30 December 2015
While many new year’s resolutions revolve around personal matters, it’s just as important to make professional resolutions as well. Though many individuals strive to meet professional goals every month of the year, the start of a new year just might be the perfect motivation to make big changes. If you’re looking to be back at work after the holidays with a fresh perspective and a new set of goals, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five resolutions to help you get the most out of your career in 2016. Get organized Being organized is a crucial element to success whether you’re looking for a new position, starting a new job, or making the effort to further develop your skills. To do this, evaluate which aspects of your life could use a little tidying up. This can vary from person to person, so while one professional might benefit from utilizing a daily planner, another may need a more comprehensive electronic system in place. Once you’ve assessed your needs, taking a few minutes a day to track your progress can make reaching your goal easier. Network more effectively Networking is a useful tool for every professional, not just those who are actively seeking a new job. There are many different methods of connecting with others such as alumni, networks, professional websites, company events, and career fairs, so take a moment to evaluate your current methods and assess if there is an outlet you’ve been neglecting. By varying your networking approaches, you may just be surprised by what opportunities you uncover! Identify past mistakes and fix them In 2015, were there any workplace blunders or mistakes you wish you could have avoided? Well it’s a new year, so give yourself a fresh start! First, evaluate what about your year went well and what could have used a bit of improvement. It may be tempting to want to fix multiple issues, but giving your full attention to one aspect of your career is not only less stressful, but more realistic. Next, make a plan to be conscious of what you’d like to fix. Being aware of what you’d like to improve is already a big step in the right direction. Brush up on your skills When was the last time you went to a professionally relevant seminar or took a class to progress your skills? Between work, family, and friends it can be difficult to carve out the time to hone your skills. However, if you’re looking for a promotion or possibly a different job this year, making time to become more knowledgeable in your field can boost your marketability and performance. If you’re feeling a little rusty in any area of your professional life, now is a great time to make improvements. Set one big career goal and meet it One of the best ways to get motivated for the new year is with one overarching resolution. While this may seem daunting, assessing what yours should be is actually quite easy. Start by reflecting on the areas in your professional life that could use some improvement. Next, determine what is realistic for you to accomplish. While we’d all like to double our salary or get a major promotion, knowing what is feasible for you to accomplish ensures that your goal is manageable. Lastly, make a plan of action. Breaking down your big goal into smaller ones may make the process of reaching your objective less daunting.
30 December 2015
The Execu|Search Group is hosting an internal recruiting day at our New York, NY and Boston, MA offices for recent or upcoming grads interested in building a career with us! At the events, entry-level candidates will have the opportunity to learn about The Execu|Search Group and our various areas of specialization, the different positions we have available, and what it is like to work in the exciting, fast-paced world of recruiting. All participants will have the chance to interview with members of our leadership team as well as meet with successful alumni of our entry-level training program. We are currently hiring for the following roles across all of our locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida: Staffing Managers and Recruiters: Accounting/Finance, Creative & Digital, Health Services, Physician Recruitment, and Office Support Junior Account Executives: Sales “If you are a recent grad looking to build your career with a company that values hard work, an entrepreneurial spirit, and providing career growth and development, you don’t want to miss this opportunity,” notes Violetta Bove, The Execu|Search Group’s Corporate Human Resources Coordinator. “Many of our most successful employees started at the firm in entry-level positions. If you make a strong effort to succeed, we offer a lot of room for growth.” If you are interested in attending, please send your resume to email@example.com. Qualified candidates will receive a phone call with further details.
29 December 2015
Earlier this year, The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) made a big announcement. In 2017, the CPA exam is expected to face a major overhaul – one that reflects the ever-evolving responsibilities of a newly licensed CPA. “We know that the knowledge and the skills tested by the CPA Exam are the foundation of protecting the public,” said Arleen Thomas, AICPA’s Senior Vice President of Management Accounting and Global Markets, when presenting the proposed changes. “So every five to seven years, you pause and go out among the community to see the shifts in the profession and the world that might change what new members of the profession should know and what skills they should have – and thus what they should be tested on.” While technical skills are certainly important to a newly licensed CPA’s success, they are no longer enough to protect the public interest – especially in a business landscape that can be unpredictable at times. As a result, the demand for accountants with a specific set of soft skills, or intangible attributes and personality traits that don’t necessarily come across on a resume, is at an all-time high. “The majority of our clients are looking for CPAs who have the ability to think and act strategically,” says Samantha Parris, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division, who is a CPA herself. “The new CPA exam is designed to specifically assess skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, research skills, and communication skills.” Ultimately, the AICPA’s goal is to ensure all CPAs demonstrate the following: Have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform more advanced tasks The ability to contribute to complex accounting projects early in their careers Possess higher order cognitive skills and professional skepticism According to the Journal of Accountancy, the update would keep the existing four exam sections, but change how content is assessed. “The proposal calls for less emphasis on ‘application’ and ‘remember and understand’ skills. Questions assessing higher-level analysis skills would be added, and the AUD section also would assess skills of the highest level, evaluation. New blueprints for each section of the exam would illustrate the content, tasks, and related skills that would be tested, assisting exam takers and educators in their preparation. Overall, the exam would have fewer multiple-choice questions and more task-based simulations. Total testing time would increase from 14 to 16 hours, with one hour each added to the BEC and REG sections.”
28 December 2015
This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Alexis Read; you can find our past testimonials here. Finding a new, rewarding job can be difficult enough, but throw in a major move to a new city and the search gets harder. This is the challenge Alexis Read faced when she decided to make the move from Washington, D.C. to New York City to further her career in financial services. To expedite her search and ensure she was interviewing for roles that fit her unique needs, Alexis partnered with Jerry Battipaglia, Senior Associate in The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. Through her partnership with The Execu|Search Group, she was able to find a position that excited her and met her needs, and was happy to tell us a bit more about her experience: On her background… I graduated from James Madison University in 2013 with a B.S. in Quantitative Finance, a concentration in Risk Management, and minors in Mathematics and Economics. Upon graduation, my plan was to pursue a career as a Quantitative Analyst in New York City. However, firms typically recruit students from JMU for job opportunities in the Washington, D.C. area, so I spent a few years there earning experience as an audit specialist performing valuations on clients’ portfolios containing fixed income securities, a consultant doing validations for models developed in the SAS (Statistical Analysis System) platform, and a senior analyst developing SAS-based models. As the learning curve eventually began to level out, though, I felt that it was time to make the move to NYC like I had always intended. My search for a quantitative finance career in NYC began in August 2015. On what she was looking for… I was looking for a position that would utilize my education in quantitative finance/risk management, improve the technical skills I learned in school, and tie in my work experience with valuations and data analytics. Quantitative jobs typically require a Master’s Degree in Financial Engineering and often even a Ph.D, but I was determined to find a job that would help me get my foot in the door first. I partnered with another recruitment firm to help me do so, but didn’t have a great experience and ultimately didn’t find what I was looking for. Because of this, I began searching for other recruitment firms in the NYC area. I saw that The Execu|Search Group was a top-rated recruitment firm for finance jobs, so I reached out with some information about myself and what I was looking for. A member of the team, Jerry Battipaglia, got back to me immediately and was extremely receptive to what I was looking for. He was confident that there were quantitative jobs available that did not require a MFE or Ph.D, and he sent over some relevant job specs very quickly. On how TESG worked to meet her needs… Living in Washington, D.C. added an extra layer of complexity to finding a job in NYC. On top of this, I was interviewing at multiple other firms and was far along in the process with a few of them. Jerry and the rest of the Execu|Search team understood this and made sure to work with me to schedule phone interviews as quickly as possible. We also timed it so that the phone interviews were scheduled shortly before the week that I had already planned a visit to NYC for in-office interviews. Overall, Jerry was instrumental in making sure I could meet with the hiring managers for all of the relevant positions I was interested in. On preparing for the interview… Jerry and I always had a prep talk before every interview, even if it was just for a non-technical pre-screening with the HR department. He outlined what the interviewers were like and what they would be looking for in a candidate. I felt very prepared going into each one. Out of the six interviews that I had the week that I came to visit, there was a Senior Valuations Associate position that I was interested in because it met all my needs. I was amazed to receive the phone call from Jerry that the firm wanted to extend an offer, and I ended up accepting the position shortly after. The role is perfectly in line with my quantitative finance education, my previous experience, and the quantitative career I was trying to break into. I have Execu|Search to thank for setting me up with the opportunity and appreciate all they have done for me. “Working with Alexis was a pleasure,” says Jerry. “It always makes the process easier when a candidate has a clear idea of what would best suit their skills. Alexis clearly knew quite a bit about the industry and the direction she wanted her career to go in, and that made it much easier to pinpoint what positions would be a good fit for her. I wish her all the best in her career and look forward to working with her further in the future.”
27 December 2015
The Execu|Search Group has always valued giving back to the community. We combine our efforts as an organization to contribute in many ways, from charity days to toy and coat drives, to make a difference where it matters most. For this year’s holiday season, our various offices worked together to make 2015 one of our most productive years of holiday contributions to date. For this month’s charity day, Execu|Search employees donated toys to Stockings with Care and New York Presbyterian Children’s Hospital through the Durst Organization. Some also made monetary contributions to help purchase gifts for the children. In addition, our Women’s Network came together for the second year in a row to donate gifts to the children at Elizabeth Seton Pediatric center, a Yonkers-based organization that was founded to provide specialized clinical and rehabilitative services to medically complex children with multiple physical and neurological conditions and disabilities. “Many of our 159 members contributed this year,” said Katie Niekrash, co-founder of The Women’s Network and the organizer of this annual donation. “I am pleased that we all came together to buy toys, necessities and clothing for these children so that they can have a happy holiday season.” Our New York office also participated in a coat drive spearheaded by Shelly Landau, Director within our Healthcare division. Together, we donated around 50 coats to New York Cares in an effort to help them reach their goal of 100,000 coats to be distributed to New York City’s homeless. Finally, under the organization of Managing Director Lisa Carver, both our Bridgewater and Parsippany New Jersey offices contributed to a toy drive for the Department of Child Protection & Permanency (formerly the Division of Youth and Family Services). The organization provided a list of 21 children and their wish lists from their “Pick an Angel” program, all 21 of which were met.
23 December 2015
Displaying a positive and friendly disposition is important to making an outstanding first impression, but this is especially true in an interview. Projecting the wrong attitude can reflect poorly on your professionalism, and often times, you may not even realize you’re doing it! Your overall attitude and ability to contribute to the conversation may be indicative of how you’ll behave on a day-to-day basis in the office, so certain behaviors have potential to make or break your interviewer’s impression of you. Before your meeting with a hiring manager, take a moment to review these four behaviors that can hurt your chances of landing the job. Not engaging in conversation Whether you’re having a formal interview or meeting quickly over coffee, it’s vital to engage in conversation as a job seeker. Having nothing to add to the conversation can make you appear uninterested and may hinder your chances of moving further along in the interview process. While you may have the skills and experience that the hiring manager is looking for, an inability to fully engage in conversation can compromise a potential opportunity. Talking negatively about your last job One of the questions you’re sure to come across in an interview setting is why you’re looking for a new position. While most people have had at least one negative experience with a previous employer, now is not the time to address that. As a result, if you are looking for a new job because you’re unsatisfied with your current position or supervisor, it’s best to frame your negative feelings in a positive light. Discuss how you’ve grown in your current role, the skills you’ve refined, and how you believe you can transfer them into your next position. Arriving late Have you ever had to wait a long time for someone to show up to an event? If so, it was probably irritating. As a result, you wouldn’t want to do this to a hiring manager. Being on time illustrates to employers that you’re taking the position, as well as their time, seriously. If you’re planning on going to an interview or meeting, remember to: Check traffic/public transportation for delays Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early Prep your materials the night before (cover letter, resume, pen, keys, etc.) While we do live in a very busy world full of unforeseeable events, being punctual at all times shows that you’re not only excellent at time management, but that you’re responsible as well. Not asking questions Asking relevant and well thought out questions is the best way to demonstrate that you’re interested, engaged, and fully present in the conversation. It’s highly unlikely that a potential employer would extend a job offer to anyone they felt was uninformed about the company or disinterested in the role, so entering an interview with at least two pre-meditated questions is imperative. Asking questions is one of the best ways to start a productive dialogue with your interviewer!
22 December 2015
As a compliance professional, you know that the strength of your employer’s compliance program has a direct impact on your ability to do your job effectively. Luckily, as organizations are making the effort to adhere to changing governmental regulations, you can expect hiring managers to look into strengthening their compliance teams throughout 2016. Melanie Marshak, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Legal/Compliance team, recently hosted a roundtable with General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officers, which focused on a recap of the 2015 compliance market as well as hiring trends to expect in 2016. At the roundtable, eight seasoned compliance professionals discussed emerging trends and shared their expert opinions on predictions for hiring trends in the new year. An important takeaway from the day’s discussions revolved around the preventative measures employers will be taking to prepare for an aggressive increase in regulatory exams by the SEC in 2016. “Due to four consecutive months of negative returns, organizations are expected to make greater investments in their compliance departments in 2016,” says Melanie. “To ensure they are fully prepared, they will be building up their team with professionals from a variety of finance backgrounds, increasing their use of compliance consultants, and conducting mock audits to position themselves for a successful regulatory exam. Therefore, finance professionals ranging from seasoned compliance experts to more entry-level job seekers can expect to see a lot of activity in the new year—making now a great time to start looking.” For compliance professionals looking to stand out in 2016, it’s important to emphasize your technical skills as well as your intangible soft skills that will make you the best fit. “Strong project management skills, adaptability, and the willingness to proactively learn about changing regulations, are the types of attributes hiring mangers look out for in new hires as they build stronger compliance programs,” advises Melanie. Aside from these attributes, hiring managers also tend to be attracted to candidates that show a passion for the compliance industry and possess strong communication skills.
22 December 2015
Most professionals on the search for a new job might start thinking of ways to make their resume more marketable if they aren’t having much success in the application process. However, instead of crafting their resume to fit closer to the positions they’re applying to, some job seekers choose to lie about certain areas of their resume. Not only is this an unethical approach to landing any opportunity, but it can also hurt your professional credibility in the long run. Remember, all the information you provide to an employer is easily verifiable and lying can do more than cost you the job – it can ruin your reputation. There are 5 areas in particular that employers tend to focus on when considering a candidate. Therefore, never lie about: Educational background & certifications The college or university listed on your resume is usually the first set of information an employer can fact check for consistency. If an employer can’t confirm you graduated from the school listed, this will reflect poorly on your professionalism. Along the same lines, claiming to hold a certification(s) for something you came close to completing is the same as lying to the employer on your resume. If you are unable to physically prove your educational background and/or certifications, you should avoid including them on your resume. Titles and responsibilities Leading an employer to believe you’ve done certain things when you actually haven’t is a sure way to find yourself in way over your head if hired. While it might seem like a good idea to fabricate certain titles or responsibilities you’ve held in the past to stand out against competition, it will only catch up with you. For example, managing one person isn’t the same as managing a team of people, so if your resume says you’ve managed a team, it might seem obvious that you lied if you are having a very difficult time doing so when hired. If you ever feel the need to lie about certain sections of your resume in order to get yourself noticed, the job you’re interested in might not be the best fit for your career at this point. Technical skills Your technical skills can have a major impact on your ability to do a certain job. Therefore, lying about possessing certain technical skills may prevent you from performing certain tasks effectively. For instance, if a job requires ‘advanced’ Photoshop skills, but you’ve only used Photoshop a few times, listing your skill level as ‘advanced’ is misleading to the employer. This will eventually affect your level of productivity and ultimately get you fired if you’re unable to meet the demands of the role. If you believe you can learn the necessary skills with a little bit of training and hard work, be honest. If you’re the right fit for the team, the hiring manager might be willing to take a chance on you. Professional references One of the most overlooked areas of a job search might be choosing the right references. As a job seeker looking to secure professional references, you should always alert your references before submitting their names to positions you’re applying to. If they are caught off guard by a hiring manager’s call and are unprepared to talk about your professional attributes, it will hurt your chances of being hired. Dates of employment Most companies will do their due diligence on a candidate if they are strongly considering hiring them, and checking your dates of employment with your previous employer(s) is one of the steps they can take. Therefore, if you were unemployed for an extended period of time, forging the dates with your last employer to make it seem like you worked longer, can raise some major red flags. Once an employer notices any discrepancies with your dates of employment, they will continue to second guess the information you provide them with moving forward.
21 December 2015
It’s easy to say that everyone should have an identifiable personal brand, but how can you communicate yours to a potential employer? It’s important to give hiring managers a solid idea of your brand the moment your name crosses their path and, in many cases, that first opportunity is when they are reviewing your resume. The next time you edit your resume, ask yourself: does this accurately represent the personal brand I’ve built for myself and my career? If the answer is anything other than a very confident “yes,” it may be time to take a look at where your resume can improve. Here are three tips to more accurately represent your personal brand on your resume: Include a summary statement (not an objective). Starting your resume off with a short summary statement is a great way to give the hiring manager a quick snapshot of who you are and what you do. Objective statements are becoming a thing of resume past, so utilize that space (and no more) to describe your brand. Your professional summary should just be a short line or two about you as a professional that highlights your skills and experience. For example, if you’re an executive assistant in financial services and pride yourself on your teamwork and leadership skills, you may write a professional summary like: “A detail-oriented and highly motivated administrative professional with experience in the financial services sector. Able to take initiative, lead collaborative projects, and work seamlessly with colleagues.” Compare your resume to your online presence. This practice has a twofold purpose: making sure everything about your brand is accurately communicated on your resume, and also ensuring your resume doesn’t make any claims that your public brand can’t back up. For example, you may consider yourself to be a great writer, but an employer is going to want to see proof of that. If you don’t have any kind of writing samples online, whether they be blog posts, social media updates, or even a simple professional bio on your LinkedIn, an employer is likely going to wonder where these writing skills are being put to use. Show concrete examples and accomplishments. There may be times when your online presence simply doesn’t reflect what you want to say on your resume, and that’s not necessarily a deal breaker. If you have a skill that you think is vital to your brand but that’s difficult to show through social media or an online portfolio, you can show you possess that skill through listing any relevant projects and accomplishments you successfully worked on in the past. Bonus: If you’re looking to change your brand or career path to something your work history doesn’t quite reflect, emphasize your transferable skills. This applies whether you’re looking to do the same kind of work in a different industry or if you want to overhaul your career altogether: every experience is a learning opportunity, and communicating what you’ve learned and how it can be applied to the position you’re targeting is a great strategy for circumventing an otherwise unrelated work history.