A capable accounting and finance recruiter can give you a leg-up on the competition for the jobs you really want. Here are some things to avoid that could undermine your working relationship with them.
It’s not an easy call for any person to have to make – deciding to change jobs. But it’s one most of us are forced into, at one point or another in our accounting and finance careers. Maybe you’ve been smart enough to follow the trends in your industry, and can see that your company’s business is in for some real challenges in the immediate future. Maybe you’re just bored at your current job and are having a hard time motivating yourself everyday. Or maybe you feel that your professional growth and development are being stunted at your current job, and you want to be more proactive and give your accounting career a shot in the arm.
Whatever the case may be, the decision to leave your current job to pursue different opportunities elsewhere is not one to be taken lightly. But it’s only the first step. After perusing the various job boards (or, more likely these days, LinkedIn), you quickly realize that you need some assistance with your job search.
Dealing with an accounting and finance recruiter offers you several advantages. At a bare minimum, you’ll have a knowledgeable contact, with a strong network in your industry, who will be working on your behalf to find you a desirable job. But the recruiter-candidate relationship cuts both ways. Getting the most out of your recruiter requires that you work to build rapport with them. To ensure that your interaction with your finance recruiter is as productive and successful as possible, here are five pitfalls that you need to avoid.
Seeing all recruiters as the same
The first mistake that many prospective jobseekers make is to think that all finance recruiters are cut from the same cloth, especially after they’ve had a negative experience working with one individual or firm. I mean, you’ve seen one recruiter, you’ve seen them all, right?
But the reality is that, as in most professions, recruiters vary considerably in terms of their experience, with some finance recruiters being more junior and less tenured than others. That can make a big difference for the quality of the results they’re able to deliver. Typically, senior recruiters will have more well-developed and diverse networks that they can draw upon in order to find a position suited to your talents.
If you’ve had a bad experience interacting with a junior recruiter, don’t make the assumption that every subsequent experience with recruiters will be the same. A more senior or tenured recruiter might be just the conduit to a network you need in order to find the kind of job you’re looking for. Assuming that all recruiters are the same could mean missing out on a key opportunity to move into your next role.
If you’ve had a bad experience interacting with a junior recruiter, don’t make the assumption that every subsequent experience with recruiters will be the same.
Not being particular
When you’re looking for finance recruiters to work with, privilege those who specialize in the accounting and finance field over broad generalists. While a jack-of-all-trades isn’t necessarily doomed to being a master of none, specialization does breed excellence, along with the depth and ability to quickly understand your profile.
A recruiter who’s had plenty of experience placing accounting and finance professionals will know what employers are looking for, and have connections to the right people to get your job search moving. They will be able to help you recognize your strengths, create opportunities for you, and position you for success.
Being too impatient
Don’t think that this is going to be a short process. While some candidates are lucky enough to be placed quickly, the reality is that an effective job search should start months ahead of time, long before you’re considering leaving your current employment. Ideally, your relationship with your finance recruiter should develop organically, giving them enough time to learn all the fine details of professional profile (your skills, background, experience).
The reality is that it could weeks, or even months, before a relevant role that’s suited for your skillset and experience comes across your recruiter’s desk. Trust in the process.
…specialization does breed excellence, along with the depth and ability to quickly understand your profile.
Being unrealistic about yourself
Don’t oversell yourself to your finance recruiter. Set realistic expectations for yourself. Don’t imagine that you are a perfect fit for every job listed on the recruiter’s website.
The best candidates are the one who know their strengths and weaknesses. Being unrealistic about where you might excel will only serve to undermine your credibility with your finance recruiter (not to mention potential employers). The more they buy into you and your skillset, the more successful you’re likely to be.
Treating the relationship as a one-way deal
Your relationship with your recruiter is not a one-way street (few relationships are). If you support and help one another, the end result can be mutually beneficial. For example, your finance recruiter will leverage their network to introduce you to prospective employers. At the same time, you can return the favour, and every once in a while tip them off about some other great candidates or networking opportunities.
With a recruiter who you can trust and who treats you with respect, a little bit of goodwill will go a long way; they’ll be motivated to work even harder on your behalf.
A finance recruiter, like anybody else, wants to excel at their job and create win-win partnerships. If you keep these things in mind, you allow your finance recruiter to best market you to prospective employers and guide you into a career or job that matches your core values and drives success for all parties involve.
How have you made sure you got the most out of your relationship with your accounting and finance recruiter? Share your success (or horror) stories in the comments!
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!