Recruiting is an exciting time for accounting students and firms alike. You are not alone in feeling nervous or anxious with the pressure to make a good first impression in order to land a position.
A typical recruiter attends 3-4 networking events a year, mingling with many students just like you. It is important to keep these top 5 career limiting moves into consideration before attending a networking event in order to maximize your chances of securing a place on the recruiter’s pursuit list.
1. Avoid Over-Confidence
While a little bit of confidence goes a long way, being overtly confident can come across as boastful, which is detrimental to your efforts with the recruiter. Acknowledging that you recognize your career is just beginning, as well as your willingness to learn, will help demonstrate your self-assurance without being overbearing. As well, try to avoid comments that make it seem like you are smarter than other students or over qualified for the position.
2. Dress to Impress
As the old saying goes, first impressions go along way! One of the first things a recruiter will notice about you as your approach him/her is how you are dressed. Make sure that you have a solid understanding of the dress code going into the event as well as a grasp on what the term “business attire” really means.
In most cases, airing on the side of business-formal attire is recommended. This means men should sport a suit and tie with (clean!) dress shoes, and women should opt for either a pant or skirt suit with a low heel or flat shoe. Your hair should be neat, and your makeup and perfume/cologne kept to a minimum.
In addition to appropriate clothing, bringing along professional business cards can go a long way. Keep your business card simple and include something on your card that will help the recruiter remember who you are. Recruiters speak to upwards of 10 candidates at an event, which makes it difficult to remember everyone’s names. A memorable business card can help ensure that your name is the one the recruiter remembers!
3. Limit Your Consumption
This goes without saying, but always keep in mind that recruiting sessions offer a professional atmosphere. Know your limits and stick with one or two drinks to avoid embarrassing slip ups which could cost you a job opportunity.
4. Speak Up!
We appreciate that these events can be nerve-wracking for students, but it is important that you take full advantage of the opportunity to be face-to-face with recruiters and speak up!
To combat your nerves, try to come up with a handful of solid questions to ask when speaking with the recruiter. One or two meaningful questions can go a long way! Questions such as “If I were the successful candidate what can I expect during my first days at Welch?” or “What is your favorite thing about working at Welch” are great examples of the types of questions you can pose.
5. Don’t Be Clingy
By the end of the event, the recruiter has likely had the opportunity to get to know you, so keep your departure short and sweet. Remember that leaving a lasting impression is imperative. Thank the recruiters for their time and be on your way. Most recruiters are attending events after a work day, so be respectful of end times do not overstay your welcome.
Keep these 5 tips in mind before heading into your next event. We hope they come in handy during this year’s recruiting season. Remember, the last thing you want is to be remembered as the student who claimed they were smarter than a partner, showed up in sweatpants, drank too much, was as quiet as a mouse, or stuck around after the event was finished.
We wish everyone the best of luck this recruiting season and look forward to meeting you; we hope you will consider Welch LLP your firm of choice!