Tag Archives: Interviews

Defining Your Career Objectives for 2024

Defining Your Career Objectives for 2024

The calendar has turned to a new year, making now the perfect time to reflect on 2023 and set targets for the months ahead. Whether you’re looking to switch careers, land your first position out of college, or clinch that promotion, defining actionable goals can help you manifest your career ambitions in 2024.

Here are five insights to help assist you in the new year.

Defining Your Career Objectives for 2024

1. Expand Your Professional Network

As the saying goes, it’s all about connections. Make 2024 the year you focus on expanding your professional community. Attend industry events, both virtual and in-person, to connect with like-minded professionals. Don’t hesitate to ask colleagues, friends, and family members to introduce you to contacts that may be a strategic fit. The more high-value relationships you cultivate, the more opportunities can materialize.

2. Enhance Your Personal Brand

In modern times, hiring managers will likely review your digital presence before an interview. Invest time in improving your website, LinkedIn profile, and other social channels to put your best foot forward. Spotlight your background, abilities and accomplishments to stand out from the applicant pool.

3. Embrace Being a Lifelong Learner

Acquiring new skills on an ongoing basis is essential for career progression and maintaining a competitive edge. Make a commitment to obtain both hard skills, like mastering new technology, and soft skills, such as public communication or project leadership. Consider also enrolling in professional development courses while seeking out a mentor in your desired field.

4. Perfect Your Written Materials

Even with an outstanding background, poorly crafted application materials can jeopardize promising prospects. As we move into 2024, routinely update your resume and LinkedIn profile rather than completely overhauling them before each application. Customize these files for every role to incorporate keywords from the descriptions. Be sure also to have several trusted individuals critique your materials so they are polished and error-free.

5. Prepare for Interviews

When job offers come through, you will want to be ready to excel in those interviews. Record yourself practicing commonly asked questions so you can improve areas of opportunity. Thoroughly research each specific company’s values and mission so you can express alignment in your responses. Be sure also to prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer to demonstrate genuine interest.

This action plan sets you up to find success with your career ambitions in the coming months. Be patient yet proactive, and you could land an exciting new opportunity in 2024. Maintain positive energy, believe in yourself, and your hard work will produce results.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.

Will employers call previous employers

Will Employers Call Past Employers?

If you’re applying for a new job, you may be wondering – will my potential employer call my previous employers? Checking references is a common part of the hiring process. Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about employers contacting your work history.

It’s Standard for Employers to Check References

The majority of employers will call your references as part of vetting you for an open position. They use these reference checks to verify your past duties, skills, and performance. Speaking with past managers or coworkers provides insights beyond what’s on your resume.

How Far Back Do Employers Check?

Many employers will contact your most recent 1-2 past jobs. Some may only check your current or previous employer. Jobs from earlier in your career are less likely to be contacted unless particularly relevant. Leadership roles, noticeable gaps in employment, and jobs you held longest often warrant a reference check.

What Questions Are Asked?

Common questions asked include confirming your employment dates, job responsibilities, strengths and weaknesses, work quality, and eligibility for rehire. Legally, past employers can only provide objective facts, not subjective opinions. Ensure your references are prepared to respond professionally.

Let Your References Know Ahead of Time

Contact your references to inform them they may be called for a reference check. Verify they still have your current contact information. Provide details on the roles you’ve applied for and share a copy of your latest resume to refresh their memory.

Consider Declining Certain References

If you left a previous job on poor terms, consider excluding them as a reference. You can decline to provide certain references if their assessment may be unfairly negative. Alternatively, you can explain the situation to the potential employer.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Avoid expressing bitterness about past jobs during new interviews. Speaking poorly about managers or coworkers reflects negatively on you. Keep discussions focused on the positive.

Reference checks are par for the course in today’s hiring landscape. By choosing appropriate references and keeping them informed, you can ensure employers get a precise depiction of your background and qualifications. With preparation, reference checks don’t have to be a source of anxiety.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.  

How to Write a Strong Accounting Resume That Lands Interviews

How to Write a Strong Accounting Resume That Lands Interviews

Crafting an accounting resume that catches hiring managers’ attention is crucial to landing job interviews. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to optimize your resume step-by-step to showcase your skills, achievements, and value to accounting departments.

Leverage Targeted Keywords

  • Research the job posting to identify key accounting terms like “financial reporting”, “budget analysis”, “auditing”, etc.
  • Organically incorporate these keywords into your resume. Avoid simply adding a list of keywords or skills.
  • This helps ensure your resume resonates with recruiters and hiring managers.

Emphasize Technical Accounting Skills

  • Include your expertise in GAAP principles, IFRS standards, taxation, Excel modeling, accounting software, etc.
  • Provide specifics like “Advanced user of QuickBooks and SAP, including automating key processes to improve efficiency.”
  • Mention any relevant training programs or certificates.

Structure with Relevant Headings

  • Use clear, descriptive section headers like “Professional Experience”, “Core Competencies”, “Education”, etc.
  • Place the most compelling sections like work experience at the top.
  • Organize information under headings in reverse chronological order.

Quantify Achievements with Metrics

  • Use numbers, percentages, statistics, and specific examples to demonstrate your contributions.
  • For example, “Reduced operating expenses by 10% annually through regular budget cost analysis and variance reporting.”
  • Avoid vague statements like “Participated in the annual financial audit.”

Optimize Visually for Skimmability

  • Use line spacing, indentation, and bullet points to break up dense blocks of text.
  • Implement stylistic formatting like bolding, italics, underline, and ample white space.
  • Keep it concise and scannable at 1-2 pages maximum.

Proofread Thoroughly

  • Carefully review your resume line-by-line to catch any errors.
  • Read slowly from start to finish multiple times and have others review as well.
  • Mistakes can remove you from consideration.

By showcasing your skills with relevant metrics and optimized content, you can craft a resume that grabs employers’ attention. Follow these tips to highlight your value and maximize your chances of landing accounting interviews.

Looking for work? Get connected with one of our career experts.