September 15, 2019

Recruiting Season: When an Accounting Firm Has Multiple Openings, Be a Decider

Is your career stuck in neutral? Looking for a way to convince your boss that Fantasy Football strategizing is legitimate billable hours? Need ideas for accounting-themed names for your two Pomeranian puppies? Email us your questions.

Hi Colin,
 
I'm going through campus recruiting as we speak and was curious what your opinion was on applying for two positions with a Big 4 firm?
 
For example, KPMG (a large regional firm in my city) may be hiring for Audit and Advisory services. Does it make me look undecided if I apply to both? I am truly interested in Audit and am therefore leaning towards not applying for the Advisory opening if it kills my chance at Audit at the same time.
 
Any advice, meaningful or otherwise?
 
Sincerely,
 
A Bird in the Bush is Worth Two in the Hand
Dear Hunter,
 
Truly interested in audit? Are you feeling well? I know it's allergy season, so maybe you're overdoing the Claritin. 
 
Here's the deal – you will have to pick one and the best thing you can do is choose the area that it is best suited to your background and will give you the best chance at getting a job. If you're a run-of-the-mill accounting grad that is going to sit for the CPA exam, then go for audit. If you have some economics, finance, accounting, MIS combo, then maybe go for an advisory slot.
 
The reason you shouldn't apply for both is just as you suspected, the firm will see you as undecided and they want people, believe or not, who are decisive. It will also look like you're hedging your bets and not only is that tacky, it may appear that you don't have the confidence (or maybe the skills) to make the final cut. 
 
Pick one practice and make an honest run at it. There's nothing worse than hearing an over-eager candidate say, "I'm interested in everything!" Good luck.

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