How to get a graduate job at a Big 4 firm

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How to get a graduate job at a Big 4 firm

We’re often asked ‘How to get a graduate job at a Big 4 firm’ so we were thrilled when Business Insider collated all the information below for us to share. Later this year, the Big Four professional service firms in Australia – Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG – will start recruiting for almost 3000 graduate positions. Better get your resume ready!

To help you in your application adventure, Business Insider Australia asked the experts at the Big 4 about their graduate programs and for the best tips on how to apply. Read on to learn from the Big 4 recruiters exactly what they’re looking for in graduate candidates and learn how to get a graduate job at a Big 4 firm.



KPMG plans to recruit 550 graduates into the 2019 program plus 400 vacationers into the 2018-19 scheme.

What KPMG is looking for:

  • graduates who are passionate and curious, individuals who are seeking a challenging and rewarding career
  • graduates who can offer specific skills which, combined with consulting expertise, could benefit KPMG clients and the community
  • candidates with a STEM background (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), AI (artificial intelligence) technology, robotics, and cyber security – based on KPMG’s growing Advisory practise

Job application pointers from Deborah Yates, National Managing Partner for People, Performance & Culture at KPMG:

  • “We don’t rely purely on academic results and degree discipline. Of course, results are important, but this is really just one piece of the puzzle.”
  • “A candidate’s application needs to show them as a well-rounded individual with a real desire to make a difference.”
  • “An understanding of robotics or user design interfaces can be helpful.”
  • Problem-solving and strategic thinking skills are always vital.
  • “We also look for innovative thinkers that aren’t afraid to challenge things.”
  • “As we look to the future of work, we are also finding that strong data analytics ability is becoming more and more important, and this is across all our divisions.”
  • “We are looking for graduates from all degree types, in addition to the ones you would expect like Business, Accounting, Finance and Law disciplines.”.

Yates’ Important Tips:

A graduate who has well researched the role of their choice and can clearly identify and demonstrate the skills they offer will make the most impact to the business. Candidates who can articulate their motivations for applying will have the best chance of acquiring a job.

“KPMG is a progressive organisation with exceptional career development prospects and industry-leading personal and professional learning programs,” she says.

“Graduates can enjoy working at a truly global organisation with opportunities to travel, relocate and work with some of Australia’s most successful and innovative companies and public sector entities.”

KPMG offers an in-house learning and industry accreditation programs.

“We understand that every graduate is on their own unique journey and are looking for the robust development that comes with structure and flexibility that allows them to create their own career,” she says.

“That’s why our programs are designed to allow graduates to explore their strengths and abilities further. We offer ongoing training from day 1, a structured development program and a dedicated mentor. KPMG’s graduate programs offer a career pathway that allows them to develop as fast as your ability allows.”


CV Saviour’s Graduate Resume Tips for How to get a graduate job at a Big 4 firm

  • Demonstrate the skills you offer by following the CAR, STAR or SOAR formula
  • Illustrate how well-rounded you are, as well as your real desire to make a difference with examples in your cover letter as well as your resume. It’s not enough to say you are great at something, you need to prove it, with evidence!
  • Give examples of where and when you have solved problems and thought strategically. What was the situation? What action did you take? What was the outcome? What would you do differently next time?


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In the 2019 financial year, EY expects to hire more than 600 graduates in Australia and New Zealand.

What EY is looking for:
– graduates from all degree backgrounds and recent graduates have completed degrees in information technology, data science, engineering, accounting, law, economics and arts

Application pointers from Melinda Woodlock, Campus Recruitment Lead, EY:

  • “We hire a diverse selection of graduates with varying experiences and degree backgrounds.”
  • “Our future graduates will need to embrace change, have an innovation mindset and strong analytical skill. Furthermore, they will need the skills to work in the highest performing team and collaborate globally.”
  • “Students can differentiate themselves through a variety of ways including additional studies but we also value work experience and other extra-curricular activities that build valuable skills and experiences.”

EY Benefits:

  • EY has a supportive, inclusive and flexible working culture with a common purpose, to Build a Better Working World.
  • There’s a focus on continual learning and professional development to help graduates build the skills and mindsets needed to succeed.
  • “Our graduates are supported with structured learning, coaching and experiences to develop the skills they need for the future.”
  • “Graduate learning encompasses both technical training and sessions on topics such as design thinking, building resilience, business writing and time management.
  • “Our graduates are also provided with access to a suite of online learning to support professional and personal growth covering vast subjects ranging from IT and marketing to leadership and personal well-being.”
  • “Graduates can also sign-up to complete an EY Badge which allows our people to earn digital credentials in skills that differentiate them in the market, such as data visualisation, AI, data transformation and information strategy.”

Woodlock’s Important Tips:
Graduates should take the opportunity to connect with employers at relevant networking evenings and information sessions as soon as they commence their university studies. Building connections with employers is the most valuable way to secure a graduate job. Work integrated learning programs or internships also present students with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their skills, gain valuable professional experience, and help to secure a graduate position.


CV Saviour’s Graduate Resume Tips for How to get a graduate job at a Big 4 firm

  • Get your LinkedIn profile in order NOW and start building a relevant network of connections.
  • Seek opportunities to learn outside of University – for example, through self-paced online learning, self-initiated study, search for a mentor to guide you and give back to those who you can share your skills and knowledge with. These will provide a graduate with many examples to demonstrate a commitment to learning while gaining new skills in the process.



PwC hires about 1000 graduates and interns each year.

What PwC is looking for:

  • applications from all academic backgrounds and life experiences
  • PwC doesn’t ask for CVs, or review academic transcripts, and are open to all degrees — or even no degree in some instances

Application pointers from Dorothy Hisgrove, Chief Human Resources Officer at PwC Australia:

  • “We look for people who can think creatively to solve problems, are agile and great relationship builders.”
  • “We also have a global competency framework, the PwC Professional, which we use to help assess leadership capabilities, business & global acumen, and relationship skills.”
  • “We believe creating diverse teams, with unique points of view is how we’re best placed to deliver creative solutions to our clients.”
  • “The work here is so diverse, that people from all degree backgrounds will find a place.”
  • PwC doesn’t ask for CVs, or review academic transcripts, and are open to all degrees — or even no degree in some instances. “This is because we believe it contributes to a fairer and more equitable hiring process, in which we can assess a person’s potential to learn, rather than make a decision based on the opportunities life has already afforded them.”

PwC Benefits:

  • “We also have leading training that all our grads can access, which will equip them with the technical aspects required for their particular area of work.”
  • High growth areas within PwC include automation, robotics, AI, digital transformation and digital trust.
  • “Our graduate program differs across the various service lines at PwC.”
  • “It’s a permanent, ongoing placement, that officially ends with promotion to the next level. This is generally by 2-3 years experience.”

Why graduates should apply at PwC according to Hisgrove:

  • PwC, as one of Australia’s leading professional services firms, has the opportunity to create meaningful societal change.
  • “From growing trust in food production to building hope in artificial intelligence, our people create trust in society and solve important problems each day.”
  • “Students have the opportunity to contribute to a bigger picture.”

Hisgrove’s Important Tips:
Be open, authentic, demonstrate a desire to learn, and show that they’re passionate about solving diverse problems. We also recommend attending our events and info sessions, as this helps students learn about the diverse teams and work we do, and helps them gain confidence networking and building relationships with people in the firm.


CV Saviour’s Graduate Resume Tips for How to get a graduate job at a Big 4 firm

  • Give examples in your resume of your creativity, flexibility, relationship-building skills and problem-solving by following the CAR, STAR or SOAR formula
  • Be authentic, open and transparent in your cover letter.
  • Build a relationship with PwC – show up at events, network with the people there, ask their advice, follow up and make connections with them on LinkedIn, learn as much as you can about the organisation to check that it is a great fit for you, and for them



Deloitte recruits about 800 graduates.

What Deloitte is looking for:

  • students with degrees in everything from Business, Commerce, and Law — right through to Engineering, Science, Maths, Technology and even Design
  • students who stand out
  • diverse people and diverse roles

Application pointers from Tanyth Lloyd, Deloitte Director of Talent Acquisition:

  • “We are particularly interested if you’ve got diverse experiences and backgrounds and are passionate about being part of a business which thrives on innovation, opportunity, collaboration and inclusion.”
  • “When it comes to skills and attitude, we’re after students who demonstrate passion for digital, data and analytics and advisory, a willingness to learn, exceptional critical thinking and problem-solving skills, service orientation and the ability to thrive in teams.”
  • “We’re not your traditional accounting firm — we’ve moved far beyond our auditing and accounting roots, and we employ an incredibly diverse range of Australia’s top professionals, over 60% of whom are Millennials.”
  • “We focus on everything from cyber security and virtual reality through to digital marketing and tech integration.”
  • “If you’re ready for a career with an award-winning, dynamic organisation in an environment that fosters professional development and career advancement, then you’re ready for Deloitte.”

Deloitte Benefits:

  • “Joining our Graduate Program provides you with a permanent position at Deloitte Australia with access to our cutting-edge graduate development program, D|Academy, and first-hand access to clients and projects where you can make a direct impact.”
  • The academy is a series of blended learning programs designed for graduates. Following a one-day induction, events are held in June and October each year.
  • The 12 month D|Academy curriculum supports career success through unlimited senior mentoring, peer support and complementary digital learning solutions.
  • “Depending on your business unit, we offer the chance to develop further through professional study such as the Chartered Accountants Program and Masters of Tax.”

Lloyd’s Important Tips:
Know our open and close dates, complete thorough research into Deloitte and the business area of interest before applying, during university build relationships by attending business networking events, undertake volunteer work, extra-curricular and/or work experience and, most importantly, demonstrate passion and motivation for the area you are applying to! Appling to be part of our Vacationer Program or attending our Deloitte Insider Program (earlier on in their degree) significantly increases a student’s chances of securing a graduate role with us.


CV Saviour’s Graduate Resume Tips for How to get a graduate job at a Big 4 firm

  • Deloitte has spelt it out – demonstrate your passion for digital, data and analytics and advisory, a willingness to learn, exceptional critical thinking and problem-solving skills, service orientation and the ability to thrive in teams. You can demonstrate these attributes by providing examples of where you have done this before, using the CAR, STAR or SOAR formula

If you need help with your Graduate Resume, you can book in here.

(updated 2021)

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