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Jobs that ask for 'Big 4' experience

 
#1 Jobs that ask for 'Big 4' experience
16/04/2007 12:59

A. Candidate

It seems to me that a lot of employers and recruiters are asking for 'big 4' experience or a few years spent at a 'global full service firm' as part of their selection criteria.

Now, if a candidate is highly skilled and experienced, but works for a small or unknown firm (even possibly learning much more than if he/she was a 'small cog in a big machine'), how can he/she overcome this disadvantage?

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#2 RE: Jobs that ask for 'Big 4' experience
16/04/2007 13:25

anon to A. Candidate (#1)

u gotta sell urself, innit.

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#3 RE: Jobs that ask for 'Big 4' experience
16/04/2007 17:53

medley to A. Candidate (#1)

If you don't meet the requirements, perhaps it's not the right place for you and it's not worth squeezing your CV to try and fit it into the specification.

Sometimes these restrictions are arbitrary, but sometimes there's a really good reason why Big 4 experience is important to be successful in the job - reasons you may not fully understand until you have that experience.

Same goes for other job advert specifications.

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#4 RE: Jobs that ask for 'Big 4' experience
16/04/2007 18:10

A. Candidate to medley (#3)

Hi Medley,

If they really do need 'big 4' experience, then I agree it's not worth responding to the ads. However it seems that 'big 4 experience' is being used as a requirement by people who think it's the 'best' and somehow indicates a better calibre of candidate. It's almost like 'big 4' has somehow made its way onto a kind of 'default list of requirements to throw into a candidate specification'. Any thoughts?

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#5 RE: Jobs that ask for 'Big 4' experience
16/04/2007 20:50

big4 to A. Candidate (#4)

I understand it is frustrating and can be unfair. Why not beat them at their own game - join a Big4 (or a top10, eg. Grant Thornton, etc) get some experience and a name on your CV and then go where you want to go

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#6 RE: Jobs that ask for 'Big 4' experience
17/04/2007 01:38

medley to A. Candidate (#4)

Yes, in a lot of cases it has become a default without much thought behind why a "Big 4" rather than "respected professional services firm" background is needed. Other times, the job requires a certain workstyle and culture that is characteristic of the "Big 4" (i.e. it's shorthand for "professional, corporate attitude, structured worker, steady worker, used to playing politics without upsetting the applecart"). Other times, it's simply a matter of brand - the employer is only familiar with the Big 4 and wants candidates with a branded background they can trust and where they can be reasonably sure what they're going to get. Finally, there are the expectations of the employer's own clients - if they are traditional in their approach to consultants they consider credible, the employer may need a "Big 4" name on your CV before they can successfully sell you into projects.

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