As the fall season fast approaches, Meet the Firms and other career events are right around the corner. For those of you who are not familiar with Meet the Firms events, they are generally an accounting-specific career fair and reception where students are able to interact with potential employers from public firms, private companies, and government agencies that are seeking interns and new staff.
- Take time to research each firm. Learn about the firms size, office locations, client base. Visiting the firms web site is always a good idea. You want to be able to talk to firms you could see yourself at in the long run. Be familiar with who you will be speaking with and know what you are talking about. Its your time to shine and invest in your future, so make sure you are fully prepared.
- List out the skills an experience you have to offer a potential employer and practice how to verbalize them. Assess your strengths and weaknesses, making sure to come up with the steps you are taking to overcome your weakness.
- Determine why you are the best fit for the firm. Picture yourself in a room of students with all of the same experience and GPA. Why would a recruiter pick you? What sets you apart?
- Talk with other students who have attended a Meet the Firms even before to get a better understanding of what to expect.
- Dress for success. Remember that you are entering an industry that is very conservative. The dress code for this event is business professional, unless otherwise stated by your school.
- A skill that can prove to be invaluable at this event is the ability to start and hold a conversation. Many times, when you walk up to an employer, they will wait for you to initiate the conversation, so be ready! Some conversation starters include the firms career or advancement opportunities or asking about the work environment along with work/life balance. You could also ask the recruiter how they started out, what they enjoy about working at the firm, or why they went with Tax vs. Audit. Ask questions and listen carefully!
- After providing the recruiter with your resume, ask them for their business card in return. This will make for easy follow up, and help you remember the names of the firms you visited with that day!
- Follow up with a Thank You to the recruiters that met and spoke with you during the event. Try incorporating a small detail from the conversation you had to make the message personal and help them remember exactly who you are.