There are lots of good resources for job seekers, but there are few as useful as industry specific directories.  For almost any professional endeavor these publications reveal vast amounts of useful information for job seekers and others already working in those fields.  Most industry specific directories are published at least annually, and some are updated periodically online at regular intervals.
In addition to basic information like company names and addresses, you will often find contact names of department managers, the business owners and the corporate hierarchy.  Of course you’ll find phone numbers and email addresses, as well as details about specialties, products and services.
The real value of these directories isn’t just the contact info, but the background details on what the companies do so applicants can apply for work where their skills will be most applicable and they can feel most appreciated for their relevant experience.   Understanding where your skills can best be put to use can make for a more fulfilling and engaging employment situation.
Some of this information is available online, but if you want to get your hands on an actual physical directory, you may need to either buy one, or contact your local public library to see if they have a copy.   If your local or regional library has a business resources or job search department, they might have an assortment of directories.  Give them a call to see if they have the directories most closely associated with your field.  If you’re really lucky, there may be more than one directory for your industry, giving you the opportunity to uncover that much more info related to your job search.
You many discover that some directories have moved entirely online.  If that’s the case, you may have to register to use them or buy a subscription to access the deeper recesses of their data and contents.  However, your library may already have subscriptions to the directories, so ask if they can perform a search for you.
Directories are typically organized by a number of categories, including geographic location.  Start your search in a particular State, then identify companies within a particular region or county, then target companies within your industry of interest in the closest areas to where you want to work.
A cursory search of the term “industry specific directories” in Google netted this list from the New York Public Library.  A wide array of industries are represented in this incomplete list, but you should be able to find at least one directory in each of these professional categories.

  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Aerospace
  • Air Lines
  • Apparel
  • Architecture
  • Armed Forces
  • Audio/Video
  • Automotive
  • Banking
  • Beverages
  • Biotechnology
  • Broadcasting
  • Brokers
  • Building
  • Careers
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemicals
  • Clothing
  • Computers
  • Construction
  • Consulting
  • Cosmetics
  • Education
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Export
  • Fashion
  • Film/TV/Radio/Theater
  • Financial
  • Financial Aid
  • Food
  • Foundations/Non-Profit Organizations
  • Franchise
  • Furniture
  • Gasoline
  • Government
  • Graphic Arts
  • Green Products/organics
  • Hardware
  • Health/Health Care
  • Horticulture
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • House Furnishings
  • Human Resources
  • Import
  • Information Management
  • Insurance
  • Internet
  • Internships
  • Investments
  • Iron
  • Lab Supplies
  • Labor
  • Lasers
  • Law
  • Leasing
  • Leather
  • Licensing
  • Loan
  • Lumber
  • Mail Order
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Medical Supplies
  • Medicine/Drug/
  • Physicians
  • Metals
  • Minerals
  • Mining
  • Modeling/Advertising
  • Music
  • Nuclear Industry
  • Office Equipment
  • Oil
  • Optics
  • Outsourcing
  • Paper
  • Pensions
  • Petrochemicals
  • Petroleum
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Photography
  • Plastics
  • Produce
  • Public Affairs
  • Public Relations
  • Publishing
  • Pulp
  • Real Estate
  • Recycling
  • Restaurants
  • Retail Stores
  • Rubber
  • Scholarships
  • Securities
  • Security
  • Shipping
  • Shoes
  • Small Biz Investment
  • Software
  • Sports
  • Steel
  • Telecommunications
  • Textiles
  • Tobacco
  • Trade Shows
  • Transportation
  • Travel
  • Utilities
  • Venture Capital
  • Warehouse/Distribution/Storage
  • Wholesalers/Export/Import
  • Wood

Keep in mind that using industry directories to source companies and personnel for job solicitation is not an uncommon practice, and they have been used by job seekers for a long time.  In some fields the directories are the primary resource for ID’ing companies to target and finding the names of potential contacts.  As a result, it is important that you are able to distinguish yourself from other applicants.
Before contacting anyone, learn as much as you can about the particular businesses you want to target, about their products and services, and their leadership personnel.  Then figure out a way to emphasize the how and why you believe you and your strengths are a match to the target company’s needs. Create tight PAR (P(roblem) A(ction) R(esult)) statements extolling your professional attributes and experience.  Use language that you can easily verbalize in relevant conversation, as well as plug into resumes and cover letters to convey the value you’ll bring.
Whether you access industry specific directories at a public library, a bookstore, via the internet or from your smart phone doesn’t matter.  These resources can point you in the right direction of potential employment situations where you will feel like you can make an important contribution.  Having positive feelings about where you apply makes you a more attractive candidate and a more engaged employee.  And that’s what the employer really wants.
For more ideas about finding good job leads and other job search and career development topics, please search this blog and visit:  hanklondon.com

By Hank

Leave a Reply