How to Stand Out at Accounting Firm Networking Events

It’s that time of year again.  A time filled with firm tours, networking cocktails filled with nervous undergrads and CACEE forms (if you live in Canada, CACEEs are the standardized form used by all of the firms is lieu of resumes).  For the next few weeks, I will be giving some advice from my own personal experiences with the recruitment process.  In my first entry, I am going to deal with the firm cocktails, meals and parties that have become increasingly prevalent in the process. 

1) Dress to impress.  Try to dress up for any event that you go to.  If you only need to wear a shirt and pants, wear a tie.  Always remember, being overdressed will not be held against you while being underdressed WILL cost you the job.  I remember one girl who showed up to a firm cocktail in jeans and a sweater.  Needless to say, she did not make it!

2) Always ask for a business card.  This way, the next you can send a nice Thank You email to the person you were speaking to.  When you do so, try to personalize it by bringing up something that you spoke about, so that you can jog that person’s memory.  You would be surprised at how few people take the time to do this.  This can help you immensely during the process, because you want people to remember you and root for you.

3) Be prepared.  Know everything you can about the firm.  Research its web site, ask people, see who their clients are and what their values are.  You want them to see that you have done your homework.

4) Don’t get drunk.  This one’s a no brainer.

5) Ask good questions.  What is a good question?  Ask about the firms, opportunities for advancement and what kind of programs the firm has to help you pass the CA/CPA exams.

6) Don’t just go for the partners.  Everyone is going to try and make a bee line for the partner.  This can be a mistake.  Talking to junior people can give you valuable insight into the firm and the job.  Plus, they will be easier to relate to and find common ground with.  In recruiting, a senior can have just as much say as a partner and is more likely to want to push your application than a busy partner.

Stay tuned for my next entry on how to write an appliation.

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One Response to How to Stand Out at Accounting Firm Networking Events

  1. Pingback: Back to School « rotman commerce blog

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