31 August 2017
As the summer winds down, it can be tempting to get in every last bit of relaxation before the cooler weather begins. If you are a financial services professional contemplating a career move, however, this is not the time to take a step back from your search. “The change of seasons signals the final hiring surge in the financial services sector before the end of the year,” says Mitchell Peskin, Executive Vice President of The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “To maintain their hiring budgets for next year, many companies are determined to fill their open positions in the fall. Although this makes it one of the busiest times for hiring, we often see job seekers lose momentum in the weeks leading up to—and after—Labor Day.” Whether you’re looking forward to an end-of-year bonus or taking a vacation, it’s important to stay focused on your professional goals during this critical time. “Many employers are aware of these concerns and are offering incentives for candidates to make the switch,” explains Mitchell. “These incentives can range from a sign on bonus to a delayed start date.” As a result, now is the time to start setting goals and getting organized. By taking these steps over the next couple of weeks, you will be prepared to take advantage of the post-Labor Day hiring surge: Update your resume: Ensuring your resume is current before you start searching allows you to keep your goals top of mind. Whether this involves developing a new skill or gaining experience in a different industry, this refreshed resume can help guide your search. While you are updating your resume, it’s important to focus on your specific expertise. “Hiring managers are most interested in your product knowledge, including your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that highlight the specifics of what you know,” advises Mitchell. “You also need to be prepared to speak to everything that is included on your resume. If you can’t discuss a technology or product that you claimed you had experience with, this can raise some major red flags for hiring managers.” Improve your personal brand: Social networking sites like LinkedIn have changed the way we connect after networking events, meetings, and interviews. As a result, evaluating and improving the way your brand is portrayed on these sites is a vital step in preparing for your job search. Your brand can be what others—employers, clients, and network connections—identify you as an expert in, so these social networking platforms are some of the best ways to market your skills, achievements, and industry expertise. Be flexible: If you are serious about taking advantage of this hot hiring period, it’s important that you remain flexible in the types of roles you’re looking for. “Keep an open mind about all opportunities that are aligned with your expertise,” says Mitchell. “If you’re unwilling to look past specific titles, for example, you could be limiting yourself in regards to the different types of firms you could potentially work for. Although firms may use the same titles to distinguish certain roles, the internal structures and responsibilities can differ drastically from firm to firm.” Get involved: Attending industry events is another great way to prepare for your job search. Not only do they allow you to meet and connect with likeminded professionals in your field, but also help you stay abreast of industry trends and keep your skills up-to-date. Some professionals even take their industry involvement a step further by volunteering for a relevant charitable organization such as Hedge Funds Care. “Doing so allows you to demonstrate an interest in your field outside of your job,” explains Mitchell. “This is something that can look very impressive to a hiring manager.”
29 August 2017
For nurses interested in new opportunities, the fall is an excellent time to get back into the market. Not only are job and wage prospects for nurses looking up, but the cooler weather also brings about a new wave of seasonal hiring needs. “September marks the start of a new school year as well as the beginning of flu season,” says Amanda Cruse, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Health Services division. “As a result, we’re currently seeing the strongest demand for school and immunization nurses. This is a trend that we have seen grow stronger every year as communities expand and place a greater emphasis on preventative care and early intervention.” With per diem, part-time, and full-time opportunities available, both of these positions offer the flexibility to work as little or as often as you would like. They can also help you gain experience with new patient populations and within different settings, diversify your skills, and get your foot in the door with a new employer such as a hospital. The key to landing one? Proactivity. “While these positions are available throughout the fall and winter, the strongest hiring surge takes place in September,” explains Amanda. “There is typically a more diverse range of available opportunities during this time, so being proactive gives you the ability to identify a role that aligns with your goals and lifestyle.” Since employers are looking for nurses to start as soon as possible, the hiring process moves quickly for these positions. To ensure you are prepared for this hiring surge, here is Amanda’s checklist for success: Update your resume: Employers want to see that your clinical skills are up-to-date. Make sure the beginning of your resume highlights all your renewed certifications and any continuing education classes you have taken. If you are applying to be a flu shot nurse, you’ll want to highlight any prior immunization experience to show you are qualified for this role. Ensure you have all your credentials: When applying to jobs, you must be prepared with copies of your nursing registration, your license, diploma, and CPR certification. This will show any prospective employers that all your bases are covered. Get medical clearance: It’s also important to see your physician for a physical (with blood work), get a PPD test, tetanus shot and flu shot, and go for a chest x ray. All healthcare employers require their employees to be clear in all these areas, so make sure that you are proactive about scheduling your appointments. You will not be able to start your assignment without being cleared. Be flexible + responsive: If you are truly serious about taking advantage of this hot hiring period, it’s important that you remain flexible with your ability to interview. Since employers are often on a tight timetable to fill these positions, a delayed response or lack of availability could mean a missed opportunity. In a similar vein, you should be prepared with at least two references. To ensure they can speak to your most current skills, you should have worked with these references within the last two years.
28 August 2017
When considering how to change careers, the idea can seem like a daunting, even insurmountable task. However, if you’re feeling unsatisfied in your career, sometimes starting over is the right answer. But when you’re starting a new career from scratch, perhaps in an industry you’re unfamiliar with, where do you start? While it can take some time—and a lot of hard work—making a successful switch is possible. On your way to finding a more rewarding career path, start with these steps in the video below:
23 August 2017
As an undergraduate student, switching gears between your internship and your school work can be challenging. However, if you’ve had the opportunity to hold an internship (paid or unpaid), you’re a step ahead of many of your fellow classmates! Whether you are completing your internship throughout the semester or during your seasonal breaks, internships are a great way to not only build professional experience, but also build your network and get your foot in the door of a company you admire. From day one of an internship, you should be taking these 6 steps to ensure you are well-positioned for a full-time role if the opportunity arises: Step 1: Display a strong work ethic Your prospective employer will be evaluating your performance in a variety of ways that you might not be aware of, so it’s important to maintain a strong work ethic whenever you are on company time. For example, arriving on time, taking reasonable lunch breaks, or following company dress code should be no brainers. However, other factors to consider revolve around your use of company time, which can include your personal phone usage, browsing of social media, or meeting project deadlines. Step 2: Show initiative and enthusiasm As an intern, it can be easy to feel as if your talents are being underutilized, but, it’s important to stay focused on the big picture, especially if you’re hoping it turns into a full-time opportunity! Your manager will be evaluating your willingness to get the job done, so whether you are grabbing coffee for the team or tediously combing through Excel spreadsheets, take all of these tasks in stride. Along the same lines, volunteer to help other colleagues where you can and be willing to do as much as you can to improve your skillset. Step 3: Ask questions and learn from mistakes When starting any new job, there is always a learning curve you should expect to experience, so don’t stress too much if things don’t run smoothly immediately. Instead, try your best to absorb and learn as much as you can during the time you are working. It’s important to ask questions if you don’t understand something, take constructive criticism when you can, and learn from your mistakes (and the mistakes of others) by making new suggestions. At the end of the day, you must demonstrate to your manager that you will be an asset to the team if you get the opportunity to work with them in the future. Step 4: Network, network, network In the professional realm, the old saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know,” reigns true for interns as well. Being comfortable talking to your team members is great, but in order to thrive in any role, it’s important to build out your professional network. For example, consider attending mixers or networking events geared towards other interns in your organization or industry. Along the same lines, consider building working relationships with other colleagues which can potentially mature into a mentor/mentee relationship, as they can be a great resource for career or personal advice. Step 5: Show your employer you WANT to work with them If your ultimate goal is to be hired full-time upon graduating, let them know! This isn’t to say you should remind them every other day that you want a full-time job, but you should try to arrange one on one time with your manager every once in a while to keep them abreast of your career interests. Slowly but surely, your manager will see that you are truly committed to building a career with their company. Step 6: Stay in touch Don’t make it a habit of only touching base with your manager when internship season rolls around, as this shows that you’re only interested in communicating when you want something. Instead, make it a point to send your manager (or select colleagues) an email to update them on your semester, or a quick phone call just to catch up. While these might seem insignificant, the simple gesture of wanting to stay in touch will show your employer that you’re interested in establishing a long-term relationship with them.
22 August 2017
Congratulations, you’ve made it through the initial screening process to an in-person interview! Now it’s time to turn your attention to securing a job offer. “Landing an interview is definitely an accomplishment, but you still have a lot of work to do if you want to walk away with a job offer,” says Elisa Dammacco, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division who is a CPA herself. “You only get one chance to make a strong impression on a prospective employer, so the interview is not the time to wing it. If you want to make it to the next step in the process, you need to lay the ground work for a successful meeting.” For those in need of a quick check list for success, here are 9 ways to prepare for every stage of the interview process at an accounting firm: Before the interview… Do your research: A failure to demonstrate knowledge of the firm is a top reason why accountants get passed over for offers. As a result, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with key details such as: the size of the company, the industries they specialize in, and the type of clients they work with. Then, you can take your research a step further by searching for the latest company news, reading online reviews, and looking up your interviewers on LinkedIn. Know your resume: To position yourself as the best candidate for the opportunity, you need to be able to articulate how your experience will allow you to be successful in the role. Brainstorm your talking points by reviewing your client history and industry experience, as well as, making a list of your top strengths and most significant accomplishments. Anticipate behavioral + situational-based questions: Most accounting professionals know to prepare for questions that test their technical accounting skills. However, an increasing number of companies are utilizing unconventional interview questions to assess a candidate’s soft skills. “Many of our clients are looking for CPAs with strong critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills,” says Laura Gutierrez, a Senior Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “Since these traits don’t necessarily come across on a resume, they are asking interview questions aimed at specifically addressing them.” The day of the interview… Be respectful: From the security guard to the receptionist, treat everyone with the same level of professionalism and respect as you would the actual interviewer. “Every person you encounter could weigh in on the final decision,” notes Elisa. “In a field that requires heavy client interface, hiring managers will want to ensure a prospective hire treats others with courtesy and respect. As a result, they are very receptive to feedback from every individual who came into contact with the candidate.” Be enthusiastic: Regardless of whether or not you think the opportunity is for you, it’s important to let your enthusiasm and personality shine through for the entirety of the interview. “Smile, actively listen and participate in the conversation, and sit upright,” explains Laura. “Conveying your enthusiasm will help you build a friendly rapport with the hiring manager, which is something that can inspire them to choose you over another candidate.” Stay on track: In the early stages of the interview process, try to keep your focus on proving you are the right fit for the role as well as the company culture. Comments or questions about compensation and benefits should be saved for later on in the process, or when you receive an offer. Ask questions: Asking questions not only shows your interviewer that you are engaged in the conversation, but also gives you the opportunity to evaluate your level of interest in the position. “Remember, an interview is a two-way street,” advises Elisa. “As you do your company research, prepare a few questions that are tailored to each person you plan to meet with.” For example, more general questions about factors like company culture can be geared toward HR. Specific questions about the role and expectations for your first 6 months, can be saved for the hiring managers. “If you exhaust your question list before you complete your interviews, it’s okay to repeat them with every new person you meet with,” adds Elisa. “Every hiring manager has a different perspective, so this can provide you with more clarity on the role.” After the interview… Tie up loose ends: At the conclusion of the interview, Laura advises her candidates to ask if the hiring manager has any further questions or needs clarification on anything that was discussed. “This affords you one final opportunity to sell yourself or address any concerns that the hiring manager may have about your eligibility,” she says. Know how to follow up: If you applied to the job on your own, it’s considered a best practice to send a personalized follow up note within 24 hours of the interview. The note should concisely express your gratitude, reiterate your interest in the role, and explain why you’re the right fit. If you’ve been working with a recruiter, however, it might be more appropriate to let them facilitate any future communication with the employer.
21 August 2017
In today’s digital age, LinkedIn has not only become one of the top sources for professionals looking for jobs, but an important research tool for employers trying to identify talent. While employers can utilize this site to learn more about a candidate outside of their resume or proactively find new candidates, job seekers can leverage its features to connect with companies, instantly apply for jobs, and stay in touch with their network. With that said, your LinkedIn presence is just as important as your resume and cover letter are when job searching. Since your activity on this site can impact whether or not you get a call back for a position you’re interested in, you need to be strategic about how you present yourself. Here are 5 ways to catch the eye of a hiring manager on LinkedIn: Ensure your profile picture matches your brand As hiring managers go through LinkedIn, the first and fastest thing they notice will be your profile picture. While it may not seem like much, your profile picture can do a lot to help (or damage) your cause. In fact, recruiters spend approximately 20 percent of the time they spend on your LinkedIn looking at your picture alone. With this knowledge in mind, you’ll want to make sure your profile picture looks professional and aligns with the personal brand you want a potential employer to associate you with. Doing this will spark the viewer’s interest to check the rest of your profile and get to know you better. Have a succinct summary If a hiring manager decides to give your information a more in-depth look, the next thing they review will be the professional summary that is located at the top of your page. To make a strong impression on the employer, resist the urge to cram as much information into the summary as you possibly can. Instead the summary should concisely outline your identity as a professional, your strengths, and the value you can bring to a company. Make sure your work information is detailed and up-to-date While you’ll want to ensure your summary is short and to the point, don’t be afraid to splurge a little on listing all of your work information. For each position on your profile, be sure to have a comprehensive list of responsibilities that demonstrate your abilities and skills that a hiring manager would view as desirable. While you don’t want to copy and paste your entire resume into your experience field, don’t worry about the length of your responsibilities. Highlighting your abilities by using certain keywords can vastly improve your chances of a hiring manager clicking on your profile. Get recommendations and endorsements The “Skills & Endorsements Section” will certainly catch a hiring manager’s eye if they’re looking for specific technical and soft skills, but connecting with past colleagues/managers to endorse your top skills (proficiency in programs like Excel, Photoshop, PeopleSoft, etc.) will help a recruiter identify your strongest skills. Another way to boost your chances is receiving recommendations from professionals within your network. By doing so, you add more credibility to your LinkedIn profile as it gives a glimpse into your work ethic and performance in the field. However, be selective about which endorsements you display. A hiring manager will be most interested in an endorsement that comes from someone who has worked with you on a professional level. Be active! Similar to other social networking sites, you increase your visibility by actively spending time on LinkedIn. While building a solid profile is a great start, being active and taking part in the LinkedIn community can make you a more attractive candidate in the eyes of a recruiter or hiring manager. For example, if you’re an IT professional and you regularly share articles about the demand for professionals with up-to-date Python knowledge or about which IT markets are poised to have the most growth, a potential employer is going to take notice about how knowledgeable you are in your field.
16 August 2017
The Execu|Search Group is proud to announce that we have been named to Inc. magazine’s 36th annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies! The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and mid-sized businesses. This is the third consecutive year that Execu|Search has made the list, and of the tens of thousands of companies that have applied to the Inc. 5000 over the years, only a fraction have made the list more than once. Only one in five have made the list three times. “We are honored to be named to the Inc. 5000 for the third consecutive year,” says Edward Fleischman, CEO of The Execu|Search Group. “Our growth over the past 32 years wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our dedicated team. Upon walking into any one of our offices, you immediately see people who are hard at work, but more importantly, passionate about what they are doing. This type of energy has been integral to our success and I’m excited to see where it takes us.” The 2017 Inc. 5000 is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a three-year average growth of 481%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $206 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years. The list is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2013 to 2016. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2013. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2016. “The Inc. 5000 is the most persuasive evidence I know that the American Dream is still alive,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “The founders and CEOs of the Inc. 5000 tell us they think determination, risk taking, and vision were the keys to their success, and I believe them.” About the Inc. 5000 Started in 1982, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates their remarkable achievements. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions. For more information on Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit http://conference.inc.com/.
16 August 2017
Throughout your job search, it can be easy to rely solely on sites like GlassDoor or Great Place To Work to spot a great company to work for. However, many job seekers often make the mistake of overlooking the importance of a good manager within the company, which can be just as if not more impactful than the company’s culture. As a result, it’s important to ask questions that not only give you a better sense of the company and your role within it, but also to ask questions that will help you determine if you would work well with your prospective manager. Here are a number of topics and questions you can focus on throughout your interviews to better evaluate if your prospective boss would be the best fit for you: Questions about company culture It’s no secret that company culture is often a major factor in a candidate’s willingness to work for a particular employer. As a result, learning about the company culture through the eyes of your prospective manager is one way to get a feel for whether or not your personalities would mesh well together. Ask: How would you describe your company culture in a few words? What are some career development opportunities offered to employees? What do you personally enjoy most about working here? Questions about management and leadership To ensure you know what to expect from an employer, it’s important to be aware of how different management styles can impact your performance at work. Getting a feel for the management style of your prospective supervisor can give you an idea of what a working relationship could look like. Ask: How would you define your management style as it relates to your team? How often do you check in with your team either individually and/or as a department? Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an underperformer? What did you do? Questions about team dynamics Having a general idea of the qualities that make up your team will help you determine where your skills might be utilized and how your role fits in to the bigger picture. Be sure to pay close attention to your interviewer’s response time, as a good manager who has a strong relationship with their team should be able to provide answers to these questions quickly. Ask: What is one habit your best team member(s) practice that you expect in new hires? What was the last team achievement that was celebrated? How do you envision a new hire contributing to the team? Questions about work ethic Learning about your manager’s work ethic can give you the chance to gauge how your work will be evaluated if you were to be hired. These questions are especially important as they provide you with a clear picture of what will be expected of you as a new team member. Ask: How do you measure individual performance? How are those metrics determined? What does a typical workday/week look like for someone in this role? What will I be expected to accomplish within my first six months in this role?
15 August 2017
After a downturn in the market, hiring typically goes down, and when the market improves, employers begin to ramp up their hiring exponentially. After some time, this up-and-down trend stabilizes, and the market evens out as organizations finally catch up. Within the accounting/finance industry, we are starting to reach this equilibrium now that the Great Recession is behind us. “A few years ago, there simply weren’t enough qualified candidates to fill open positions,” says Laura Gutierrez, a Senior Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “However, we’ve recently seen a shift in the market.” Accounting professionals are becoming more confident in the economy, and have become more willing to look for jobs as a result. “Since there is this flood of talent in the marketplace, employers feel more comfortable in taking their time when hiring, and they will hold out for the best candidate possible,” says Laura. It’s important to note that any perceived slowdown in hiring is not a sign of another economic downturn. It may just indicate that the market is leveling out. For job seekers in the industry looking to find a competitive edge in this shifting market, Laura suggests taking these steps: Start looking now: Because the field is more competitive and employers are taking longer to hire, Laura suggests that you don’t wait to start your job search. “Be ready for a slower process, and do your best to cooperate with the timetable of the employers,” she says. “For example, a Tax CPA who just finished their September 15th deadline may normally wait until December to look for their next role.” But, Laura says, you may miss out on a job for the next busy season if you wait that long. “It could potentially take a few months to find that next role, so plan ahead to make sure you’re not stuck in your position until after the April 15th deadline,” says Laura. By being proactive and giving yourself more time to look for your next role, you can more effectively keep your options open and avoid landing in a tough situation. Get your CPA certification: If you’re looking to keep your skills up to par to remain competitive among the talented pool of candidates, Laura suggests pursuing the CPA designation, as it is the industry gold standard. “A CPA certification can definitively prove that you have a grasp on the technical skills necessary to do the job,” notes Laura. “Additionally, it shows your dedication to the field. Not only have you put in time and effort to pass the exam, but you also show that you’re committed to advancing in your career.” Emphasize soft skills: While the proper certifications and experience are crucial to success, It’s your soft skills that will push you ahead of your competition. “What’s really putting good candidates over the top is their personality,” she says. “Employers aren’t just looking for someone who has the technical skills needed to do the job; they want the right cultural fit for the organization as well. A friendly demeanor and a grip on soft skills like communication and teamwork are what will set you apart from the competition.”