I receive emails every day from Big 4 Hopefuls such as yourself. One of the main questions I get, is "Big 4 Guru, how can I stand out?" For those of you who want to know what you can do, here you go!

1) Be Different.

While that sounds like a vague request, I'm serious. The Big 4 receive thousands upon thousands of applications every year and yes, a lot of them have great GPA's. You need something unique about yourself Maybe it's leading community service, winning a speech competition, or having a part time job/internship while in school. The more things you can add on while keep your GPA up, the better. That being said, if you have a low GPA, don't fear, we can still get you in!

 

2) Have a Smoken Elevator Pitch

Your career with the Big 4 can disappear because of one wrong sentence, or one simple mistake. It would be a shame for that to happen right when you meet someone.  Joining the Big 4 is one of the most challenging experiences you will go through in your life, and the elevator pitch is KEY.

While your experience getting hired with the Big 4 will take a number of months, contain numerous meetings, interviews, happy hours, and social, it may all end before it begins. If you aren't prepared for the first few seconds of every interaction (typically when the elevator pitch occurs), you will most likely end your chances right away before you've even begun

3) Have unique questions to ask recruiters

While I have written countless articles and books that show the questions that are great for interviews, they don't just work in interviews. Whenever you interact with professionals, you need to show them that you care, show them that you're interested in what they have to say. Asking tons of questions and following up with even more questions can help you build the rapport you need to create a great relationship with any recruiter/professional, and convert them into your cheerleader.

Those are my TOP 3 tips for standing out through the BIg 4 Hiring process. Get ready, it's brutal and it's only just begun! But let me tell you, you're in for a life-changing ride!

B4G

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AuthorAndrew Argue

While there are a tremendous number of benefits to working in Big 4 Accounting Firms, however, I will say, you get scared. I can identify with every single on of the fears in this video. If you're looking for work for the Big 4 accounting firms, see what you're in for!

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AuthorAndrew Argue

While you may think this is a time to relax, and it is, it's also a time to reflect. As 2013 comes to a close, I want you to think about what your goals are for 2014. Are you trying to get hired by the Big 4 Accounting Firms? Are you looking for an internship, summer leadership, or full time job? Do you have plans to pass the CPA exam?

Whatever it may be, now is the time to think.

What is going to set you apart from the competition? There are hundreds and thousands of Big 4 hopefuls, what do you have that's different. Early in 2014, there is typically a career fair. Have you had your resume scrubbed to make sure it plays up your skills? To ensure there are no grammar issues?

What about your elevator pitch? Have you practiced it? Are you read to go to the Big 4 accounting firms at the career fair and knock their socks off? You may only have one shot, and they look at a hundred or more students in a day.

The point is, you can't just assume it's all going to work out, because it's not. People only achieve there goals with purpose, preparation, passion, and hard work. Then, maybe you get a seat at the table. In my 5+ years of coaching students and professionals, I can tell you, there are no shortcuts, you need to be ready.

Reach out to me at thebig4guru@gmail.com.

B4G

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AuthorAndrew Argue

Being part of the Big 4 is not easy, and the journey isn't short. You're probably excited about your future, may just bought my "Book of Secrets" and can't wait until the day you receive that offer letter in the mail, "Congratulations! We're offering you an internship at Deloitte! (or other firm name)".

But it's my job to be honest with you. This road is a long one and from the day you first learn about the Big 4 to the day you receive that full time offer, could be years. I want to tell you a little bit about determination.

When I was in University, very few schools recruited from my school and I wanted to work at PwC. Nobody in my entire University or alumni (that I knew or anyone knew in Beta Alpha Psi) have ever worked there. So I made it my goal to reach out to them. I called the PwC office and asked to speak to the recruiter, I told her we'd been doing some incredible things at my University and I'd like to take her to lunch to discuss them. Long story short, she started recruiting our students and I went on to be the first summer leadership attendee, intern, and full time hire from my University at the firm. 

I don't care what your adversity is, you need to overcome it. Here are are some thing you can do that are outside the box to get in touch wit the Big 4:

*Note: every situation is different and use of all of these at once could hurt your chances. Contact me personally for advice.

  • Going to the office in a suit and dropping off a resume
  • Sneaking into a career fair at a larger school
  • Attending business/community events you know the firm attends
  • Joining a charity they support
  • Call the firm recruiter and requesting an office visit
  • Sending your cover letter and resume to other office saying your moving, and request an office visit (even if you're not moving but would if you received the job)

You must be willing to "do things differently" and think outside the box. Every situation is different and I look forward to hearing each of your situations and giving my input!

Thanks!

B4G

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AuthorAndrew Argue

Earlier this year, we announced a very special program for 2014, Big 4 Guru Academy. I have been getting the request for years now to launch a course that will last for a month or two and take students step-by-step through the hiring process. We will have webinars, individual meetings, resume reviews and more all with one goal in mind, getting these students hired by the Big 4!

The full details of the package are here and we are limited to 10 spots so the first ones to apply, once approved will be in the Academy! We offer a full 100% guarantee that you will be hired or your tuition is reimbursed.

If you have any further questions about the academy, send me an email, or sign-up here!

Thank you again for all your support!

B4G

 

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AuthorAndrew Argue

A common question I receive from my coachees is, “Big 4 Guru, I’ve been through the recruiting process multiple times and for x reason (often GPA, social skills, interview skills, or not a great resume), I was never able to obtain a big 4 accounting firm internship, or full time position. I have over the years seen some incredible candidates, and some have done some incredible things. In my book, 5 SECRETS, I talk about the top 5 ways people have gone above and beyond the “normal recruiting process” to land a job with the big 4 accounting firms.

I was reflecting on these incredible candidates today, and remembered two scenarios where people were hired for a totally off the wall reason.

(A) Looking at other countries - One of the most underutilized tactics is applying to other countries. Throughout my years as the Big 4 Guru, I have counseled numerous people based on their situations to apply for jobs in other countries. 

Most people don’t realize that most other countries are just like the one you live in. Yes, there are cultural differences, but there are often more similarities than you think. Here are the steps to take to apply in other countries:

  • Target countries you want to live in
  • Determine which firms in the country you want to work for
  • Call the company (use Skype as its cheap) and asked for the email of the recruiter (if possible find the name on the website or LinkedIn)
  • If you need to, say you are a professor from a surrounding University
  • Then, refer to the steps in the previous secret regarding sending your cover letter and resume, and following up with phone calls.

This is another scenario where the numbers can work in your favor. If you find enough offices, you will receive a position. When they ask you why you’re apply to the country, you need a good reason. If you’ve ever been there, that’s a plus. Otherwise tie it into some lifelong dream of living in Italy and see what happens. Tell them you would appreciate the opportunity to perform an interview over Skype to see if they interested in you as a candidate.

Not only that, you get to brag to any of your “traditional friends” that your now living in another country.

(B) Resume and Cover Letter trick - Nothing in life that’s worth something, is ever easy. And while this isn’t the easiiest way to get a position, it’s certainly the most effective. Here are the steps:

  •  Prepare a Resume
  • Prepare a Cover Letter
  • Prepare a listing of 20+ companies you want to work at (including multiple office for each Big 4 firm)
  • Send and individualized cover letter and resume to each firm contact
  • Include the contacts name, address, email, and phone number (or all that you have) in each cover letter
  • Tell them in the email that you will call them on X date and time
  • Then call them and follow up with an email

The trick on this is in the numbers. The secret resource I am going to share with you isn’t known by any students. Each states CPA society has a listing of each CPA firm by county, and the contact information and website. For example, if you go to ficpa.org, you’ll find a tab “for the public” then click on “find a cpa”.

You can use this to build your contact list and prepare to send the emails. The most important piece however is the polished resume and cover letter. If you’re interested in have those edited, email me at thebig4guru@gmail.com.

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AuthorAndrew Argue