Many aspiring graduates with a Master’s of Taxation want to work for one the Big Four firms. This is because these companies perform the bulk of the auditing services around the world. While getting hired isn’t easy, there are certain steps that can be taken in order to secure an interview and possible employment.

Earn a Graduate Degree

A Master’s of Taxation degree is an excellent choice for job candidates who want to work in global accounting firms. These programs teach students how to successfully work in the increasing complex world of taxation. These programs produce competent tax specialists who have a solid knowledge of federal tax laws and state tax policies. Students will have the analytical skills to understand complex tax statutes, regulations and new rulings. These degree programs also teach students the techniques for assessing and resolving challenging issues involving federal tax laws. These programs teach students about bankruptcy taxation, consolidated corporations, business planning, executive compensation, profit-sharing plans and tax-exempt organizations. They also learn about pension, corporate, federal income, partnership and real estate taxation. A graduate degree will help the candidate secure a job in any open taxation position.

Resource: Top 40 Values in Master of Taxation Degree Programs 2016

Pass the CPA Exam

Most notable taxation firms are not expecting recent college graduates to already have their CPA licenses. These firms will offer incentives and encourage new hires to obtain the CPA credential, but most do not require it. Those who truly want to stand out against the competition should consider passing the CPA exam after they graduate or even sooner if possible. Accounting students should note that the CPA exam is very rigorous, so they will need to adjust their academic schedule accordingly. Because most taxation recruiters don’t often see CPA credentials with recent graduates, these job candidates will have a much better chance of being noticed and hired. Many accounting students focus on graduating college with a 4.0 GPA with multiple honors and extracurricular activities. This is commendable, but the GPA is not the primary factor that will influence whether an applicant lands an interview with their target firm.

Timing

The job applicant’s timing is actually one of the most important factors when it comes to getting hired at one of the Big Four firms because they tend to invest more money during the fall. In fact, some firms invest millions of dollars during the two-month period of September and October. Job candidates should note when their target firm posts more job and internship ads during the year. In order to get in touch with firms, accounting students can join Beta Alpha Psi or other accounting societies. They should attend career fairs and open meetings with firm speakers in order to obtain business cards and network with potential mentors. For students who have established relationships with recruitment offices should understand that common hiring process fluctuate each year based on expected company growth, current economic trends and vacancies created by retirements and departures.

To close, those who have a Master’s of Taxation and want to apply at a Big Four firm should be prepared to ask behavioral questions during the interview that help determine future attitudes and performances.