While we’ve profiled this site once or twice in the past, and have included it for years on the list of “recommended research sources” outlined in our formal job hunting paraphernalia, Jigsaw has recently added a new “company search” feature that bears mentioning in this newsletter — since it allows job hunters to conduct a barrage of useful target company research without paying fees to the site!

At its core, in fact, Jigsaw isn’t actually designed as a company research tool.  It’s designed to be a way that professional salespeople (as well as the occasional recruiter or job hunter) can turn up hard-to-find contact names and e-mail addresses within various organizations.  It does this — brace yourself — by allowing people to trade contacts from their own e-mail boxes in exchange for these new names, so if you’ve ever wondered how some pesky people have tracked down your personal e-mail address, sites like Jigsaw are often the culprit and somebody has “sold you out” to obtain some new contacts of their own!  The site doesn’t really highlight this privacy issue, of course, and also sells access to their data for a monthly membership fee — but it’s still good to know what’s really going on behind the scenes!

This issue aside, however, the Jigsaw site now offers a very effective way to track down some great company names, even if you don’t actually purchase (or trade for) any contacts.  If you simply visit the site and click on the Find Contacts, Find Companies, Advanced Search Options links, you’ll be taken to a menu screen that lets you search for organizations using various criteria such as size, location, industry, employee number, revenues, and ownership type.  Plug in some of your ideal parameters and voila, suddenly you have a pretty darn accurate list of the matching employers in your target field!  From there, you’re just a Google search away from tracking the company’s full information down…

After running a number of tests on the site, we’re convinced that it’s one of the most powerful tools out there for helping job seekers generate new company prospects and possibilities to add to their radar screen — so if you’re in transition, and looking for some fresh targets of opportunity, give it a whirl!