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Getting Executive Contact Info and a Basic Overview of a Company

In addition to LinkedIn and other networking resources, the library has databases with lists of company directories and key personnel available to you.

Better Use of Google and Other Search Engines

Persistence is a huge, huge part of specialized searching.  You need to go way past the first page.  You also need to know that specialized file types (PDF, PPT, XLS, etc.) can hide company secrets and strategies that they may not be aware are available to the public.

One of the biggest things to think about when taking a deep dive into Google is the quality of the sources that comes back.  How do you decide what's a reliable source and what's a rumor that needs confirmation? 

Here's a quick checklist of things to pay attention to as you're contemplating use of a source (if you're not sure of an answer, just open up a new tab, pop over to Google, and take a few seconds to see what you can find out):

  • Author’s expertise (does the author know what they are talking about? how do you know?)
  • Date published (check the date; prefer newer articles within the past 2-3 years)
  • Reason for publication (what's the author's goal with publishing this information?)
  • Whether information reported elsewhere (not a good sign when there's only one source)
  • Reputation of website (watch out for your Buzzfeeds, Onions, Upworthys, etc.  Also watch out for Joe Random Blogger on or a biased take from a reputable newspaper/online source)