The Accounting Career Fair is over…What should I be doing now?

Here, grab a seat and I'll tell ya

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Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gianlucachiari

Now it’s time to get as many interviews as possible. We’ll prepare you for each of your interviews when the time comes, but for now we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide for how to actually get the interviews.

Interview gettin’ time = Application time

To apply for a position, all you have to do is register your student ID on your universities ‘job site’ (most schools name this site after your mascot and the word ‘link’ or ‘connect’…at the University of Georgia for instance, the website is DawgLink), attach your resume, and then “drop” your resume within each job posting. Some postings will require a cover letter. Follow these steps and watch as the interviews start rolling in:

  • Find every firm you talked to at the career fair and apply for a position (“drop your resume”) with them.
  • Browse all other positions recruiting accounting majors, and apply for any that interest you.  We recommend applying for a minimum of 20 positions.  If you talked to 10 firms at the career fair, then that means you must find a minimum of 10 new positions with firms you’ve never met.
  • Don’t miss application deadlines!  I guarantee you that you won’t get accepted to interview for any position you don’t apply for.  We recommend putting reminders of each firm’s application deadline in your Google calendar.  Set it up so you get reminded 24 hours before each deadline.
  • Check the application site daily when deadlines start passing.  As these deadlines start passing, you need to check whether you got accepted for any interviews.  When you do get accepted, you will then need to schedule your interview in the application site.  Don’t be that student who gets accepted for interviews and never schedules them.  Firms have alternate candidates teed up, and you will lose your spot!

Why apply for so many positions?  I only need one job…

Because you won’t get accepted to every position you apply for.  In the rare event that you get accepted for 25 different interviews, you can always decline a few of them if you’re unable to schedule them all.  I can’t imagine a better problem to have!

And because practice makes perfect.  You’ll find that interviewing is like anything else – the more you interview, the better you get at it.  If you’re like me, you’ll be extremely nervous the first time you interview.  The second interview, you won’t be quite as nervous.  By the sixth interview, you’ll be great at it, and you’ll actually start to enjoy interviewing.

And let’s keep in mind, interviewing is the best way to learn about different opportunities that each firm offers.

Keep Networking!

The career fair is a great opportunity, but it’s not the only opportunity. 

Attend Beta Alpha Psi meetings and introduce yourself to professionals during the allotted time for networking (final 30 minutes of each meeting).  Remember, you don’t have to be a member of Beta Alpha Psi to reap the many benefits of attending the meetings.  When you attend, just be sure to introduce yourself to professionals at each meeting!  There’s little point in attending if you don’t take advantage of the networking opportunities.

Leverage your personal network.  Back in our day, Josh and I weren’t as prepared for the traditional recruiting process as you all are, but we still both got lucky and managed to land internships. 

How?  Josh’s doctor had a friend at PwC.  Josh reached out to this friend of his doctor, and the next thing he knew he was interviewing with PwC.  Shortly after he was signing the dotted line to accept a spring internship opportunity. 

I had a high school buddy whose father was a partner at Goodman & Co. (now Dixon, Hughes,Goodman).  I reached out to my friend’s dad, and the next thing I knew I was interning with Goodman & Co. over the summer.

Start asking around, and watch as a friend of a friend of a friend refers you to his/her friend that works at an accounting firm. 

Shoot that person an email letting them know you’re an accounting student who would love to take them to lunch to discuss their career with them.  You may feel like you’re bothering that person, but people love assuming mentorship roles!  It really is a mutually beneficial situation, though it may not seem like it to you now.

Keep an eye out for firm profiles on RocketGrad!

Check out all of the companies on RocketGrad and learn more about their unique opportunities.  Definitely ‘follow’ firms that interest you and ensure that you get invited to their next on campus event.

In the meantime, keep sending us your resumes, which we will review and provide feedback on (completely free of charge).  We looked at thousands of student resumes during our time in public accounting and know exactly what firms look for.

Brad Hughes

Brad Hughes

Brad is a co-founder of RocketGrad.com, the premier network for Accounting and Information Systems students to land jobs and internships with leading firms.