July 21, 2018

Job searches

Can Someone Help This Guy Know What It Feels Like To Be Wanted?

I am pretty sure some of you have some sage advice for this poor lost little sheep who can’t seem to elbow his way into the Big 4.

I have a question. I go to a small college where I am an accounting major. I hold a high GPA, several internships, involved in campus activity and in the community and a member of a fraternity. I understand that your resume is not going to get you an interview with one of the big 4. However, since I do not attend a school that the big 4 recruit from I am not able to gain any face time. I cannot get the time of day from any recruiter because I am not in their “pipleline” and I am always told that they willl keep it for consideration come time to recruit in the fall. I have networked like crazy through alumni of my school, my fraternity, my friends, my church, and my community. I am always referred to the recruiter and then I am always told that I will be considered. If you can shed any advice on how to obtain an interview from the big 4 that does not recruit your school I would appreciate it. I am I just out of luck and should of went to a bigger university?

Ahem. “Should have gone to a bigger university” for starters. This particular OP also attached a resume which I obviously won’t share and didn’t even open. I didn’t need to. And I’m a no-CPA-having, pissed off blogger, imagine what Big 4 recruiters would think reading a submission like the one above.

When you say you’ve “networked,” what exactly does that mean? “Networking” with your fraternity usually doesn’t have anything to do with work, and unless you are a member of the St H&R Block congregation, I’m unclear as to how your church is helping you get in at the Big 4. It’s good that you are making the rounds to get advice and support on this but the best thing you can do is evaluate your own way of approaching this because something obviously isn’t working.

In any correspondence with the firm, double-check this list to make sure you aren’t making any of these. I wouldn’t dare say working at the Big 4 is like rocket science or that you need to write a perfectly-worded dissertation to get in but maybe your fraternity experience is better expressed in person than written. You’d probably do great at a recruiting event if you had the opportunity to go to one.

There is a back door you can take by attending other professional events to see if you can meet someone who knows someone that likes your __________ (knowledge; ability to be molded into whatever they need; desire to please people whose job it is to bullshit you into one more busy season) and get you in. I don’t think writing to these people is going to help you.

In short, your fast track to the “pipeline” is to make yourself marketable and desirable to these bloodthirsty sharks. Slit your wrists in the water if you have to knowwhatI’msayin.

In a followup email to the OP, I asked “How are you approaching these recruiters? ‘Hey I kinda want a job with you guys’ or ‘I have x to offer and will take y assrape in exchange for it’ ?”

“I am pretty assertive so I am probably approaching it the second way you mentioned it. I am not sure if I would want to stay forever but, I want the name on my resume and I am willing to put in the time while I am young and single,” he wrote. I’d have to see his communications with recruiters or HR shlubs to confirm if he is being explicit about the level of assrape he’s willing to endure and for how long.

They can smell it, you know.

Doing It Right: Not Acting Like an Ass on the Internet

We’ve given you plenty of tips on how not to be an ass on the Internet (sometimes causing you to get pissy with the messenger for calling you out) and also plenty of examples of those who do it wrong (some really, really wrong). So it was thrilling to see the AICPA’s This Way to CPA site take on bad behavior for job-seekers with some of the same tips we’ve been throwing out there all along in Remember your dignity (please). We were especially into this one about acting like an unrefined dolt:

THE BIGGEST DON’T OF ALL

Blab stuff online you can’t take back. It happens. From the typical drunk pic on the Facebook page to the more serious crimes like tweeting the salary you just got offered (especially smooth when the people who already work there see it and instantly pity/hate you), social media blunders are as common as they are hilarious. You heard about the girl who slammed her boss in a status update, then was reminded – by him – that she’d friended him already, right?

Social Media Manager Angela Connor has a simple suggestion to protect yourself against this kind of public blunder. “I don’t care what your privacy settings say; don’t assume anything is private.” This is, of course, the Internet we’re talking about. It’s just too easy for incriminating pictures, swear-packed rants and outright whining about your current job to slip out and become public knowledge.

Surely they aren’t referring to the sort of swear-packed rants that are a mainstay over at Jr Deputy Accountant because, well, let’s face it, that potty mouth nailed me this sweet Going Concern gig.

But if I were to go job hunting tomorrow, my big fat angry mouth would be all over the place ripping on Federal Reserve presidents and verbally bitch-slapping ne’er-do-well Congressmen and most employers aren’t so into that sort of behavior. So let this be yet one more reminder that in this day and age everything you do on the Internet can come back to bite you.

Like that Russian skin flick Caleb made in the early 00s. Google it.

Oh, and can someone please clarify “typical drunken pic on Facebook” for me? I’ve seen plenty of said drunken Facebook pics in my day and am not quite clear on what would qualify as “typical”. Anyone?

Three Things to Remember When Changing Accounting Careers

Happy Friday, folks. Hopefully with busy season ending soon, this marks the end of your work week. If not, well, keep reading. Maybe we can change that.

As I mentioned on Tuesday, you might be feeling the tides of change in the next few weeks in your office, whether that be with your personal career or with co-workers dressing better than usual.


It’s about the total package – Even in the glory days of post-SOX rulings and lush amounts of advisory services work, public accounting has never paid close to what the private sector provides. When looking for new positions, know that you should not be expecting to find 50%-100% salary increases. It can be expected to find base salary increases to fall into the 10-15% range. Why? Because honestly, the stories told over warms beers at your last work function were grossly overblown. Sure, the occasional rock star accountant makes the leap from newly christened manager to controller of a small fund and landing on a cushy financial pillow. The monetary difference between public and private (and I’m speaking of financial services) rests in the annual bonuses:

Senior Associate, Big 4: $70,000 salary + $5,000 bonus = $75,000

Fund Accountant, XYZ Hedge fund: $80,000 salary + $30,000 bonus = a no brainer

These numbers are general but realistic for today’s market. Keep these in mind as you reach for that red wax pencil.

Be realistic about your next job title – You’re an accountant. No, you can’t be a trader. No, front office is not for you (yet). You need to be honest with yourself and really scrutinize the experience you’re building in your current role. Working on a private equity fund-to-fund will not prep you enough to slip into a fund accounting role at the P/E firm of your choice. Mold your career experiences to fit what you want to do. The right recruiter will manage your expectations, which leads us to…

Start out with multiple recruiters – Finding the right recruiter is like finding a career counselor. Some will be pushy and force unwanted jobs on you. Others will take the time to polish your resume, help you realize the steps you need to take to work toward your ideal job, and only pass along relevant job opportunities. Consider a recruiter like this a blessing. And don’t forget to pass that person’s contact information on to your buddies. They helped you; return the favor.