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The Best Companies to Work For: A Guide

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If you’ve got to work (and most of us do), why not work for one of the best companies? Your job search plan (see Job Search Planning) should include a list of companies where you would like to work. The “list of lists” later in this article should help you select the best choice for you.

“Best” can be defined in so many ways, so it helps to make a list of what is most important to you.

There is much to consider, such as your industry and where you are located.  Company career sites are a powerful source of job openings (what’s better than going right to the source?). Almost every job that recruiters are trying to fill is either sitting with other recruiters or is listed on an internal company career site.

Best Companies to Work for Sources

I’m sure you’re familiar with many of the “Best Companies to Work for” lists.  All of these lists are well-researched and include their criteria. Take a look at these lists (they will help you make your list). There are quite a few lists, but a few of the more popular lists are:

Making Your “Best Companies” List

Looking at the lists highlighted above, there are hundreds of companies that are rated “best” for one reason or another. But what you need to do is to make your list of the best companies based on your criteria. So, in addition to the lists above, where else to look?

  • Do your homework – (see 9 Reasons Why I Won’t Hire You). Spend time researching companies that are in your industry or your field and make a list of target companies.
  • Leverage your social networks – (see Leveraging Social Media in Your Job Search)
  • Use well-known online has a great company research section.  Also, take a look at Hoover’s, and don’t forget
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Sounds a little old-fashioned, but this is another great resource for finding local companies (visit their site).


Once you have your list, you need to have a plan for your next steps. How do you plan on getting interviews at companies on your list?

  • Find Your Contacts – Borrowing from the “leveraging your social networks” above, now is the time to use your LinkedIn list of connections.  Who on your list works at one of the companies on your list? Who do you know that is linked with someone from one of those companies?  Make your list of contacts.
  •  Review and update Your resume – You need to have a Killer resume and, no matter how great your resume is, it’s time to give it a full review.  Some resources you should consider:

Company Career Sites

Why not go directly to the source to search for work by using company websites? This is an effective job search method and allows you to focus on the company of your choice. Many company sites allow you to apply for all levels of positions online, from part-time hourly work to top management. Leveraging company career sites should be one of your main job-sourcing resources. See Lose the Resume, Land the Job.

What Else Do You Need?

job search list (check), contacts (check), resume (check).  What about interview preparation and questions?  You need to add this to your plan and understand the interview process. If you are confident in your interview skills, great.  If not, you should possibly consider personalized interview coaching

  • The Screening interview – Almost all screening interviews are telephone interviews. Don’t take this lightly.  Prepare for your telephone interview the same as you would for an in-person interview (see How to Ace your Telephone Interview).
  • Your in-person interview – The first thing to be aware of is that often it’s not your lack of ability that leads you to defeat in your interview – it’s your nerves and mindset in how you approach the interview. So let’s look at some friendly advice on shifting your paradigm to tackle your tense state.
    • There are many more opportunities out there. Don’t interview as if you are desperate.
    • Research your interviewers, and learn as much as you can about them.  See if any of your friends know the interviewer.
    • The most important question to answer (even if it’s not asked) is – “Why do you want to work here?”
Looking for an amazing workplace? Our guide on the best companies to work for highlights top employers, outstanding benefits, and unique cultures. Find where you belong and thrive in your career! #CareerGoals #TopCompaniesClick To Tweet

Job Search Gear

Just like any other challenge, you also need the right “gear” for a successful job search. You should know that a successful job search doesn’t necessarily start with a search starts with the right planning and is supported by the right job search “gear”.

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