Careers: Top Seven Tips for a Successful Campus Recruiting Season
Campus Recruiting Season is an important event in your academic and professional life. It’s an opportunity for you to be exposed to many accounting firms, and for firms to meet and interview many possible candidates. You end goal is to find the right fit between you and the firm you eventually join.
Recruiting season can be daunting, so here are some tips from our campus recruiting team to help you prepare and launch your career in the accounting industry.
- Do your research: about the firm as well as the industry. Learn as much as possible in advance about the organization and the CPA process, so that you can focus on the opportunities and culture of each company. No one expects you to be an expert but you should be knowledgeable and ask educated questions.
- Practice an elevator pitch: that says what you are all about in 60 seconds or less. What do you offer? Why are you interested in this industry? Most people save the practice for the interview, but that’s a bad idea because this is your one and only shot to make a great first impression. Take the time to run through your pitch so that it sounds like a natural part of the conversation. Try to include an interesting memorable fact about yourself.
- Remember your name tag and business cards: because recruiters meet a lot of students during info sessions and networking events. You want them to remember you, so make sure you wear a name tag and exchange business cards with each recruiter. If you haven’t received business cards through your school program, make some at home. They don’t have to be fancy, as long as they include your name and contact information.
- Speak to as many reps as possible: from each company. The more people you talk to from a firm, the more you will learn about its culture. You’ll start to notice similarities among the people that work there and you’ll get a feel for what the firm is truly all about. Of course you never know who will make the final recruiting decision or provide input, so talk to all representatives and show each one of them your best self!
- Ask meaningful questions: that show you’ve done your research and that you are informed and interested. Stay away from common questions that would have been answered during the information session or that can be found on the firm’s website. Instead, focus on questions that you really want answered — for example, about community initiatives, training or mentorship programs. You might ask what kind of access you will have to partners and senior leaders in the firm, or whether your experience will be focused on one industry or more broadly based. The questions you ask will give recruiters insight into your true character.
- Follow up: by sending along a thank you note. Whether you met briefly at an information session or chatted over coffee, show you are appreciative and interested. You’d be surprised how many don’t send thank you notes, so by doing so you will position yourself at the top of the recruiter’s mind.
- Make the best choice for you: if you are lucky enough to receive multiple offers. It can be a tough decision to make. Even though it’s tempting, try not to put too much emphasis on where your friends may be working. Which organization will give you the greatest chance to grow professionally, while providing mentorship and strong training? Which culture fits your personality? It’s time to make your mark in the professional world so make sure you are making the right choice for YOU.