The labour shortage is doing a great service to young accounting graduates. But is it an excuse to wait for a job to fall in your lap?
We don’t think so! Rather, it’s an opportunity to do some research to find an accounting internship that really suits you. To make sure you get it, here are some tips from our recruiters to help you stand out.
1. Know yourself
Many young people hesitate to talk about their strengths when they meet with recruiters. They may think they’re doing this for the right reason: they want to avoid appearing arrogant. But there is nothing wrong with selling yourself, as long as you don’t exaggerate.
To identify your strengths and weaknesses, talk to your employer, teachers and family and friends. Ask them to describe your character, what sets you apart. Find actual situations where your strengths have made a difference. This work will prepare you for interviews and help you choose an employer that suits you.
2. Use LinkedIn to sell yourself
Having a good LinkedIn profile certainly gives you a head start. Make sure you use a professional-looking photo, specify your program and profile, list your work experience and skills, but don’t forget to let your personality show through.
Also use this network to show your interest and curiosity by sharing and commenting on articles in your field of expertise.
Before a student recruiting event, many recruiters search for students from the school in question on LinkedIn and contact the most promising ones.
3. Make up your own mind
The CPAs around you probably share their opinions on different firms with you. Their experience may be helpful, but keep in mind that their goals are not necessarily the same as yours.
Before you decide on an employer, keep an open mind and ask around. In addition to the tasks and role you’ll have to perform, you need to consider the work atmosphere and corporate culture that will make a difference.
4. Don’t just stand there. Go for it!
At a recruiting event, go around to the booths and select two or three firms that really appeal to you, then go back to them. Ask questions about the firm and the day-to-day life that awaits you there.
Instead of bringing your CV, bring business cards. Many student associations offer this service to their members. Include your name, photo, school and the internship period you’re aiming for. Also add a link to your LinkedIn profile. It’s less cumbersome and will help recruiters remember you.
5. Follow up without delay
After collecting a few business cards, get in touch with the firms that caught your attention. Write to them the next morning to thank them and ask more questions. The recruiting process moves quickly, and this is especially true in the city, so it’s best not to wait. If you’re interested in a firm, ask to visit their offices.
6. Showcase your personality
What’s the worst mistake to make in networking events, interviews or even internships? Telling people what they want to hear. The recruiters’ goal is to get to know you. They don’t have a list of wrong answers that would result in immediate rejection.
Our talent acquisition team is not looking for robots. We want honest people who recognize themselves in our culture. Everyone knows that your biggest flaw is probably not being too much of a perfectionist. Dare to tell the truth!
All students have a similar profile: they take the same courses. What interests us most is their personality. We’re looking for a connection, someone who is comfortable with us, who is curious and well prepared.
Thanks to Ariane Mailloux Rivard, Consultant – Talent Acquisition, and Caroline Lapierre, Analyst – University Recruiting, for their valuable contribution to this article.