Sunday, September 13, 2009

Recruiting Tricks

Recruiting Season is just around the corner for co-ops, especially Waterloo students. Big 6 accounting firms will be visiting the University of Waterloo on September 15th for CA night. Here are a couple of tricks to distinguish yourseleves:

1) Dress your sharpest. The smartest person does not get the most attention. The best dressed person confident person does. Don’t dress inappropriately girls ;). If the event is advertised as semi-formal, dress formal. Put on your business suits. Buy a business suit if you don’t have one. Look good at all costs.

2) Don’t waste your time with HR recruiters and Partners. This is my number one rule. When I say, don’t waste your time with HR recruiters and partners, I mean don’t wait in line to get your turn to talk to them. These people will be surrounded by students trying to impress them. The key is to network with as many people as possible, not just the most important ones.

A person’s character is determined by how they treat people below them, not above them.

No one will be below you at Fall CA night. ;)

Show the same courtesy to the upper year co-op student as you do to the partner.
Never leave a conversation abruptly just to talk to someone more important.

The key to making an impression is to have lots of people talk about you.

3) Big 4 firms have been notorious for having open bar with food for recruiting events. Remember, this is a professional setting. Do not go all out with the drinks and food. Shaking someone with greasy hands is a terrible impression.

4) Have your business cards ready. It’s a big mistake to not invest in them. The more business cards you hand out, the better your night. At the same time, do not hand out business cards to people whom you barely made a connection with. This is a sign of disrespect and shows bad character on your part.

5) Invite others to the conversation. Nothing shows greater character than inviting someone into a conversation and introducing them. Never hog the person you are talking to.

6) Differentiate. Do not talk about the same boring questions like “How is it like working at Deloitte?” , “What have you accomplished with your CA designation?” , “What are some tips for getting into Big 4?”

Everyone asks these questions and it is hard to make a lasting impression. Find common interests with the person you are talking to. Build rapport. Recruiters are trained to make you feel comfortable when they talk to you. Do the same by finding interests outside work that they are comfortable talking with. They will appreciate your effort.

7) Train. Recruiting events are not “go with the flow” and “follow the rest of the crowd” You should be training on recruiting events. Practicing public speaking, practice building rapport.

8) Show professional courtesy. Never bad mouth anyone. Never bad mouth other firms.

9) You are a prospect to them. Remember, at all times, you are a prospect. Prove to them, you are worth the investment. That means “Don’t appear needy.” You don’t NEED Big 4 to hire you. You need to prove your self worth and that you are the catch.

Best of Luck in your recruiting sessions!


  1. Do you know if special recruitment events or networking events are organized for executive members of school accounting clubs? Since it is these people that are organizing the big events for everyone else, would Big4 and other firms want to meet these people beforehand?


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