As far as accounting recruiting goes, you will maximize your chances by recruiting in the fall rather than in the winter or in the spring.
Before I keep rambling on, you’re probably thinking: Who would spend their summer preparing for recruiting season?
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Now that I’ve convinced you to prepare for recruiting during the summer, here's what you should do now and why.
- Having your resume complete by the first day of fall term will allow you to spend less time crafting your resume, and more time to go to networking opportunities that you think will be beneficial to you.
- Also, if you have at least one cover letter done, in the worst-case scenario that you have an essay due or a midterm on the same day as a job application deadline, then you can reuse the cover letter and change the company names. (I wouldn’t recommend using the same cover letter for every job application because recruiters often can tell that the cover letter has been reused, but if you’re facing tons of deadlines then a reused cover letter is better than no cover letter at all.)
- Career counselors are great resources to help guide you through the recruiting process. They can offer some great career advice, help you perfect your resume, and find problems in your cover letter that you wouldn’t catch. In one of my meetings with a career counselor, the counselor told me all the tips and tricks of our school career website, which helped me scope out future Big 4 events on campus and job application deadlines.
- The perk of seeing a career counselor during the summer is that they are generally not busy in the summer. In contrast, if you try to book a career counseling appointment in the fall, they are probably booked weeks out. Most colleges and universities keep their career centers open in the summer, albeit for shorter hours. Check with your school for specific career center information.
- Most accounting firms have three main service lines: Audit, Tax, and Advisory. Each service line has their pros and cons, and there may be one that is the best fit for your personality. If you do some research before starting the recruiting process, you may find the one that calls out to you, and if you find “the one” your recruiting search can be targeted towards finding opportunities in that service line. But, don’t worry if your research doesn’t help you pick a service line, because most firms hold networking and info sessions to help you decide.
- Do any of your friends work at EY, PwC, or any of the firms that you want to apply to? Or maybe one of your professors works or used to work at an accounting firm?
- If you have any connections that have a tie to a company that you’d like to work for, ask your connection to help put you in contact with the recruiters at the firm. Worst case scenario, they will say no, but there is no harm in asking.
I hope you take my advice in preparing for recruiting season now and in the summer. It will give you a huge advantage and you won't regret it!
--Lysern Marcelino, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review