3 Things You Need To Getting Hired At The Big 4 Accounting Firms

By Tom Richardson

Having a career at one of the Big 4 Accounting firms is not an easy task to accomplish. You need to have the basic requirements out of the way, undergraduate degree, eligibility to sit for the CPA exam, etc. However, beyond the minimum requirements, what are the most important things you can do when looking for a job with one of these firms? I am going to tell you.

I have been helping students get hired at the Big 4 Accounting Firms for over 5 years. Each time I work with a candidate, they bring something unique to the table. However, I always tell them the same three things are needed if you want to work for the big 4. You must have a resume, prepared for interviews, and have a story.

The story is the most important piece of this process. Why have you have chosen this career? This may sound abstract, however it is not. The story you tell the recruiter affects your chances. They repeat the story to every partner in the firm. You must have a compelling reason for why you chose accounting and the big 4. If it is because your mothers owns her own CPA firm, or your cousin is a CFO, that can work. If you are a 1st generation accountant, you need to ask yourself: why did you choose this profession? Do you love the courses you have taken? Are you excited about learning about large companies? Whatever the reason, it needs to sound good as the recruiters will be repeating it.

The second is your resume. Many people believe the resume is the most important piece of the puzzle however, if your resume does not have a story it is doomed. Without a story, your resume will be an empty and meaningless piece of paper. The resume should not only include your educations, it should include you certification aspirations, community service commitment, work experience, and leadership experience. While each component of your resume is important, the best resumes are the ones that "look right". It is unfortunate however, most recruiters are looking for the right formatting more than anything. If you do not know what your resume is supposed to look like, you are already in trouble.

Finally, the preparation for the interview is the third most important piece when trying to obtain a job with the big 4 accounting firms. The story you have told and the resume you used to tell it should be enough to get you in the door. However, without thorough and dedication preparation for the interview, it is all for nothing. The questions people ask are almost always the same, and at Big 4 Guru, we have them all. Not to mention the questions you should be asking the interview, that is often the most important part.

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