11 April 2018
When was the last time you applied for a job? However long ago that was, it may have been the last time you updated your resume as well. If you’re happily employed, taking the time to update your resume may seem unnecessary, but you never know when an enticing opportunity will present itself. When this happens, you’ll want your resume ready to go should someone ask for it! If you haven’t updated your resume recently, chances are that the skills and responsibilities listed do not reflect your current capabilities and potential for success in the future. Additionally, depending on your field, the resume template and overall design may be outdated in a hiring manager’s eye, which can lead to them passing over your application. In order to avoid this, here are 10 quick fixes to spruce up your resume: Update all your roles – if you haven’t touched your resume since you applied for your most recent role, the first thing you should do is include this, as well as any evolving responsibilities to your resume. Not only does a hiring manager want to see what you are currently up to, but it gives an indication of how quickly you’ll be able to transition into a new opportunity. As a result, they’ll be able to see how you’ll be able to adapt within their company structure. Change the font – Even if you already use a professional font like Times New Roman or Calibri, a new font change can make a huge difference! Fonts like Helvetica and Century Gothic look sleek and modern (as well as not too common), so they’ll most likely catch the eye of a hiring manager. Rearrange sections if necessary – Depending on your experience level, you may have positioned your education section higher than it needs to be. As a rule of thumb, professionals with some experience under their belt should list professional experience first, followed by involvement with professional organizations, then education, and skills at the end. Delete the resume objective – There was a time when including a resume objective at the top of your resume was essentially a requirement. However, they’ve become redundant and unnecessary over the past couple of years. For many potential employers, a resume objective is wasted space that could have been dedicated to highlighting skills or expanding on previous roles. Add your LinkedIn profile – Now that LinkedIn is considered a requirement for many employers, including it on your resume is a must. Since it can be seen as an in-depth version of your resume, providing access to your LinkedIn profile can make you a more appealing candidate to a hiring manager deciding who to bring in for an interview. Your profile can also showcase different projects you’ve worked on or any work samples you may have, so making your work more accessible to a hiring manager may give you a competitive edge. Make all of your links active – If you are including links to your LinkedIn profile, business website, or other website where your work and accomplishments can be viewed, be sure to include hyperlinks! While a hiring manager could manually reach those websites themselves, they’ll appreciate the ease and efficiency that comes with live links on your resume. In order to do this, send your resume as a .PDF so a hiring manager can access any hyperlinks you include while keeping the format consistent. Shorten the amount of bullets for any single position – As you go over prior roles on your resume, be sure to list five bullets per role at most. While you may have accomplished a lot or spent a long time in a particular role, a hiring manager is not going to get through every single bullet point if the section is too long. If you have several roles on your resume, don’t be afraid to eliminate bullets from your older positions! Quantify everything – Did you manage a team? Increase sales revenue by a significant percentage? If there are any numbers you can highlight on your resume, do so. Numbers and percentages are not only attractive to a potential employer’s eye, but it gives them a clearer idea of what they can expect of you should you be hired. Failing to do so can be seen as a major deal-breaker! Update the skills section – If you haven’t touched your resume in a while, the skills currently listed there don’t reflect the skills you’ve acquired over time. If that’s the case, be sure to include any new programs you’ve learned and soft skills that come with more professional experience. Check the formatting – Now that you have made all these changes, finish it off by ensuring that the formatting is the same throughout. Before sending out the final product, check to see that the font is consistent, indentations are even, and bullets line up properly. You wouldn’t want to have done all of that work only to have a hiring manager pass over it because it’s too difficult to read.
11 April 2018
It has never been a better time to be an accounting professional—as firms prepare to implement the new tax code passed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, there is an unprecedented level of hiring in the accounting industry. “And while public accounting firms are increasing hiring, they are still holding high standards for their new hires and looking for employees who can make an impact long-term,” says Michael Cooke, Executive Vice President at The Execu|Search Group. While the stereotypical accounting professional is an introvert who sits behind a computer, succeeding in a public accounting firm requires more than having the technical skillset. In addition to that, there are several other soft skills firms look for to identify a new hire who could grow into a leadership role. If you’re looking to take advantage of the increase in hiring, be sure to exhibit these other personal qualities to prove that you would be a valuable addition to the team: Leadership skills As employers are looking to hire those who can make a long-term impact on the firm, this means that they are looking for a professional who has the potential to take on more responsibilities in the future. “Firms are looking for the next generation of leadership, and they want someone who not only cares about their individual success, but also has the drive to see the firm succeed as a whole,” says Michael. As a result, displaying autonomy in your work and showing that you take initiative can prove that you would one day be able to handle a leadership role. Ability to develop new business While accounting skills are a crucial part of your job, the key to becoming an indispensable employee lies in your ability to develop new business. “While it may not be in your job description, your employer will not be able to overlook your value when you’re increasing profits,” explains Michael. “This means that you should look for any opportunity to offer your firm’s services—even when it’s not an area of the business you don’t personally handle.” As a result, be sure that you listen to your clients to suggest other ways in which your firm can service them. Additionally, consulting a partner at the firm who has brought in a lot of business can give you guidance and show partners that you’re a driven employee. Network to bring in new business When you effectively network, you might be surprised to learn just how many people are in need of a new accounting firm. As you attend events and meet new people, be sure to mention what you do for a living; you never know what kind of accounting needs people may have. “Every business needs an accountant, so everyone you know is a potential source of business,” says Michael. “Also, make an effort to stay in touch with old friends, acquaintances and colleagues, as they may move into a role one day where they are in a decision-making capacity to bring on audit/tax or consulting work.” Assertive communication skills In addition to displaying other leadership skills, your ability to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues is critical to your longevity at the organization. “Not only does this include explaining your work clearly to clients, but it also includes effectively working with your team,” says Michael. “This could encompass everything from presenting your work to management, delegating tasks to a coworker, or training a new hire.” Ability to solve problems with creative solutions Most accounting professionals may be looking at black and white numbers most of the day, and as a result, running into a problem often involves a mathematical solution. However, as you move into a leadership role, the black and white solution may start to become greyer. “As a leader, the problems you must solve require more critical thinking and more creative solutions,” explains Michael. “As a result, accounting firms are looking for someone who doesn’t freeze under pressure and can think on their feet quickly.”