26 September 2017
In recent years, the demand for accountants and the specialized skills they possess has become remarkably high. As a result, these professionals, particularly CPAs with previous public accounting firm experience, have had many opportunities to diversify their skills in a variety of companies. But perhaps one of the most noteworthy trends since 2008 has been the transition to private industry. Due to the financial crisis, many financial institutions faced new regulations that required them to hire an influx of internal accounting professionals to help them comply with updated standards and new governmental regulations. Because of this sudden need, several accountants left their public firms to work in private industry and gain new experience. However, this trend has recently shifted, and many of the CPAs who left public accounting firms are now returning—creating a boomerang effect. “If you have made the transition to private industry and are interested in returning to public accounting, you are in a great position right now to make that move,” says Irv Myones, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “I even have clients specifically asking for candidates with experience in private industry. They want professionals who not only understand public accounting, but also possess a specialized business skill set that they developed while working in private industry.” Irv explains that this is occurring in firms of all sizes, including the Big 4 level. In fact, EY has even stated that 30% of its experienced new hires are former employees that have come back to the field. So why are accountants returning to public accounting firms? Here’s what Irv has to say: They are looking for new challenges Because public accounting firms have such a diverse roster of clients, the work can be more varied than what they were responsible for in private industry. “Through this broad range of work, there is a potential for variety and new challenges,” explains Irv. “This makes these public firms very attractive to motivated accounting professionals. As the economy continues to improve, public accounting firms are gaining new business and expanding their scope of services. As a result, returning to public accounting is an opportunity for CPAs to further diversify their experience with clients they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.” This can provide just the type of challenge that a professional needs in order to take the next logical step in their career. For example, by taking the time to learn about an industry that you haven’t had much exposure to, you have the ability to carve out your own niche and explore new areas of specialization. They can see a wide array of career paths In public accounting—where accounting is the business—there can be many more opportunities for CPAs to grow professionally. According to Irv, the chances for a promotion, especially when returning with experience in the private industry, are higher. “In a public firm, accounting careers can take many different trajectories, particularly when you’re reentering with newly acquired business skills,” he says. “Plus, you may have higher level opportunities within reach at a public firm, like partner-level roles, where there is also a high demand at the moment.” Company culture is shifting In acknowledgement of the talent shortage, Irv has observed significant strides made by public firms in order to retain top talent. “They’ve pivoted toward a more relaxed company culture to better accommodate employees,” he says. “From a more casual dress code to more flexible hours, employees can find a more predictable work-life balance outside of their busy season.”
26 September 2017
You’ve finally made the decision to start your job search. While it may be tempting to jump back into the market, it’s important to ensure you have everything you need to lead a successful search. This starts with a strong resume. To make a positive first impression on an employer and increase your odds of landing an interview, there are hundreds of resume writing tips to choose from. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to separate the facts from fiction. However, there is some advice that most experts agree on: a flawed resume can mean a missed opportunity. When it comes to mistakes, it’s important to avoid these 5 at all costs: Don’t lie Getting caught lying about information included on your resume can do more than cost you the job. On top of that, it can lead you to become blacklisted at specific employers. As a result, do not embellish certain parts of your resume to try and stand out amongst competition. This especially relates to fabricated employment dates, misconstrued titles or responsibilities, or inaccurate information about your education. This information can be easily verified by the employer, especially if you can’t perform the functions of the job, so be honest about everything you include on your resume. Don’t rely only on spellcheck to catch your errors While hiring managers review your resume to evaluate your professional experience, they also pay close attention to a candidate’s level of professionalism in delivering supporting documents and materials. If your resume contains misspellings, typos, or punctuation errors, this will raise red flags to hiring managers, as it demonstrates a lack of attention to detail. As a result, instead of relying solely on your computer’s spellcheck to spot grammatical and syntax errors, have someone read your resume with a fresh set of eyes to catch things you might have missed. Don’t go overboard with style formatting Using additional styling and formatting to give your resume some character is a strategy many job seekers employ. However, candidates rely too much on creative designs and styling to help their resume speak to their professional abilities. While there is no one way of putting together a resume, there are certain resume writing tips you should rely on to avoid being overlooked for an opportunity. For example, steer clear of using multiple fonts and sizes, try being consistent with bullet point usage and use white space strategically. Don’t include irrelevant information It can be tempting to find other ways to sell yourself in the hope of standing out. However, beefing up your resume with irrelevant information that doesn’t pertain to the job you’re applying to, may only hurt your chances. For example, listing current activities and hobbies you’re interested in, providing honors and awards you received over 5 years ago, or including courses that have nothing to with the job, will only distract the hiring manger from your most relevant qualifications. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend saving certain personal and professional antidotes for a face-to-face interview. Along similar lines, it’s best to be strategic about the experience you list if you have less than 10 years of experience. While a two-page resume is not a deal breaker, hiring managers should be able to get a snapshot of your experience quickly. If your resume is too long, this will be difficult to do. Don’t rely on a “one resume fits all” approach Too often, job seekers make the mistake of relying on one resume to speak to every position they will eventually apply to. One of the most important resume writing tips to keep in mind is to focus on tailoring your resume to the position you’re applying to. Taking this approach illustrates to hiring managers how your professional experience aligns directly with the needs of the role you’re applying to, which may increase your odds of getting an invite for an interview.