As an accountant or financial services professional, you know that finding a new job can be challenging. Even with a candidate-driven job market on your side, identifying the right fit for your skills, experience, and career goals can take some effort. For this reason, finance and accounting recruiters can be excellent resources to turn to throughout your career. But to get the most out of this type of relationship, you first you need to learn how to catch their attention and work with them!
“Anyone can benefit from having a relationship with a recruiter, regardless of their experience level,” says Mike Ruben, a Senior Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “Your needs can change throughout different stages of your career, so having a trusted recruiter in your corner can make all the difference. Our knowledge of the market and relationships with different firms allows us to not only identify opportunities that align with your strengths and skillsets, but also connect you with employers with the right company culture for you.”
If you are interested in leveraging these benefits, here are four ways to start your relationship with a recruiter on the right foot:
While you should generally treat your meeting with a recruiter like a typical interview, you don’t want to gloss over details that might affect the type of positions your recruiter will find for you. “When we’re getting to know a candidate, we’ll ask you a lot of questions to find out what your preferences are,” says Mike. “While it can feel instinctual to say yes to everything in this type of setting, it’s important to be transparent and honest with us. By keeping the lines of communication open, we can work together to find you a position that best suits your needs.”
This includes being honest about expected pay and responsibilities, industry preferences, and whether you’re working with other finance and accounting recruiters or applying for jobs on your own.
Keep an open mind
It’s important to have some expectations for your next role, but it’s equally important to keep an open mind. “Try not to get caught up in the specifics of one job description,” advises Mike. “While you can certainly be selective in a candidate-driven market, you don’t want to say no too soon. With your skills in high demand, it’s certainly worth exploring different types of roles and career paths.”
You might be pleasantly surprised by some of the different opportunities out there, but if not, consider it good interviewing practice! However, it’s critical to your relationship with finance and accounting recruiters that you are transparent about this. “If you don’t think it’s the right fit, we won’t be offended,” explains Mike. “Just keep it professional by telling us. This will not only help the client save time, but also help us better focus our search efforts for you.”
Listen to feedback
Be sure that you’re doing your part in this job search too; while finance and accounting recruiters can take on the search, you still need to focus on making a good impression on prospective employers. Part of this involves coming prepared to every interview, but another part of this involves being receptive to feedback from your recruiter.
“Because we receive feedback from our clients after every interview and work with a wide variety of professionals, we have unique insight into current market trends that we can advise you on,” says Mike. “If we are giving you feedback on your interview performance, for example, it is to help you land the right opportunity. Whether that is something you find through us or on your own, great. Our goal is to give you all the tools you need to do your best.”
Stay in touch
Just because your job search will eventually come to an end, doesn’t mean your relationship with your recruiter has to. “Recruiting isn’t about simply making a placement and moving on,” notes Mike. “We’re invested in all of our candidates’ long-term success, and we make an effort to check in when you are starting the new job or making a career transition. We’re also here to offer career guidance, even when you are not actively job searching.”
Try to stay in touch with your recruiter by regularly sending them some brief updates about your career. You never know when you may need their assistance—as either a job seeker or hiring manager—and the more up-to-date they are on your needs, the quicker they may be able to help!