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Steps to Improve Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn

Steps to Improve Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn

July 7, 2020

There’s no getting around it. Social media is an immensely present aspect in our lives. It affects everything from how we interact with each other to where we choose to grab a bite to eat for lunch. It can also make all the difference in how you advance professionally. Employers, recruiters, and hiring managers use social media to cross reference your resume, qualifications and personal image. A CareerBuilder study found that 58% of employers conduct social screenings to look for information supporting a candidate’s qualifications for the job.

For this reason alone, you should be aware of your personal brand at the very least. In fact, when utilized correctly, personal branding on social media can be a very powerful tool in taking your career to new heights.

To make the best impression on social media, our expert team of search professionals has compiled a list of steps to upgrade your presence and personal branding, especially on LinkedIn.

Step One: Profile Personalization

The best place to start is with the image you are building for yourself. Who are you? What makes you unique? That is the focus of what your personal brand should be: What can you, and only you, bring to the table? Create a custom URL so it is easy for potential connections to reach out and find your profile.

Your profile should be current, so plan on doing profile maintenance for any new professional accomplishments or experiences. This could be anything from a new job to completing a certification, to learning a new skill. Just as important as accurate information, you should also make sure your professional head shot and cover photo are up to date as well.

LinkedIn can feature 50 skills on your profile, and you should take the opportunity to build those skills out as much as you can as often as you can. Employers and recruiters will often search on these keywords so including them will open doors to new connections and opportunities that you may be interested in.

Step Two: Getting Connected to Stay Connected

The saying goes: It’s not what you know, but who you know. Building and using your LinkedIn to connect and network is effective in building your profile and personal brand. Make connections with folks you know professionally. Whether it’s a classmate, a old professor, a former colleague, a previous supervisor, someone you met at a virtual event, connect, connect connect!

There is never a “bad” reason for making a new connection. At the end of the day, each connection leads to another, which leads to another, and one of those connections might be that connection you’ve been looking for.

Don’t by shy to start talking with other LinkedIn users, groups or thought leaders! The messaging function is great for short, productive conversations. InMail can be used to send longer private messages to those who aren’t first degree connections yet.

Step Three: Write (or Share) Like the Wind

This is how you can really show off your personal brand. Establish yourself, your voice and your values through posts. By offering your personal insight on the hot topics in your profession, sharing articles , videos and photos, you can establish yourself as an active and effective member of the LinkedIn community and gain a wider following. Give your connections a reason to keep visiting your profile. Be a resource to your network!

Like, comment, and share posts from others in your network. Remember, posting natively will always get more visibility from 1st degree connections. Be consistent with posting frequency, but test a few different types of posts to see what your connections like best.

It is never a bad time to start building up your personal brand, and it is never too late to start making new and worthwhile connections. We are always happy to help with any questions you might have about the ever-changing job market.

In the middle of a job search? View our job listings and let us match you to a job that fits your needs.

 

Suggestions for a More Effective Accounting or Finance Job Search in 2020

Suggestions for a More Effective Accounting or Finance Job Search in 2020

If you’re looking to land a new opportunity this year, here are a few recommendations to augment your job search.

By this time in the year, most companies have their updated budgets and are hiring for new positions. If you’re in the market for a new opportunity, that’s excellent to hear, right?

Even though the 2020 job market is in your favor, our professional team of experts wants to share a few extra tips to help you land your next career all while saving you time and energy.

1. Keep variations of your resume on hand

The two elements that will increase your chances of an interview with a recruiting firm or potential employer are:

  • resume submission quality
  • resume submission time

What do these terms mean and how are they related?

Resume submission quality refers to you the style, organization, readability and thoroughness of detail for the specific role you’re applying for. While your technical skills, soft skills and experiences don’t change when applying job to job, you may wish to highlight certain accomplishments, responsibilities and/or skills more for specific industries and roles differently than others.

When you modify your resume for specific industries or roles, be sure to save it for next time you apply to a similar role. You can make minor adjustments as you find new opportunities so you can respond to job postings quicker.

Job boards typically receive most resume submissions within the first 10 – 14 days, so it is essential to apply with a quality resume as quickly as possible.

2. Use LinkedIn

Creating an engaging presence on social networks is essential in today’s market, especially on LinkedIn.  Maintaining a LinkedIn profile is critical for active and passive job seekers because it shows more about you than a traditional resume. LinkedIn receives 18M average daily visitors and is the leading channel to distribute B2B content. We recommend keeping your profile active by continuously updating your professional experiences, certifications and skills. Engage with colleagues, previous coworkers, classmates, supervisors, and thought leaders. Join groups that match your interests and preferences. Post photos with colleagues. Celebrate high achieving individuals. Send highly personalized connection requests and take the opportunity to meet with professionals who you think could help you in a career search.

On LinkedIn, we recommend using a professional or business casual photograph of yourself for your profile picture. If you have any LinkedIn related questions or need additional tips, please reach out to your Accountants One recruiter.

It’s worth mentioning that LinkedIn also has an incredible job board for active job seekers. You can mark yourself as “Open to New Opportunities” so that your profile can be discovered to employers and recruiting professionals.

With the unemployment rate so low it is important to clean up your other social media profiles. Don’t post anything you’d regret in the morning! Remember, you can always use Facebook or Instagram as another avenue for networking.

3. Know what you want and what you’re worth

If you’re unhappy in your current role, take the time for serious self-reflection and see what is truly making you feel this way. Some of the top reasons for job dissatisfaction are poor compensation, limited career growth, lack of challenging work, poor management, and long commute time.

Based on findings from a our 2019 survey conducted with a sample of Atlanta’s best accountants, opportunities for career advancement and corporate culture were the leading factors in determining job satisfaction.

Knowing your market value is also very important so that you can evaluate offers from potential employers. For example, if you are a Staff Accountant in 2020, you should be making anywhere from $44,000 to $61,000. For more market trends, check out the Accountants One 2020 Salary Guide if you’d like to see how your current salary stacks up.

A recruiter can act as a career coach and trusted advisor in all of these aspects. Accountants One recruiters are looking to get to know you and your long-term career goals.

Here at Accountants One we listen to understand. We strive to discover your personal, educational and business goals so that we can identify opportunities that match what you’re looking for. If you’re ready to start exploring available opportunities, please view all listings through our Job Listings page. 

3 Career Questions to Ask Yourself Right Now

3 Career Questions to Ask Yourself Right Now

Do you find yourself getting so caught up in day-to-day work that you forget about what you really want to do and how you are going to get there? Instant gratification of the to-dos and the right-nows make it easy to continue putting off the necessary time to really think about your long-term career goals. Between balancing life, work, family, friends, activities, it seems as if there is simply no time to think about your career goals.

Unless you want your professional growth and career to take a backseat forever, you must step back from the daily grind to really reflect about the bigger picture.

We highly encourage you take just a moment to answer these three career planning questions to reach your goals:

What are skills that I’ve improved in the last month, quarter, year?

Think of this as a self performance review. Taking time to write a genuine self-assessment of your skills and contributions to your organization can really help you see where you are in your career journey. Let’s say your long-term career goal is becoming a Controller for a large corporation. What are the necessary skills to continuing advancement to this level?

Qualifications for a Controller might include a combination of technical and soft skills – strong background in financial management, reconciliations, analytical thinking, interpersonal skills, Microsoft Excel, etc.

What are you doing now that will help you to get there?

Tip: Create a running list of all the technical and soft skills needed to get you to your long-term career goal and rate your skills from needs improvement to skills that you feel you’ve mastered. Focus on ways to improve, seek out mentors and jot down notes about experiences that demonstrate you’re improving. Update and review this list either bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Am I making strides in my career trajectory the way I imagined?

It’s essential to reflect on all facets of where you are now and where you want to be. Are you on your career trajectory? Are you happy with it? Is it important to you? Is it one that you still want to be on? If so, great, a congratulations is due! If not, it’s time to turn things around.

Assess the values of your life – relationships, family, hobbies, religion, fitness. Where does your career fall in importance? If your vision is to become Partner but you realize that you value family time and hobbies more, you may need to rethink your career trajectory.

Things aren’t always what they seem. What do you really think you enjoy at work now? How can you have a fulfilling job that makes you happy? Recalibrate your vision and stay on the path that is right for you based on your interests, values and passions. If you’re thinking that you would benefit from a complete 180 career change, listen to your gut and do it (but talk to us first)!

Does my current role support my long-term career goals?

Another way to phrase this question: Are there growth opportunities at my current company that could help me progress? If not, we suggest that you run, not walk, to another position that will help you get there.

The entry level and midlevel points in your career are the most important regarding positioning yourself to reach your goals. These are times of great growth and development in terms of experiences and responsibilities. At the Senior level there are even still ways to improve. Take every opportunity to keep learning and growing.

Either way, this is the most important question to consider. Returning to our first example…let’s say your ultimate career goal is to become a Controller for a large corporation. Are you in a position at a forward-moving company that promotes internally? Are you in a position with a large corporation already doing some operational accounting? Either way, you could be on your merry way to the Controller level.

Remember, it’s nearly impossible to plan your career out at every single step but being intentional and taking time to consider the bigger picture can get you closer to your goals in the long run. Accountants One thinks that keeping you at your career planning best is a win so keep these questions in mind!

 

 

5½ Questions You Should Ask Your Recruiter

5½ Questions You Should Ask Your Recruiter

June 9, 2020

Not all recruiters are created equal.  There is no certification process for our wonderful profession – heck, a person with zero qualifications can hang a shingle and call themselves a recruiter.  Alternatively, a skilled and well-trained recruiter can bring you great value over the expanse of your career.  How do you tell the difference?

Here are five-and-a-half questions that we believe will give you great insight into any recruiter you are considering partnering with.

QUESTION #1:  What is your philosophy of recruiting?

Hopefully, your potential recruiting partner will not start quoting Nietzsche.  By “philosophy”, what you’re really getting at is whether they are the kind of recruiter who merely “fills jobs” or is someone who values developing long-term relationships.  The best recruiters LISTEN to your big picture goals: where do you want to be in five years, a decade, and beyond?  Watch out for the transactional recruiter only focused on placing you in a job so they can collect a fee.  You deserve a true-professional supporting your ideal career path.

QUESTION #2: What is your success rate?

You will be surprised how many recruiters do not know their success rate.  In my opinion, not knowing your success rate as a recruiter is like a baseball pitcher who doesn’t know their ERA.  I sure would not want that pitcher on my team.

For comparison, over the past decade the annual success rate at Accountants One has never dropped below 90%.  Our data shows that the industry average is around 60%.  You deserve a recruiting partner with a strong track record of success.  After all, you do not want to wind up in the wrong job at the expense of poor recruiting practices.

QUESTION #3:  What kind of placements do you usually make?

This is where you find out what a recruiter’s specialties are, the roles and businesses that seem to be their sweet spots.  The more specific they can be with these experiences, the better your chances of finding a recruiter who “majors” in your niche.

If you are an Accountant, you deserve a recruiter who specializes in Accounting and Finance, not a generalist, or worse, a recruiter who normally works in another industry.  Again, the ideal recruiting relationship should be beneficial for your entire career.  Having a specialist in your industry can be extremely helpful – not only for future job changes, but salary data, industry trends, and career coaching.

QUESTION #4:  What does your client list look like?

Again, this is your opportunity to check for alignment.  If you are talking to a recruiter who works with all small companies, but your career path is in the Fortune 500, then you are misaligned.  Now, please note that confidentiality is incredibly important to a quality recruiter.  They may not be able to name drop without an NDA in place, but asking the question is important as you make the decision to align with a truly professional recruiter.

QUESTION #5:   What do you like to do when you are not recruiting?

This may seem like the most off-the-wall question, but it may be the most important one. If you are in for the long haul with a recruiter, you really should like them.  When the phone rings, you WANT to talk to them, you WANT to schedule a catch-up lunch.

Choose someone who you truly connect with and feel comfortable being around.  You do not have to tell them your life story, but isn’t it nice when you can openly discuss common interests and swap stories with someone, rather than just “do business” and move on?

QUESTION #5 ½:  Do you have a job that fits me today?

This question only gets a ½ because, frankly, it is not that important.  Remember, great recruiters work on multiple jobs every week.  What is the chance that you get the one job that a recruiter is working on at this precise moment in time?  Pretty low.

So much more important to build a relationship with someone who truly listens to your career goals and is capable of ethically and confidentially exploring career options with you.

Accountants One is here to answer your questions.  All of them…and we’ll have a few that help us learn about your career goals and philosophy as well.    Feel free to call us at 770-395-6969 so we can discuss how we might partner with you on your career journey.

Six Ways an Exceptional Recruiter Can Help You Create the Career You Desire

Six Ways an Exceptional Recruiter Can Help You Create the Career You Desire

May 21, 2020

Recruiters are:
a) Annoying
b) Worthless
c) A valuable resource for people exploring their career goals

Almost anyone can call themselves a “recruiter.” This leads to a great deal of market confusion. The short definition of a recruiter should be “a highly trained professional who engages in ethical and confidential long-term relationship building with the purpose of creating value.” The most important skill of recruiter should be the ability to listen.

The bad news is that there are plenty of unethical, poorly trained recruiters out there who are more motivated by their own pocketbook than your career.

The good news is that there are gifted, highly professional, and well-trained recruiters who understand that their job is to focus on your long-term career goals. A true recruiter is invested in your career – helping you reach your goals.

Do you want to be a CFO? Perhaps a Partner in a CPA firm? Maybe your ideal work experience involves putting in 30 hours per week from the comfort of your lake house. A great recruiter should be able to LISTEN and align you with opportunities, not pressure you into a role for the sake of their enhanced commission check. The truly ethical and professional recruiter should understand exactly what you want out of life and how your career intersects with your goals.

So, how do you find a GREAT recruiter? Well, it is a bit like finding a GREAT lawyer – you don’t look for a brilliant attorney when you need legal advice. Before you need a lawyer, you invest time in relationship building. You ask your friends, read reviews, and develop a rapport by phone (or even better, in person). Then, when you inherit a fortune from your long-lost aunt, you have someone in place to help you navigate the process.

Working with a true recruiter will raise your odds of achieving the career goals you have set for yourself. Here are just a few ways in which an exceptional recruiter can help you create the career you desire.

Recruiters provide access to more opportunities: Job boards will only get you so far. A true recruiter will look across their firm’s matrix of multiple opportunities to see where you best fit. A recruiter should have a clear picture of you and your aspirations as well as your skillset. They should also provide you with insight – where they see you, what kind of roles they’d seek out for you, and what concerns they see.

Recruiters make your search easier: The best time to look for a job is while you have a job, but often, it is a time management AND political challenge to do so. With an exceptional recruiter, you’ve got someone doing the legwork for you. While you are busy with in your current role, your recruiter is actively confidentially exploring the market for you. Look for a recruiter who will understand the nuances of your situation and honor them.

Recruiters can be your copilot: A good recruiter will help you manage the meticulous process of getting from here…to there. They should be able to offer guidance on career growth, while also being a resource for updating your resume, social media best practices, career growth strategies, and specific interview techniques. They should also be invaluable as you talk about compensation.

Recruiters know your greatest strengths: We all have differentiators that set us apart –those gifts that make you exceptional. A great recruiter will go far beyond your resume, digging into the value you bring to an organization. You may be surprised what you learn about yourself.

Recruiters provide a bigger network: Recruiters already have connections in place, so when you align with a rock-solid recruiter, you get plugged into opportunities that would never have come your way otherwise. It’s fair game to ask a recruiter (before you build a relationship) who their clients are, what their matching process looks like, and what their approach to maintaining relationships with job seekers is.

Recruiters are in for the long haul: Well, the best ones are. We believe this is one of the most important traits of a recruiter. Most people today aren’t satisfied with merely making a living. Instead, we’d all prefer to cultivate a career. Recruiters understand that, even if you have a job you love, at some point in your career you may want (or need) to explore other opportunities. A top-tier recruiter will maintain a relationship – providing value on your timeline. A good recruiter makes sure you’re never starting over at square one. Instead, you’re climbing the ladder, at your pace, toward the rewarding role you value most.

So, while anyone can call themselves a recruiter, there are some definitive qualities you can look for – and some concrete questions to ask – to ensure you’ve connected with someone who truly will have your best interests at heart.

By the way, the answer to the question in our headline? It’s C.

At Accountants One, we aspire to embody these qualities each and every day. If you’d like to learn more about how we can support your next search, and your career, give us a call at 770-395-6969.

Three Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Virtual Job Interview

Three Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Virtual Job Interview

May 18, 2020

We are happy to report some positive economic news. More and more companies are re-engaging us to assist with filling positions. Our clients are hiring more now compared to just a month ago. This is a great indicator of how the next few months will go if we continue to progress.

Whether you’re unemployed or looking to make a career transition, our expert search professionals have helped to compile a few tips that will help you put your best foot forward at your next virtual interview. Boost your virtual interview skills and overcome the unique video interview challenges so you can get back to work.

1. Plan and prepare for an “if things go wrong” scenario.

Preparation is the key to increase your chances for an impressive and memorable interview. Don’t let technology issues stand between you and your next opportunity! Make sure you have charged your technology and tested your network. Prior to your scheduled time, ensure that you have an alternative form of communication in case a technology issue arises. If you are using your laptop, make sure your cell phone is on silent. If you are using your cell to take the interview, make sure you stabilize your device for fewer distractions.

If possible, secure a quite location with a simple background and good lighting. Practice with different locations around the house prior to know what works best. If you have children, we recommend to be completely transparent at the beginning of the interview. Let the manager know that there may be some light background noise. If a noise interruption does happen, we recommend that you apologize to the interviewer and mute your microphone to quickly take care of the situation.

2. Have two or three stories ready.

Strong work stories that show the value you’ve brought to previous employers in the past are good indicators of how you may bring value to their company. Prepare 2-3 work stories about how you improved a process, saved the company money, added value, affected the bottom line, or overcame an obstacle. How you communicate these stories with the manager will also give him or her an insight into how you work and the environments you’ve worked in before. Using the STAR method when telling stories will give you a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question. By discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing, you will give a very thorough explanation and demonstrate your communication skills.

3. Treat your digital interview like an in-person interview.

Stand out by treating your digital interview just the same as an in-person interview. Be punctual, dress for success (top and bottom), build rapport, and be authentic. Practice keeping your eyes on the camera and smiling. It’s important to feel comfortable maintaing natural eye contact and proper body language. These non-verbal cues will help the interviewer gauge your interest in the interview and ultimately the role. Have your resume pulled up and ready to email, if needed.

Our team suggests to have your prepared questions and take any notes by hand so that you can still remain present in the interview without having to quickly change between screens on your desktop. As always, it’s important to follow up. Send a thank you note to the manager to let them know you appreciated their time and are very interested in joining the team.

Ultimately, as a job seeker the goal of the interview – virtual or not – should be to build a connection and share your interest, technical knowledge and application.

Please direct any interview questions to clientservices@accountantsone.com.