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.

Next article

Marie-Pierre Pelletier is a partner in our firm. She’s been with us since 2006 when she was fresh out of university.

Being a mother of three, Marie-Pierre says the culture and work-life balance she finds in our firm is one of the things she loves most about her job. The other? The chances to learn and advance her career.

This is Marie-Pierre’s story of what it’s like to work up through the ranks in our firm.

“People interested in joining Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton should know it’s not your typical organization. Instead of pressuring you to work, they’ll give you the confidence and tools to help you grow.”

I knew about this firm before joining in 2006 – it’s one of the most important accounting firms in Quebec. I’d just graduated with a masters in economics, so when I saw they were looking for an economist with no prior experience, I jumped at the chance to apply.

I started out as an analyst. Since my first day, the firm has believed in me and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to move up in the organisation. That’s a big part of why I’ve devoted my entire career to this firm.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton - image

An inspiring network

Now, I’m a partner. I get to work with colleagues from the entire Grant Thornton network. I love working with them, and I really enjoy the variety of working with small to medium sized companies and global organisations.

I get this ‘one big family’ feeling with both my colleagues in Quebec and my colleagues in other Grant Thornton firms. We always try to help and support one another, no matter where we’re based or what team we’re on.

It’s inspiring to see my co-workers around the world delivering top-quality service to our clients. I think this is a pillar of our organisational culture.

Being promoted to partner was one of my proudest moments. The firm believed in me when I had limited experience. It gave me the chance to work on important and complex files in the early stages of my career, which was a big boost to my self-confidence.

I’ve learned from my days in this firm that if you’re motivated and passionate about what you do, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish here – whatever your background or situation.”

Next article

In order to support its consultants and successfully pursue its activities, our firm calls upon teams of professionals from multiple fields.

The best talents are invested in developing our expertise and ensuring that our clients’ needs are satisfied. They master the golden rules of marketing, communications, human resources, information technology and finance.

Our firm has 2,600 employees and some 100 offices in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. It provides a variety of professional services to entrepreneurs and organizations of all kinds. We are a large organization with a human scale: our entrepreneurial spirit and decentralized management style foster innovation and initiative.

As a result, all employees work in an inspiring environment that allows them to deploy the full breadth of their know-how and implement best practices that reflect developments in the profession.

Here is an overview of the teams that support our consultants’ work and ensure our firm’s growth.

Talent and Culture

This team includes various specialists to offer all the services needed to support employees in their career with us: recruiting, training and professional development, leadership, HR systems, compensation, etc.

Talent and culture business partners, talent acquisition consultants and collaborators are also present throughout Quebec to assist managers in recruiting, supporting and mobilizing talent.

Marketing, Communications and Business Development

This is another very proactive team that encompasses a wide variety of talent: specialists in internal and external communications, web and social media, public and media relations, marketing, advertising, events and sponsorship.

It also has several business development specialists. In the various regions, the teams accompany professionals in obtaining assignments or support them in areas such as client targeting and sales tools, as well as facilitating various conferences and events. The team surveys and meets with our clients on a regular basis to get their comments in order to optimize our quality service offering and ensure that our clients’ needs are met.

In the business intelligence centre, specialists collect the required strategic information to support our firm’s development and our professionals’ client prospecting efforts: market studies, company profiles, monitoring, etc.

Information Technology (IT)

Our firm has a reputation for providing leading edge technology solutions and platforms to its staff. The IT team is made up of specialists who ensure the development, deployment and proper operation of these tools, and provide all the necessary support to users.

We value teamwork and knowledge-sharing. By being offered a variety of responsibilities within projects covering various fields, employees can develop their skills according to their field of interest. They are strongly encouraged to take advantage of free online technical training offered by the firm on an ongoing basis.

The team’s responsibilities include software support, communication and computer systems infrastructure support, user assistance and cyber security. It also has specialists such as business analysts, developers, IT designers and architects to carry out all projects with technological components, as well as experts in managing technological change.

Finance and Administration

Lastly, our firm has numerous employees to handle all of the financial and administrative aspects of the organization, in areas such as accounting, finance and procurement. The firm recruits Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) for its own needs and not only to work with its clients.

We are one of the first firms to integrate cloud computing technology to support the organization’s financial management, which greatly facilitates employee mobility.

Within our firm, skills and talent are valued and put to good use to diligently and actively support local businesses.

Our thanks to Lise Monette, Vice-President, Marketing, Communication and Business Development and Macha Pohu, Vice-President, Talent and Culture, for their invaluable contribution to this article.

Next article

Are you thinking about changing jobs? It’s not an easy decision. To make sure you’ll be happy, make the right choice for the right reasons.

Being happy in the workplace is essential, but as the grass is always greener on the other side, you need to be careful of your first impulses. Our human resource specialists present 10 mistakes to avoid and the right questions to ask to truly boost your career.

1. Should salary be the only criterion that counts?

Obviously, you would like to make more money, but salary should not be your sole motivation for changing jobs. There are several points to consider, such as promotion opportunities, your tasks and responsibilities, employee benefits, team spirit, available training, etc. All of these have a considerable monetary value.

2. Should you accept your employer’s counteroffer?

Your current employer makes a counteroffer to keep you. Before accepting, know that when your employer is aware that you’re ready to leave for another employer, your relationship could suffer. So, it’s important to properly weigh this aspect before saying yes.

3. What are your objectives and values?

Ask yourself: what’s important in a job? What tasks take priority for you and under which circumstances? What counts for you on a daily basis? The answer will lead you to choose the organization that best meets your expectations and whose values you share. Also, find out about the business culture, whether during the interview, through internet searches or by asking employees in the business.

4. Is the job description enough to give you a proper idea of the position?

Investigate further. Is your new job really what you believed it to be? During the job interview, ask relevant questions about the challenges and responsibilities pertaining to the position, the workload, expectations and everything that matters to you.

5. What are the promotion opportunities?

It would be useful to know whether you can progress within your new organization. Find out about this and be clear about your ambitions at the job interview.

6. Have you applied for a position that is beyond your skills?

You’re tempted to apply for a position with the idea of eventually getting another position within the organization. This is risky business that could tarnish your reputation. Sooner or later, your new employer will discover that you weren’t honest when you expressed an interest in the position. Instead, always apply for a job for which you are qualified.

7. Did you involve your family in the decision?

Your new job will have an impact on your personal life and family. It’s better to have a serious discussion with all those concerned at the start of the process, otherwise you might have to turn down the new job at the last minute.

8. Are you well informed about your manager’s approach?

Being on good terms with your future boss is one of the keys to your success. During the interview, find out about his/her management style. Does the manager run a tight ship or allow his/her employees lots of leeway? Based on your personality, you surely have a preference for one or the other of these management types.

9. Are you well informed about the company and team?

Make sure that your future work environment will suit you. Ask if you can visit the offices and meet some future colleagues to get a feel for the team.

10. Have you determined how long it will take you to get to your new job?

It’s your first day on the job and you’re brimming with enthusiasm. But unfortunately, getting there is a nightmare. Before accepting a new job, test out the trip at peak hours to make sure travel time is suitable.

Many things come into play when we’re talking about happiness at work. Make sure you examine the job offer from all angles before accepting.

We’d like to thank Aurore Bonifay, Talent Acquisition Consultant, and Éric Bélair, Manager, for their valuable contribution to this article.