Accounting is a unique industry when it comes to recruiting out of college. In very few other industries do you get so many companies that, in reality, maintain such a consistent line of work. Sure, every firm will have its quirks, and some offer lines of service not available in others, but almost every CPA firm you will run across at your next Meet the Firms event will have the basic business lines you’d expect. It can make choosing a real headache – how can you pick from all these firms that appear so similar?
Hopefully some of these pointers will help you out in the next few weeks as you go through recruiting:
- Start off with some research – you’re on a public accounting firm’s website right now… good start! I vividly remember checking the list of firms in attendance at the event and looking up their websites on my phone outside the hall. Here you can find firms that have the services you’re interested in, ones you may be able to tell you don’t care for, and then come up with some questions for the representatives. Other online resources aside from the company’s website should glean some information as well.
- Have a 30 second commercial rehearsed – Most awkward encounters at Meet the Firms happen after you’ve shook hands, and then commence a very long awkward pause. This is a great time to tell me about you! There are tons of resources online about crafting an elevator speech, and it should give the representative all they need to know about you and create any follow up questions they may have.
- Be yourself – in interviews, meetings with representatives, networking events, or anywhere else you may meet professionals. You can maintain your professionalism and show us who you are – we want team members with some personality!
- Follow up – Send a thank you email to everyone you spoke to – it really does make a difference. I’ve also taken to connecting with others on LinkedIn – accounting is a small, small industry, and even if we don’t work in the same firm, a connection can last a long time.
- Take time for yourself – no doubt, this is essentially a student’s first “busy season” – it seemed when I was job searching that all of my professors intentionally scheduled exams during recruiting season, as if we weren’t stressed enough. Just as we need to occasionally take walks and other brain breaks during tax season, you should take some time for yourself, no matter how short. It helps you from wearing down, keeps your grades up, and will hopefully help you nail that interview.
In short, go with your gut – This is going to be a job that you will sometimes spend more of your waking hours at than at home, so it makes sense that the culture, the people, and the work are all great fits. I can say I’ve found that fit at Henry and Horne, and you should be able to find it at whatever firm you work for as well.
By Brock Yates, CPA