Most people find this to be the hardest, most tedious and most challenging task when preparing for the recruiting season. I personally believe that whoever invests their time and effort in drafting a solid resume and cover letter, his/her application will stand out amongst the thousands that apply for a position at PwC.
What I strongly urge you to do and what I personally believe is most helpful and relevant is to get it reviewed by someone who already works at the firm. Your best option is to get it reviewed by someone who has recently and successfully gone through the recruiting process so they can share their insight of what worked/did not work for them on their resumes. You will be surprised to see the amount of new Associates at PwC willing to help you!
Tip # 2 – Chris Clark (previous CEO of PwC Canada) said it best, “there is no such thing as a wrong decision when it comes to deciding which firm to work for, but there is always the right one ... and that is PwC!”
I made sure I used the word “excited” at the beginning of this blog post solely because of the numerous options you have of firms that you can apply to. If you want to launch your career off at the “Big 4,” you have four of the very best firms in the world to work for (Businessweek released an article titled the “Best Places to Launch a Career.” Guess which four firms stole the top four spots in the rankings?)
What I highly recommend that you do before recruiting season begins is to spend time on the websites of different firms learning about them and getting a feel of their culture and what they have to offer as each firm is unique in their own way (obviously I think www.pwcbrilliantfutures.ca should be the website you spend the most time on)! This will not only ensure that you are more knowledgeable about the firm when it comes to the upcoming recruiting season, but it will also make you stand out of the crowd when you are thinking of things to talk about when networking with a representative at that respective firm.
Personally, researching topics such as the different lines of services and/or the rewards and recognition program in place at PwC really helped me have more meaningful and relevant conversations with PwC representatives during CA Night (“Recruiting Night”) at McMaster University. It added a lot more depth into my conversations, which in turn meant I was going to be more memorable to those representatives out of the hundreds they met that night (my next tip will add to your chances of being even more memorable).
To put it in a simple mathematical equation, [(being memorable to PwC reps) + (being able to showcase your knowledge/interest in PwC)] x [being yourself + being confident ] = Successful networking
It really is that simple!
Tip # 3 – Network and then network a little more. Networking + Keeping in Touch = Being Memorable!
Getting to know someone who works at the firm on a personal level before recruiting season begins can pay off greatly when it comes to landing a job at not only accounting firms, but any firm in any industry. There are numerous opportunities in and out of university to network with representatives from PwC.
From my experience at McMaster University, I know students have the opportunity to network with PwC representatives throughout the school year by attending conferences, case competitions or even by talking to the PwC “Campus Ambassadors.”
Out of university, students can get in touch with recruiters by emailing them and setting up an “informational interview” or even an “office visit” if applicable. I personally have heard stories of not only PwC recruiters taking time out of their busy schedules to meet up with students, but also those individuals in the executive management level of the firm!
I highly suggest you dig through business cards you have gathered from networking events you have attended in the past (or ask your friends for some contacts). You should then email those contacts before the Fall recruiting season begins. This will serve as a great asset to you because if those contacts come to your campus to recruit, they will already have formed some sort of relationship with you through the exchange of emails and this will make the recruiting process seem a lot easier because they will be able to attach a name to a face.
Speaking of business cards, I highly recommend that you invest in getting at least 100 of your own printed to distribute to PwC representatives when they come to your campus to recruit this Fall!
Tip # 4 – Be Confident. Stay Positive. The ability to be “yourself” is what PwC loves and fosters at the workplace! “It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.” - Author Unknown
This tip is the secret to success in any networking session/interview with PwC representatives. The ability to find your comfort zone in the first 10-15 seconds of the conversation will definitely ensure that the rest of the conversation is relaxed and the “true you” will come out! What you will find while networking with PwC representatives, whether it be Summer Associates, Recruiters or even Partners, is that there is no “hierarchal communication barrier” as I like to call it. It is as easy to talk to a Summer Associate as it is with someone who is part of the Recruiting team and even the Executive team!
I always keep in mind whenever I network/go into an interview that nonverbal communication often speaks louder than verbal communication. I call this the “80/20 rule to networking.” 20% is what you say and 80% is how you say it/what impression you give off. That is why staying positive and confident is the underlying success to any networking session or interview!