As we see portrayed in media on countless occasions, accountants are typically shown as being socially awkward, pocket protector wearing, nose in their spreadsheets, clinging to their ten keys and tapes types. Is it these qualities society pushes on the profession that makes so many of us desire it? Is it that we really like numbers or is it the perceived solitude that attracts us? Whatever the reason, the world needs accountants and you have chosen it. Here are our top recruiting tips for landing your dream accounting job, now that I understand it a decade later.
Looking back at the number of things I wish I had taken advantage of in college is sometimes a longer list than I like to admit. Being ten years removed and in charge of our firm’s recruiting efforts, it affords me the opportunity to reflect. However, during this time of self-reflection it makes me realize just how much I had in common with Jon Snow, for I knew nothing.
Is Your GPA Good Enough?
Having focused more of my time escaping college debt free working two jobs (40+ hours a week), my weeks didn’t have an overabundance of time remaining to get involved or to be in the know. Nor was I exceptionally gifted in my pursuit of becoming a top scholar by carrying a 3.15 GPA. But would it be good enough to land a job?
Let’s focus on what you have as a college student, you are earning a degree, much like your classmates. You have a GPA which fluctuates based on your finances and effort. GPA variances are something that can be explained within reason so what else is there? In my experience, what sets you apart from the sea of applicants is your interpersonal communication skills and motivation. Basically, can you hold a conversation and be interesting? Can you suppress your nerves and engage while actively participating in the dialogue? Some people are born with it and some people need to fake it until they make it.
Utilize Educational Resources
All universities have career centers, those whose sole job is to be the middleman between students and employers, use them. They offer career advice, mock interview opportunities and know the recruiting cycle, USE THEM. When the accounting societies hold events, attend them, even if it means taking the night off work, ATTEND THEM. Make personal connections with firm personnel during these events and follow-up. It seems like most people can send off an initial email, however, they are unsure what to do after that. To be top of mind you need to find excuses to keep in contact, FOLLOW UP.
Top 3 Tips
I have met a lot of candidates over the past ten years, and the ones that get offers are those that can:
- Hold a conversation.
- Got involved in their accounting programs.
- Appear self-motivated.
As much as they attempt to teach these skills in college through group projects and presentations, accountants tend to need a different form of encouragement. Although these tips seem too good to be true, most company recruiters will base their decisions off of them. So how about this, getting the job you want likely depends on it. We hope you found these tips to be helpful and wish you the best of luck on landing the job!
Written by: Kevin Brejnak, CPA, CFE, Partner