Entering the tax job market can be overwhelming, between trying to find the ideal position, making the right contacts, and establishing yourself in the interview process. Before this stage even takes place, however, there’s also the challenge of exploring your goals, both professionally and in your personal life. Luckily, with a little bit of ingenuity and time-tested guidance, you can navigate this difficult journey, set realistic targets, and reach them.
Understand What You Want and Why
The first step to entering the job market begins with you. Take some time to figure out what it is you’re after and map out the milestones you need to complete to reach your ultimate goal. Think about what you want in the next year, the next 3 years, and the next 10 years and determine how these goals are connected. There’s likely a consistent undercurrent – in both your motivation and the skills needed to reach these milestones – that you can identify and incorporate into your plans.
Ensure You Ask the Right Questions
In the hunt for the perfect position, you should hone your search by asking yourself important questions. What do you value most in a job? Salary? Promotion opportunities? Work-life flexibility? Working with big clients? Entering the market with clear values will ensure you target the right roles for the right reasons. For example, if you want to focus narrowly on a niche perhaps a mid range, full-service firm isn’t the right fit for you.
Ensure You Meet the Right Employers for You
Once you’ve nailed down the criteria for your job search, you can begin seeking out the employers who match them. Don’t waste your time and energy on positions that seem alluring but don’t fit your standards.
Focus on Your Strengths When Interviewing
In job interviews, we all loathe the dreaded question, “What are your strengths?” It can feel odd to toot your own horn, but understanding what sets you apart from other candidates can be crucial. Build a case for yourself by stating your accomplishments and what you specialize in without embellishing or fabricating. And be sure to highlight a mix of hard and soft skills. It’s great if you’re an expert on tax law, but can you also meet deadlines and manage difficult client relationships?
Know Your Financial Worth
If you know your strengths, then you know what makes you special and how much those special skills are worth in terms of salary. If you submit a salary expectation that’s too low, that’s a clear indicator to the employer that you aren’t on the same level as the other candidates who’ve asked for competitive salaries. It’s important to know your industry and your market as well as you know yourself.
Prepare for the Interview
Before the interview, it’s important that you have a deep understanding of the employer and what they stand for. It’s easy to go through the motions when you’re constantly in and out of interviews but delivering the same approach for each position will not get you far. You should interview not just to get a job but because you know what makes the employer unique and you genuinely believe that you’ll be a good fit.
Build a Productive Relationship with the Right Recruitment Agency
If you’ve enlisted the help of a recruitment agency, know that your head-hunter can only really help you if you know exactly what you’re looking for. Be precise in defining the position you’re after, from the size of the firm to the daily duties to your desired salary. Information is power, and in finding your next job, there’s no such thing as too much. Working together with your chosen agency, you can then search for roles and companies that are suited to your goals and skills.
Though it’s exciting to think of your dream job, preparation is key before you submit your CV. Take the time to refine your search and prep a competitive applicant package, so you can turn your personal plan into your professional reality.