With nationwide Meet the Firms and accounting industry career fairs coming up soon, it may be time to brush up on your networking skills. We want you to stand out from the crowd in the best way possible. Check out these top 3 tips to leave a lasting impression on your potential employers!
1. Wear something bold. The best way to stand out in a sea of potential hires is to bring something different to the table. Of course, you will ultimately be judged by your academic qualifications, relatable work experience, and overall company fit; however, with thousands of qualified candidates, why not throw in something extra to stand out? So ladies, sport some funky jewelry or a brightly colored blouse. And to all the accounting fellas out there, dare to wear a bold-colored tie. Doing so not only makes it easier for them to remember you, but it’s an excellent conversation starter while you’re mingling!
2. Ask, Ask, Ask Some More! Truth be told, most people really enjoy talking about themselves. And that is okay! You are hardworking and passionate about your industry, and they are too. A great way to break the ice and avoid awkward conversations is to spend the first 5-10 minutes asking them about their firm or company, about their history in the accounting field, and maybe even about their alma mater if you feel it’s appropriate. Using the “you first” technique of conversation starting is a great foundation for you to expand upon. If you have a specific firm or company that interests you prior to the networking event, be sure to have 2-3 company-related questions prepared. Prove that you are interested in the individual and their company, and you’ve got yourself a networking connection!
3. Business Cards! Guess what? Business cards are not just for the gainfully employed anymore. Having business cards as a jobseeker can set your resume apart from the rest, and give you the professional edge that big firms are looking for in new hire candidates. For example, on the front, include your name, phone number, street address, e-mail address, and academic degrees that you have earned or are pursuing. On the back, list any related organizations or honors that you have received, such as Beta Alpha Psi membership or awards given by your academic department or current employer. For designing the cards, have a little color, but don’t go overboard. The key is to stay professional!
We hope that you’ve found these tips to be helpful in your networking endeavors. If you find yourself in a difficult social situation and you are unsure what to do, just think to yourself, “What would Roger do?” Good luck out there!