While you are organizing your job search and career planning, consider these companies which have been selected for inclusion based on their size (Large General Company Lists) or based on some criteria as “best employers” or “top companies” (“Best” or “Top” Companies Lists).
These employers may or may not be the best place for you to work, but the lists are good starting points and food for thought, hopefully introducing you to employers you had never considered before.
Lists of “Biggest” Companies
Inclusion in these lists is usually based on the size, typically measured in total annual sales.
- FORTUNE magazine’s 2011 Fortune 1000 is divided into 2 sections, 1 to 500 (also known as the Fortune 500), but the 2nd 500 has not been made available for free online in 2011. They do “have an app for that” but it’s not free. Here’s the 501 to 1000 for 2010. [For 2012, Job-Hunt's links to the Fortune 500 jobs & internships by rank and the by state.]
- FORTUNE magazine’s 2010 Global 500. These are the largest companies in the world, as measured by FORTUNE’s criteria. Also available by fastest-growing revenues and fastest-growing profits.
- Inc. magazine produces an annual list, called the Inc. 5000. These are not the 5000 largest companies in the US, but they are fast-growing small and medium-sized companies: the 2010 Inc. 5000 list.
- Forbes 2010 America’s Largest Private Companies ranked by size. “Private” means they are privately-owned, not offering publicly-traded shares of stock for sale.
- Forbes 2010 200 Best Small Companies list.
- Forbes magazine’s 2010 Forbes Global 2000 “are the biggest, most powerful listed companies in the world.” The list is sortable by rank, name, industry, country, and other criteria.
- InformationWeek’s 2009 InformationWeek 500 list, in alphabetical order and the first 250 by rank. No publicly available update for 2010, if it exists.
“Best” or “Top” Companies Lists
The big kahuna in these lists is FORTUNE magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Companies to Work for.” The Great Places to Work Institute pulls together the list for FORTUNE, and they have a searchable database of “great” employers that you may query by name, industry, location, year on list, and other criteria.
Caution: Bear in mind that these lists represent someone else’s definition of “best” or “top” and their criteria may be quite different from yours. Universum Group surveys students for their selection. On the other hand, Working Mother, CollegeGrad.com, and AARP have companies complete questionnaires which are then evaluated through some sort of presumably objective process.
For new grads & new MBA’s -
- Experience.com’s 2010 20 Best Places to Work for New Grads
- Universum Group’s 2010 100 Top American MBA Employers (survey of students)
Universum Group has lists for many countries you can find on their Website.
- FORTUNE 2010 100 Top MBA Employers
- CollegeGrad.com’s 2009 Top Entry Level Employers (410)
For women -
- National Association of Female Executives 2010 Top 50 Companies for Executive Women which includes a bonus list of the NAFE Top Non-Profit Companies on the same Web page
- Working Mother magazine’s 2010 list of Best Companies for Multicultural Women
- Working Mother magazine’s 2010 list of Best Green Companies
- LATINA Style magazine’s 2010 Top 50 Companies
- Working Mother magazine’s 2010 list of 100 Best Companies
- Working Mother magazine’s 2009 list of 50 Best Law Firms for Women
If you are over 50 -
If you want to work for Uncle Sam, BestPlacestoWork.org publishes an annual list of the 100 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government (USA).
Canada’s lists -
- 2011 Canada’s Top 100 Employers by Canada’s Top 100, which also has many other top Canadian employers lists (e.g. province, green, etc.)
- Branham Group’s 2011 Top 300 Canadian Technology Companies plus other lists of top Canadian companies (e.g. software, consulting, wireless, etc.)
Other “best” lists:
- Human Rights Campaign’s 2010 list of 305 Best Places to Work for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered employees
- Deloitte 2010 Technology Fast 500 companies
- Industry Week 2010 IW 1000 list of the world’s 1000 largest publicly-held manufacturing companies, sortable by country
In addition, almost every metropolitan area in the U.S. has a ”Best employers in …” list published either by a local news organization (newspaper, business newspaper, TV, etc.) . To find them, try Googling “best employers” (in the double quotation marks) +your location. For example, if you wanted to find the best employers in Iowa, you would search with this search – “best employers” +Iowa – and you would see relevant results (hopefully).
These are starting points, but the real value is that they may open your eyes to new possibilities. Take a thoughtful tour of those lists, and put together your own “best” employers list. Then target those employers for your job search. You may be much happier working for one of them, which could mean a longer time until your next job search.
[Note: Links updated for 2011 on June 19, 2011]
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg.