“The Other Side” of Recruiting
April 4, 2013
As a new Staff Accountant who went through recruiting season as a student last year, this year I was excited to participate in recruiting from “the other side” as a part of the PKM team. I initially thought recruiting would be a piece of cake; how hard could working the booth at the career fair and a couple of free dinners possibly be? Well, as it turns out, the entire recruiting experience is just as challenging now as it was when I was a student. It is not easy meeting hundreds of new candidates, trying to figure out who would be a good fit for the firm! Throughout this recruiting season, I have gained further insights which I feel could help students going through the process for the first time stand out among the crowd.
For starters, do not be nervous! The unique thing about life is that every person you meet during the recruiting process, from the brand new staff accountant to the managing partner, was in your shoes at some point in his or her life. We understand how nerve-wracking it can be to approach our booth at the career fair. To help ease your nerves, you can prepare an “elevator speech.” Elevator speeches are usually no more than thirty seconds long, and contain the important conversation starters needed at events such as career fairs. Make sure to include your expected graduation date, what position you are looking for, and maybe one interesting fact about yourself in your elevator speech. Memorize your elevator speech and be able to deliver it in a composed and calm manner. The accountants working the booth will take it from there!
My second piece of advice to any student preparing for a recruiting season is to have your resume reviewed over, and over, and over again. The more times you have it reviewed by someone the better it will be! You can be the most engaging person in the world, but if your resume looks like it was thrown together the morning of the career fair, you will probably be thrown into the “No” pile. There are tons of resources on campus for resume review. The Career Center has many qualified individuals willing to help you critique your resume. Your favorite professor will probably be more than happy to help you go over your resume. Last but not least, many business schools have separate departments committed to helping their students craft quality resumes. The resume is absolutely the most important tool you have during the recruiting season, so make sure to put some quality time into making it the best it can be.
My last piece of advice for any student embarking on the recruiting experience for the first time is to be professional at all times. At PKM, everyone’s opinion is valued when evaluating potential new hires. This means you need to be courteous and professional with the people working the career fair booth, the receptionist that greets you during an office visit, and of course anyone with whom you interview or speak with. As accountants, client interaction is essential to our jobs, and thus we seek out individuals who are capable of being professional in a variety of different settings.
I gained a lot of insights participating in recruiting from “the other side.” My hope is that new students can take my advice and apply it to their own journey. Always remember to be yourself and to work hard, and the rest will take care of itself.