For a killer Big 4 resume, show accomplishments (not job descriptions)
Creating an eye-catching resume is one of the most important things you can do to help land an interview with a Big 4 firm.
There is no perfect way to write any one resume… but there if there is one thing you absolutely must do to create a Big 4 worthy resume, it’s being able to express accomplishments (instead of job descriptions).
Amateur resume writers list previous job duties , rather than transforming those duties into accomplishments.
No idea what I’m talking about? Let’s go through an example:
Let’s say, for example, you work part time in your campus call center, hitting up alumni for donations (a “glamorous” job that I once held).
Your job description might read something to the effect of:
“Contacting alumni, parents and friends of the University to raise money”
This is no good for a Big 4 resume…
Instead, we will start thinking of what your actual accomplishments were in that role, and how those accomplishments might apply to a Big 4 firms.
An accomplishment might read something like:
“Raised over $3,000 / week for University scholarships by prospecting for donations from alumni (top 5% of 200 employees)”
At first glance, this may not seem much better to you, and it is by no means perfect, but let’s break it down and see what I’m really saying to the recruiter in this bullet:
“Raised” – always start with an active verb (raised, analyzed, managed etc..). If you’re still involved in the job, just change to present tense (raise, analyze, manage).
“over $3,000 / week” – wherever you can, quantify… you’re applying for a job at an accounting firm.. they want to see that you are quantitatively focused. Also, this helps put your accomplishments into perspective
“for University scholarships” – show the impact of your accomplishments. It helps answer the “so what”. If you’re ever stuck trying to figure out this part of your bullet, just ask yourself “so that…?” and fill in the blank.
“by prospecting for donations from alumni” – how did you achieve this impact? You may also re-word this to include something like “through both in-person and over the phone networking” to show even more specifically how you achieved the impact.
“(top 5% of 200 employees)” – this puts even more context into your accomplishment. Without this, how would the recruiter know if $3,000 / week was good, or if you were the worst fundraiser in history? Other options here would be any achievements / awards / year end ratings etc…
This is just one example of how you should be framing your accomplishments on your resume. For more examples and tips for resumes, networking, interviewing, and much more, download the Big 4 Bound Blue Print for a comprehensive guide to landing a Big 4 job.