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Whilst we agree it is incredibly important, salary is not the only factor you should consider when looking for a new job. Cold, hard cash will not always guarantee job satisfaction – so once you’ve made the decision to leave a job, here are three key things you absolutely must consider first to improve your chances of success within the Finance and Accounting job market.
Your first step is to clearly determine what you want from your next role. This will avoid you leaving a job that frustrates you, only to end up with the same feelings in your new position.
To get started, think about why you are leaving your current role. Ask yourself what was the final straw that made you want to hand in your resignation, and what the underlying issues behind that were. Was it a lack of development opportunities, job stability, working hours, company culture? Or perhaps it was related to a personal conflict issue? Once you have a clearer understanding regarding your reasons for wanting to leave, you can begin to create a priority list of what you require from your ideal future role. At Halliday Marx, we encourage candidates to name 5/6 aspects that will be most important to them in any new job. We then suggest categorising these requirements into ‘deal breakers’ or ‘nice to haves’.
Once you have carefully considered what you want, an experienced, specialist search and recruitment consultancy, like Halliday Marx, can offer advice on the options available to you and give an honest view on how well your expectations match current market conditions.
“Our dedicated consultants have an expansive, in-depth and up to date knowledge of the finance job space, including current market rates and which skills are in high demand. For example, as clients start to unveil their post-pandemic visions, we are seeing a keen interest in candidates who are more relaxed about returning to the office”, added John Marx, Co-Founder, Halliday Marx.
Working through this process will ensure you spend your time and energy on roles that truly support your motivations and career objectives. Rushing ahead without careful consideration means you could end up applying and potentially getting, roles that will give you the same frustrations as your previous one did. This will take its toll on you personally, as well as reflecting poorly on your CV.
Alongside your CV, our clients will almost certainly look at your LinkedIn profile. If you are a new candidate for Halliday Marx, it is also one of the first places our recruitment specialists will look before we make any contact. Since this will be the first impression both clients and recruiters will have of you – this is exactly why carrying out an online review of your personal brand is so important.
In addition to your LinkedIn profile, many employers will research you on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. Always ask yourself, if a hiring manager found you online, would you be comfortable with what they find? Before submitting any applications, double-check that your social media profiles have the appropriate privacy settings on, and the information that is searchable is information you’re happy for a potential employer to see.
Having an up-to-date, accurate LinkedIn profile is a basic requirement for finance talent. Before applying for any new role, set aside time to ensure your LinkedIn profile is representative and consistent with your CV. It is also worth checking that you are not alerting your current network every time you make a change to your profile, especially if your existing employer is unaware you are considering other options. LinkedIn has a function in Privacy & Settings where you can set your visibility/update options as required.
How does your CV look? Polished and good to go? Just because your CV worked last time you applied for a job four years ago, doesn’t guarantee success now. You don’t have long to stand out from other candidates, so you need to make the effort to impress and really promote your skills and explain why you think you’re the best fit for the position you are applying for. It is important to provide real-life examples of how you’ve put your finance skills and knowledge into practice, and explain how you’ve been able to make valuable contributions to the companies where you’ve worked.
One effective way to do this is using the S.T.A.R technique. This will help you present your CV in a concise way and provide a much fuller picture of your abilities.
SITUATION: What was the issue or problem?
TASK: What tasks were you responsible for/what tasks did you need to complete to deal with the issue?
ACTIVITY: What did you do to achieve the task? Include specific information about the different processes/methods you used.
RESULT: What was the outcome?
We also advise adding any achievements to each role on your CV. These shouldn’t be part of your day-to-day responsibilities, they are specific and definable accomplishments which improved the performance of the company, processes or team.
“Details of your achievements must be specific and measurable. Stating that you ‘reduced supplier costs significantly’ won’t tell a future employer anything about your ability – but telling them you ‘led a strategic review of all supplier spend resulting in a £40k saving per annum’ will attract interest”. Added Andy Halliday, Co-Founder Halliday Marx.
Finally, one common mistake candidates often make is to have a one size fits all document that they scattergun for every position they like the look of. Your CV is a history of your work experience, so the bare bones will always stay the same – but tailoring your CV will show employers and recruiters you are serious about the job.
Job hunting is tricky, but there are simple, preparatory steps you can take to make sure you are the candidate who stands out. Work with an experienced, specialised search and recruitment consultancy, like Halliday Marx, who can work with you to ensure you clearly understand what it is you want from your new role, support you in creating a strong online brand, and make sure your CV accurately appeals to potential employers.
If you’re considering your next finance or accounting role, get in touch with our specialist team on 020 7096 8200, or write to us at [email protected]
For the latest recruitment information, financial opportunities, career advice and company updates, follow us on LinkedIn and twitter @HallidayMarx