Research is an important aspect of your job search. You'll want to start by developing a list of companies. Below are tips to help you get going:
1) Brainstorm all of your job targets. A job target consists of three components: a position or function; industry or company size; and geographic area. Here's a sample job target: Marketing Director for the medical device company in the Western suburbs of Minneapolis.
2) Conduct preliminary target investigation to see if it makes sense to mount a full job search campaign for each of your targets.
3) Rank your targets (with your favorite lst and so on) to decide which targets to go after lst, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
4) Measure your targets. Your goal should be to target 200 positions, not openings. Identify companies that have positions you are seeking. Estimate the number of positions each organization might have and add up all of the positions for the organizations or your target list.
5) Next segment your targets. If you're seeking work in the publishing industry, different segments could include, book publishing, magazine publishing, and publishing online. You could further segment magazine publishing into the kinds of magazines that interest you the most, e.g., sports, health, women's, men's, etc.
6) Divide each target into an A-list, B-list, C-list, etc. The A-list would include companies for which you would love to work; the B-list are okay, and the C-list aren't of any interest. Since you're not interested in working for companies on your C-list, practice reaching out to them first. This will allow you to get all of the kinks worked out before you move on to your B-list and then C-list.
The above is based on methodology of the Five O'Clock Club.