27 February 2015
When job searching, it’s important to always tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for and have several formats of your resume on hand. Equally as vital to your resume’s visibility is to ensure you also have a recruiter-friendly version, or one that targets recruiters specifically. This is the kind of resume that’s best uploaded to job search sites and submitted to recruiting firms. Recruiters have their own system for sourcing job candidates and, in order to show up on their radar, you have to prepare your credentials in a way that panders to that system. In fact, many use applicant tracking systems (ATS) that function like search engines, requiring resumes to be easily found by recruiters using the electronic software. The Face of the Recruiter-Friendly Resume Every resume is different, but in order to snag the attention of a recruiter, a resume must have three characteristics. The recruiter-friendly resume is typically… Streamlined and concise. Recruiters often skim resumes for the most important and relevant information, from skills to experience to accomplishments. Therefore, keeping a resume from being over-cluttered can ensure the information you want seen stands out. Well-organized and neatly formatted. In general, the resume should be easy on the eyes and organized so that it draws attention to the right sections. Even if a recruiter does not use an applicant tracking system, many prefer traditional resumes that can be easily reworked to fit the needs of each specific client and/or employer. Balanced. Recruiters look for a good balance of skills, experience, and accomplishments. While it’s important to highlight keywords from the job description as well as your goals and capabilities, in order to be found by recruiters searching for candidates, many job seekers make the mistake of loading their resume up with too many buzz words. Recruiter-friendly resumes feature a few select keywords, but are not cluttered and clichéd. Tips for Making Your Resume Recruiter-Friendly So how do you achieve the above three characteristics with your own resume? Striking the right balance, finding the right organization and format, and making sure you include all appropriate information without making the resume too cluttered can be tricky. Try the following tips to ensure you’re on the right track: Use bold and italics sparingly—and in the right places. Aside from section headlines and each new entry in your employment history, using text formatting can be distracting. Avoid writing multiple lines of text; instead, use bullet points and keep them short. Use your skills section to your advantage. This is the most appropriate place for your keywords—just make sure to avoid any cliché terms. Use simple, straightforward language. Aside from keeping your resume to an appropriate length and giving you more space for other information, using common words in place of longer, more complicated ones will look more honest. Highlight accomplishments. By peppering some accomplishments into your employee history, you’ll be able to convey both your duties and your capabilities in fewer words.
24 February 2015
What sounds more appealing: A job where you are primarily focused on the success of the company, or a position where your work will have a direct impact on your community? Choosing a career should never be this simple, but for many professionals considering moving into the nonprofit industry, the possibility of being offered less competitive pay often deters them from making the switch. This is a common concern that Dana Scurlock, Staffing Manager of The Execu|Search Group’s Nonprofit division, encounters and finds important to address when working with job seekers considering a career change. “There are many misconceptions about the nonprofit industry that continue to dissuade professionals from taking the first step, but don’t let these hold you back,” says Dana. For example, some of the general misconceptions professionals from the corporate world have of the nonprofit sector include: The professional environment tends to be slower-paced; There are fewer financial benefits (i.e., bonuses, stock options, etc.). Nonetheless, if you are considering transitioning into the nonprofit industry from the corporate world, here are the most important factors you should take into consideration: 1. You’ll make a direct impact What if besides higher pay, a better benefits package, and room for growth, your job could provide you with a deeper satisfaction…one that makes you a happier, more well-rounded person? “Working in the nonprofit industry gives you the chance to focus less on reaching a financial goal, and more on creating positive change in the community,” says Dana. “Nonprofit organizations appreciate candidates with strong business acumen in addition to a mission-driven work ethic.” In the nonprofit sector you are more than just a number within the organization; you get the opportunity to make a difference while learning new skills and gaining experience in areas you wouldn’t normally be exposed to. 2. Your definition of success will change If you’re considering making a career transition from the corporate world, it’s important that your perception of success changes to one that is more in-line with the nonprofit world. “Success is not based on profit margins, but instead on how positively the communities at large are impacted.” Therefore, the passion you bring for working towards a higher goal is essential to your success. For many professionals in the corporate world, strong performance is usually expected to be rewarded with some type of monetary incentive (i.e., increase in compensation, bonus, etc.), and many believe the myth that nonprofits don’t pay as well. However, according to Dana, this isn’t necessarily the case. “While many believe the myth that nonprofits pay less than for-profit corporations, the nonprofit sector offers intangible incentives that can make for a very rewarding career,” says Dana. For example, nonprofit organizations offer their employees excellent health benefits. How can better health insurance make up for a lower salary? For instance, under a 401c3, employees pay much less for health insurance on a monthly basis. Nonprofit organizations are also becoming increasingly adept to changes in the market, and as a result, are open to negotiating competitive salaries and incentives in order to find and retain the best candidates. 3. Your soft skills matter most With all of this in mind, what exactly are nonprofit organizations looking for in a candidate from the corporate world? “While the technical skills you acquire in the corporate world can be transferable to most business environments, it’s your soft skills that will set you apart from your competition,” says Dana. In fact, The Execu|Search Group’s 2015 Hiring Outlook, which surveyed hiring decision makers in the Nonprofit sector, revealed the most in-demand soft skills prospective candidates should possess in order to thrive in the industry. As a result, be sure to highlight the following soft skills if you plan on making a difference in the nonprofit world: Passion for mission-driven work Resourceful when presented with limited resources Initiative/Drive Flexibility/ability to adapt to change
23 February 2015
In this candidate-driven market, where talented accounting professionals are receiving multiple job offers, an important decision they will need to make is whether they want to work for a large or small firm. Although common belief is that larger organizations offer the best of everything, the truth is that both large and small firms each have their advantages. So which is right for you? A large accounting firm or a small-to mid-sized business? “There really is no right or wrong answer as to which is better,” says Laura Gutierrez, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance Division. “It’s simply a matter of preference and what your professional goals are; which is why it’s important to know the differences between the two in order to find the best fit.” Here are 3 key differences to consider when assessing which sized firm is right for you: Work Environment An accountant’s work environment can vary greatly across different companies depending on a variety of factors. For example, larger established firms are generally more traditional and tend to offer a more formal work environment, while smaller firms offer a more relaxed setting. Some may find that they enjoy working in a more formal work environment because they like the structure it offers, however, others may prefer a casual setting where they have a little more freedom with their day-to-day responsibilities. Corporate Structure Larger accounting firms, such as the Big 4, generally have a more corporate structure compared to smaller firms, and as a result, will have a taller corporate ladder to climb. This depth often allows more opportunities for mobility within the company throughout your career. For example, if you start off in an entry level position, there might be more opportunity to move into more senior roles, and potentially a partnership position. Therefore, if you like stability and are interested in staying with one company for the long run, a larger accounting firm may be best for you. On the other hand, smaller firms have a more shallow corporate hierarchy allowing employees to work closely with upper management – enabling them to have more of a voice within the company and the opportunity to provide more input. Therefore, if your goal is to make an impact and get more exposure to decision makers, working at a smaller accounting firm may be a better fit. Job Function It’s common to find that the extent to which your job function is defined is often reflected in the size of your organization. For example, the bigger the company you work for, the more defined your job function will be. This is due to the fact that there are more personnel to cover the necessary tasks to conduct business, allowing employees to specialize in one line of work. On the other hand, employees at smaller accounting firms often find themselves taking on a variety of responsibilities. For instance, at a larger accounting firm, you may specialize in one line of work and only work with private equity clients, while at a smaller firm, you might find yourself working with a variety of clients such as hedge funds, private equities, broker dealers, etc. Depending on whether you want a role that requires you to wear multiple hats, or a role where your responsibilities are more focused, there are different options for you.
20 February 2015
The Execu|Search Group is proud to announce that we have been selected by NJBIZ as one of the Best Places to Work in New Jersey for the second consecutive year! The award program identifies, recognizes, and honors the top places of employment in New Jersey that benefit the state’s economy, its workforce, and businesses. “At The Execu|Search Group we strive to promote a collaborative environment where every employee, regardless of their tenure, feels that they have a voice and the support they need for success,” says Lawrence Dolinko, the President of the firm’s Temporary division who oversees the operations of our two New Jersey offices in Bridgewater and Parsippany. “We couldn’t have led the expansion of our services throughout the state without every single one of our New Jersey-based employees, so we’re honored to be recognized by NJBIZ as a top place to work.” To qualify for this award, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements: Have at least 15 employees in New Jersey; Be a for-profit, not-for-profit or government entity; Be a publicly or privately held business; Have a facility in New Jersey. Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the 100 Best Places to Work in New Jersey. One part encompassed an evaluation of each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics, while another element included an employee survey that measured employee experience. The combined scores of these two phases determined the top companies and the final ranking. The 100 companies chosen for the honor were split up into two groups: 65 small/medium-sized companies (15-249 employees) and 35 large-sized companies (more than 250 employees). The Execu|Search Group, which has 7 offices in the Northeast, including one in Bridgewater, NJ, and one in Parsippany NJ, has been named one of the Best Places to Work in New Jersey in the small/medium category. The award program, founded in 2005, is produced by NJBIZ. NJBIZ, program sponsors and partners will honor this year’s 100 Best Places to Work and announce their ranking during an awards reception and ceremony on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the Hilton East Brunswick.
20 February 2015
When conducting research for our 2015 Regional Hiring Outlook, we found that employers across sectors are ramping up their hiring efforts—especially in financial services. Now, well into the second month of the year, this trend seems to be continuing. The financial services industry is thriving more than ever, and its hiring trends reflect that; even salary has been on the rise, with 2014’s in-year salary growth from candidates placed by The Execu|Search Group reaching an impressive 15.81%. As with many other sectors, the financial services market is currently candidate-driven, with the demand for qualified candidates heavily outweighing the supply. The following are the top 3 financial services jobs in most need of qualified candidates, and how you can take advantage of these opportunities: Operations, Investor Relations, and Compliance. Operations According to Paul Herman, Managing Director of Financial Services at The Execu|Search Group, the need for operations professionals is not only on the rise—it’s changing. “The operations field is currently exhibiting needs for tech-savvy, high-end, buy-side operations experts,” he says. “Operations professionals were once more qualitative in nature and did not need the specific skill sets they do now. Hedge funds, especially, are now seeking top talent with more quantitative skills.” As a result, employers are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill these positions, which never used to require this specialized knowledge. And what are these desired skill sets? Today, operations professionals are expected to have broad product diversity, such as an in-depth knowledge of credit derivatives, futures and options, and asset-backed securities. According to Paul, the most in-demand product knowledge at the time is that of OTC Derivatives. In order to be desirable to employers when seeking operations opportunities, job seekers should ensure they develop and showcase a thorough technical, quantitative understanding of trading and more complex strategies. If you are employed, take the opportunity to learn different products and strategies at your current firm; if you’re unemployed, this could be an excellent time to consider temporary assignments to gain experience with and knowledge of a variety of products. Investor Relations In our Regional Hiring Outlook, “Investor Relations/Marketing” was cited as the #1 technical skill by surveyed financial services employers. “No matter what the climate, investor relations professionals are always needed,” says Paul. “Hedge funds and private equity firms are seeing an increased influx of investments coming in, possibly the most to date. As a result, investor relations professionals are more in-demand in these firms than ever.” According to Paul, these professionals are so in-demand because they act as the voice of investment firms. They are the representative face to the public, and so are always in demand, regardless of how well a firm is doing. If a firm’s performance is dropping, for example, experienced investor relations professionals are needed to interface with investors and encourage them to keep investing; however, if performance is soaring, the same professionals are still needed to help the firm stand out to investors amongst any competition. Like operations professionals, those in investor relations are now being held to a higher quantitative standard. Knowledge of portfolio analysis and advanced Excel skills are amongst the newer qualifications job seekers should obtain if they’re looking for a career in the field. Compliance It’s no secret that compliance has been and is still one of the hottest fields in financial services. In just the past few months, we’ve observed an uptick in demand for high-level consultants, algorithmic/electronic trading and swap dealer compliance, and CCAR stress testing, to name a few. But according to Stephanie Tancredi, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division, the compliance needs taking precedent right now are those focused on Dodd Frank compliance, the Volcker Rule, and Investment Adviser’s Act compliance. In fact, in our Regional Hiring Outlook, Dodd Frank and The Investment Adviser’s Act/Investment Company Act were rated amongst the top 5 most in-demand technical skills for financial services professionals. “Even firms that aren’t currently hiring in other areas are still seeking compliance professionals,” says Stephanie. “Whereas hedge funds and private equity firms were once only subject to exams by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) once every seven years, they are now being reviewed much more often. Some firms are getting their very first exam since opening, and others are ramping up their compliance efforts for their next one. Whatever the situation, financial services firms are all currently in the same mindset: hire compliance professionals now to prevent expensive fines in the future.” If you’re looking to start or continue a career in compliance, familiarizing yourself with any of these three major areas is the first step. However, compliance is one of the most rapidly-growing areas of financial services, so make sure to read up on strategies for deciding between multiple offers before delving too deep into the job search process.
19 February 2015
All through 2014 and, now, well into 2015, many employers across sectors have expressed the same concern: in a time of recovering markets and increased needs, there are not enough qualified candidates to satisfy demands. In fact, 63% of the respondents to the employer surveys conducted for our 2015 Regional Hiring Outlook whitepaper cited that the biggest hiring challenge this year will be finding qualified candidates. This is what we call the “war on talent”—the struggle for employers to find talent suited for their needs and, eventually, the competition for one company to outdo another for top applicants. As a result of these skills gaps felt across industries, employers have been realizing that efforts must be made to attract and, perhaps more importantly, retain this talent; otherwise, this struggle could continue in the future and contribute to the growing gaps. Three main steps hiring managers can make to help close the skills gap is by remaining open to temporary staffing and new grads, investing in succession planning, and being more forthright and detailed on job listings to ensure the right talent is being attracted. Temporary hires can be great assets during this time to help ease transitions between permanent placements, or to assess the fit of a potential candidate for a long-term position. Rather than signing a candidate on for a permanent position immediately, employers can take a fixed period of time to test the candidate’s skills, cultural fit, and longevity within the position before making the commitment; by offering temporary roles, employers are also offering learning opportunities for job seekers in the market to pick up and strengthen the skills so in-demand, therefore contributing to the longer-term goal of closing the skills gap entirely. However, once a long-term hire is identified, it’s important for companies to put greater emphasis on succession planning. Respondents to our Regional Hiring Outlook employer surveys stated that the #1 greatest challenge toward employee retention is providing upward mobility, but in order to ensure there are no gaps in future employment and hiring, the right knowledge and training has to be provided to candidates at all levels. In other words, whether a candidate is a new grad or a seasoned professional, there should be strategies in place to ensure they are provided with the right training upon being hired and throughout the duration of their time with the company. If applicable, plans should also be put in place for an employee’s replacement upon retirement. This may seem like a lot to invest in an employee who could potentially move on at any time, but succession planning ensures that employees are properly trained for these positions, wherever they end up. However, 36% of candidates surveyed for our Hiring Outlook reported being unsatisfied with initial and continuous training at their companies, so providing this incentive and the potential for upward mobility is a great way to retain top talent. Then, if they stay with the company, they’ll be able to grow within and past their role to help prevent future hiring issues; if they don’t, there will be more trained and qualified candidates in the market as a result. By planning for the long-term, employers can groom employees for success and prevent long stretches of hiring in which there are no qualified candidates. The more companies that take this approach, the more the skills gap will shrink. Of course, these changes likely require an adjustment to current hiring strategies. Since the ideal succession plan will include training throughout an employee’s career, companies should help break the “can’t get a job without experience, can’t gain experience without a job” paradox that many job seekers face by remaining open to new grads and those switching directions in their careers. In addition, putting more detail into job descriptions to discuss soft skills, cultural fit, and recommended training and education in addition to technical skills and a list of responsibilities can also help attract the right candidates for a position and, ideally, help narrow down the pool from which an employer has to choose. Thankfully, it seems that many employers are already putting these efforts in place. 65% of those surveyed plan to put greater emphasis on training and retention efforts this year, and when it comes to initial hiring, 80% now view personality fit as “critical” or “very important.” By continuing and improving this mindset, employers can help improve the quality of the job market and prepare candidates for their current and future responsibilities, thus closing the skills gaps across industries.
18 February 2015
On February 17th, The Execu|Search Group’s Physician Recruitment division participated in CareerMD’s most recent career fair. At the event, which was attended by residents and fellows from the Tri-State area, members of our physician recruitment team met with job seekers to advise them on their upcoming search. “Since this is the first job search for a majority of the attendants, many had questions about the New York City physician job market and the unique challenges it presents,” says Steffanie Ngo-Hatchie, an Executive Recruiter within the Physician Recruitment division. “Because our team is very aware of these hiring trends and how they relate to varying specialties across the country, we really believe that education is a main pillar of our job. Attending events like CareerMD’s career fair gives us an outlet to accomplish this, and we are looking forward to not only helping attendants find their next opportunity, but more importantly, also building long-lasting relationships that span entire careers.” Online since 1996 and headquartered in New York City’s Silicon Alley, CareerMD connects physicians with employers – online, in print, and face to face at events all across the country. For more details on the event we attended, please follow this link: http://www.careermd.com/employers/careerfairs/details.aspx?fairid=549.
17 February 2015
Have your eyes set on a new job at the end of busy season? If so, don’t let your long hours and heavy workload get in the way of starting your job search this month. While the idea of conducting your job search during this time of the year may seem daunting, according to Elisa Dammacco, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division, it’s actually one of the best times to start looking. “There’s a common misconception amongst accountants that busy season is not the right time to look for a new job, but that outlook couldn’t be further from the truth,” notes Elisa. In fact, at the time this article was written (in the middle of busy season), The Execu|Search Group’s Executive Vice President, Michael Cooke, was quoted in the Stamford Advocate explaining that we had over 1,000 accounting and finance jobs open with a wide variety of clients, particularly in the hedge fund space. “While it may be difficult to devote any extra energy you do have to your job search, you will reap the benefits if you are able to push yourself to make the effort,” advises Elisa. “Therefore, if landing a new job is on your ‘to do’ list, I recommend starting your search sooner, rather than later.” According to Elisa, here are 3 reasons why you want to job search during busy season: 1. Less competition: Since many accountants believe the myth that busy season is not the right time to look for a job, auditors won’t start their search until the end of March, while tax accountants will wait until after April 15th. As a result, those who start their job search now, when the competition is lower, will have the best chance of landing the job they want. “Since employers are looking to fill positions as soon as possible, the more proactive you can be about getting on their radar, the better,” says Elisa. “Not only will this maximize the opportunities available to you, but also help you avoid the risk of getting your application lost in a pile of resumes.” 2. Employers are being flexible: Hiring managers (and recruiters) understand that busy season can be a stressful time to interview, so they will accommodate their candidates’ schedules to the best of their ability. “Don’t let your schedule prevent you from taking advantage of this healthy job market,” warns Elisa. “If you express concern about your workload during the busy season, hiring professionals will be willing to meet with you at a time that works best for you.” Employers are also being flexible with start dates. “They understand why new hires would be hesitant to leave their current employer in the middle of busy season, so many businesses are offering their candidates delayed start dates,” notes Elisa. “With this option on the table, why not secure a new job now? You can get through the stress of busy season knowing you have a new opportunity to look forward to.” 3. It’s a great time to make a change: If you are looking to make a change from public accounting to the private industry, now is the perfect time. “As more regulations go into effect, an increasing number of financial services institutions are investing in senior-level accounting talent to ensure they are compliant with the law,” says Elisa. “The public accounting busy season is a hot time for hiring in the private industry space, so if you are interested in making a career change, this month is the time to start exploring your options.” There is a particularly strong demand for accountants to fill positions in Internal Audit, Corporate Tax, Partnership Tax, and Internal Controls with businesses across the financial services industry. Since these are relatively new needs, these firms are looking for accounting talent outside of their industry – focusing on transferable skills, rather than industry-specific experience when hiring. As a result, if you are able to leverage your public accounting expertise and experience in a way that meets the needs of a business in the private sector, you’ll be in an excellent position to make a career change and diversify your experience.
13 February 2015
The beginning of 2015 has brought frigid temperatures and inclement weather, and while many companies within the Financial Services space are still fine-tuning their hiring budgets on top of outlining new business initiatives, many financial professionals are choosing not to pursue new opportunities as they await their much anticipated bonus. While the early months of the year are historically slower in the Financial Services industry, Mitchell Peskin, Partner-Executive Vice President of The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division, sees this as the perfect opportunity for financial professionals to jumpstart their job search before Q2 and get their foot in the doors of prospective employers while there is less competition in the market. “As a financial professional, it can be easy to sit back and countdown the days until you receive your bonus before jumpstarting your job search,” says Mitch. “However, time and time again, I’ve seen job seekers have the most success landing interviews when there is less competition in the market.” Therefore, waiting until Q2 to start your job search will automatically put you in a larger talent pool, thus making it more difficult to stand out against your competition. “Don’t let your job search go into hibernation mode—take advantage of the current marketplace and stay ahead of the curve by starting your job search before Q2 is in full swing,” advises Mitch. It’s understandable to be apprehensive to start your job search around this time of year because you don’t want to risk losing out on your bonus simply for pursuing new opportunities. Luckily, companies have taken notice of this trend by job seekers and are utilizing new hiring strategies to attract seasoned financial professionals. “An increasing number of companies are aware of the risks associated with looking for new opportunities and are prepared to make up for these through offering extended start dates,” highlights Mitch. In other words, prospective employers are willing to work with your schedule to ensure you can still receive your bonus with your current employer and make a smooth transition into your new role without burning bridges. Avoid the steep competition in Q2 and increase your odds of landing your next opportunity by doing your due diligence now (i.e., upgrade your resume, brush up on interview skills as well as the technical skills most in-demand in your industry, network with the right professionals, etc.) to position yourself ahead of the competition. If you take the time out now to get your job search on track, when you receive your bonus and an offer, you’ll be glad you beat the Q2 rush!