When Aiming For The Most Prestigious Employers

Job hunting’s tough enough. If you’re targeting only top companies, expect extra demands.

When Aiming For The Most Prestigious Employers


You’re the elite of the elite. A top prospect most employers slobber over. You’re not looking to plunk your tush just anywhere. Only at the tiny fraction of companies atop their industry’s pyramid.

Emblazoning their name on your resume is the height of employment prestige. Friends will ooh and ahh. Waiters will seat you at the finest tables. 

Yep, life’s a peach when you’re perched among the leaders. Getting them to hire you isn’t a cinch, though. There are criteria they consider that lesser firms wouldn’t dare. 


First Some Myth-Busting About High-Status Employers

Esteemed companies stand like shining beacons from the outside. Dominating their markets. Attracting exceptional talent. 

Gaze closer and the guts might be grimier. Think they pay the uppermost salaries there? Maybe in middle and senior management. Juniors could be in for a letdown. Some premiere firms dole out less than inferior rivals. After all, they’re rewarding you with a mark of approval and peers that’ll open doors eternally.

Looking for unmatched ethical standards? Front-runner reputations aren’t built on quicksand, you tell yourself. Then as you sink into their mire, could be they’re just able to afford better lawyers and PR wizards.

One more bubble to burst: merit isn’t necessarily prized above all else. There’s still backstabbing, alliances of convenience, and strategic sucking up aplenty.


The Basics They Expect You To Bring

Having the highest grades or fanciest degrees might get you the first interview. Or not. These influential few have rigorous recruiting practices. Multiple rounds of gruelling interviews. In-depth vetting (got your credit score up to snuff and a who’s who of references?).

What they care about most is that you’re the real thing. Someone who’s performed extraordinarily at school and work. Is driven to achieve results. Shows initiative beyond the office via extracurriculars. Can quantify remarkable achievements.

A history of adapting to challenging roles, taking on stretch assignments, and investing in continual learning is more or less expected. Being willing to grind out long hours as needed isn’t optional.



Here’s where chaff gets parted from the wheat. See if you’re tier one material or merely chum for the real sharks.

Have you proven your leadership beyond doubt? In post-secondary activities. In your personal life. As a volunteer, trip leader, micro-business starter, whatever. Management skills can be taught. Natural leadership, not.

Do you make strategic choices? Hoity-toity employers want focused staff who haven’t made crappy decisions. Or recover like an agile gymnast. Be ready to express that everything you’ve done since birth was deliberate.

Are you relentlessly competitive? Snatching victory from defeat’s jaws is your raison d ‘être. Show how you’d sooner fall on your sword than lose. Winners hire winners, not whiners.

Does your family name carry weight? We know, blech. While not an essential, marquee companies trip over themselves for impressive heritage. So try hard to be born into stellar parentage!