How 'tough' in reality and practice is the US job market?

How easy or difficult is it to get into a firm such as The Boston Consulting Group in New York or Los Angeles who only hire the very creme de la creme? When looking for work in the major cities in the US, such as Downtown Manhattan, do most people have to be out all day with the Metrocard, pounding the pavements,... show more How easy or difficult is it to get into a firm such as The Boston Consulting Group in New York or Los Angeles who only hire the very creme de la creme?

When looking for work in the major cities in the US, such as Downtown Manhattan, do most people have to be out all day with the Metrocard, pounding the pavements, riding the subway and calling in to reception with their CV (resumes) and receiving many many rejection emails and letters in return?

What does it really take to 'crack it' and penetrate into a key firm and good role in either the Big Apple or Downtown Los Angeles, such as a Marketing & Communications Officer for American Express in the World Financial Centre, or HR Business Partner for Wells Fargo Bank?

Do American employers also want a direct experience match to the vacancy person specification (you need to tick all the boxes on the essential and desirable criteria) or can they be generous that if you show interest, enthusiasm and determination, they will give you a chance, take you on and train you up into a role?
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