“I will not eat cake for a whole year. Okay, realistically I won’t eat cake for 6 months. Specifically, I won’t eat chocolate cake with raspberry frosting on Tuesdays…during leap years.” Creating reasonable New Year’s resolutions can be tricky. But when it comes to your career, setting goals can be the key to taking the next step forward. With that in mind, here are some resolutions offered by accounting and finance recruiters to help you fast-track your career in 2018.
Resolution 1 – Re-Evaluate
The start of any new year is a good time to re-evaluate. Do you still have the same goals that you had a year or two ago? Is your current role a fit? If not, why? What’s the real challenge?
Resolution 2 – Network Face to Face
Set yourself the modest goal of attending a networking function each month. Whether it’s company get-togethers, industry events or a Meet Up group, networking in person is one of the most successful strategies for identifying your next opportunity.
- Have an elevator pitch
- Engage in active listening
- Follow-up to build relationships
- Value each interaction – even ones that are seemingly unrelated to what you do
Resolution 3 – Stand Out on LinkedIn
As soon as an employer receives your resume, the next thing that they’re most likely to do is conduct a search on LinkedIn (or search social media in general). It’s not enough, therefore, that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. You need a profile that helps you stand out from your competition. Set a resolution to spend a few hours refining your profile. Here are some resources to help you do so:
- The Best LinkedIn Tips for Active Finance and Accounting Job Seekers
- Tips From Toronto Recruiters – How to Write a LinkedIn Summary
- How to Get the Attention of Accounting Recruiters with LinkedIn
Pro Tip: The market is highly competitive right now as some larger employers downsize their workforce. This further emphasizes the need to have a stellar on-line presence. Make sure that your social media profiles (outside of LinkedIn) are set to “private,” or in-line with your professional brand.
Resolution 4 – Engage in Professional Development
Identify the one gap in your skill set and fill it with some targeted professional development. Advanced Excel skills are in hot demand – macros, VBA – so taking a course to acquire, or brush up on your Excel wizardry is recommended. Consider learning cost planning techniques to achieve profit targets, or updating your IFRS skills.
Resolution 5 – Check in With Your Recruiter (Or Connect With One)
Reach out to your recruiter. Make sure you’re top of mind by ensuring the two of you are in alignment with your search goals. Refresh your market knowledge.
Pro Tip: Don’t have a recruiter? Make sure to select one that specializes in the finance and accounting industry as he/she will have a broader network of employer contacts. Ask your network for recommendations and meet more than one recruiter to make a decision.
Resolution 6 – Customize Your Resume
Set a resolution that you’ll customize your resume for each potential job opportunity. Create an outstanding benchmark resume and refine it from there. Make sure that each role has an accomplishments section, and that you highlight how you’ve progressed within each organization.
Read “The Best Finance Resume We Ever Received” for more specific guidance.
Resolution 7 – Job Search Consistently
Commit yourself to your job search. Saying that you’re ready for change is the easy part. It’s the daily grind that takes perseverance to succeed.
Do you want to set some New Year’s resolutions that will help you take your career to the next level? Commit yourself to making your LinkedIn profile and resume stand out. Connect with a recruiter that specializes in the finance and accounting industry. Job search with persistence and determination. Engage in professional development and set a goal of attending a face-to-face networking event monthly. Remember, it’s likely that your next role will come from someone that you know, so don’t avoid networking opportunities. And while there are few things that are better than cake, a job that checks the career satisfaction box is definitely one of them (although, for the record, cake really is fantastic).
Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.
Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.