Updated: Nov 1, 2018
Going through the CPA recruit process can be a daunting experience. For some, it comes naturally, for others, not so much. Personally, the recruitment experience helped push me out of my comfort zone and challenge my limits. Here’s what I learned:
1.) It’s a part-time job.
Recruit requires a great amount of commitment and effort. I made sure I had time to attend most if not all the networking events happening. Not to mention the coffee chats, office tours, social nights, and interviews that students go through. With school, work, volunteer, and sports going on, balancing my time was a key factor to having an enjoyable and successful recruit.
Advice: Learn to balance and set a schedule for all the events happening. If you’re feeling burnt out, it’s okay to say no!
2.) Establish relationships.
Networking isn’t just about getting to know the firms (although that is the main point). Through interaction with other students, I was able to establish relationships that foster growth and development. The students that I met have helped me in many ways like proof reading my cover letters, sharing networking tips, and even introducing me to firms. In return, I strive to do the same to other students. Don’t be afraid to make friends!
Advice: Talk to everyone, not just the firms!
3.) Every firm is different.
When writing my cover letter, I made the mistake of having a “one-cover-letter-fits-all” mentality. I realized, however, that each firm has its own culture and my interaction with every single one of them is different. That being said, I made sure to take the time to reflect on what firm fits me. I learned that it isn’t just about the firms liking me, I too must believe in the firm’s culture. This helped me break down the number of firms I wanted to apply for and to write my cover letters accordingly.
Advice: Tailor your cover letter and resume to whomever you’re applying to. Do your research about their culture, values, and principles.
4.) There are no stupid questions, but there are great ones.
When meeting firms, I tried to avoid questions that I can easily look up on their website. It’s not necessarily a bad question, but it isn’t exactly a great one. Instead, I asked questions that pertains to the person I was talking to. For example: “How do you like working there?”, “Any favorite industries you like to work on?”, “How was your summer?”, “What do you do for fun?”. I am genuinely passionate in people’s interest and hobbies and so I always ask non-accounting or non-firm related questions. Another kind of question I like to ask is how my strengths and skills relate to the firm and the work – “Talking to customers is something I’m really good at, are there opportunities to work directly with clients?”
Advice: Try to avoid questions that you can find on the website. Instead, ask questions that only the person you’re talking to can answer.
5.) Have fun!
I can truly say that the whole recruitment process was fun for me. I learned something new at every event, I met some amazing people, it helped with my communication skills, and it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Have fun!
If you have any questions about recruit, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am more than happy to help!
Douglas Commerce and Business Association