

Click on "Advanced Search" to return to the advanced search screen.

advanced search screen

Step 2

  • From this screen, you can search for business news, press releases, scholarly journals and reports for your company.
  • Type your company name into the search box.
  • Also select "Company/organization--ORG" in the drop down menu to the right.

shows searching by "company/organization" limiter

  • Search.

Step 3

  • The results are organized by relevance.  To organize them so the most recent appear first, select "Publication Date (most recent first)" from the "Sort results by:" drop down menu on the right hand side.

how to select "publication data: most recent first"

  • Just below "Sort results by:" there is a "Narrow results by" section.  You can select the type of source you are interested in by clicking on one of the "Source type" facets.  Reading through these results will help you find recent information about that company, and help you prepare for an interview.