10 Things Successful Job Hunters DON’T do: Part 1

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Written by BFAN Network Team

Research has shown that looking for a job is one of the top 5 stress inducing situations after death of a loved one, divorce, moving home and a major illness.

So what types of things should you avoid doing during the job hunting process, to help reduce job-seeker stress, and help increase your chances of getting hired?

Here are 10 examples of things successful job hunters don’t do:

Rely solely on a recruiter to find them a job

According to published statistics, less than 20% of all job vacancies in a given industry are in the public domain. In addition to using recruiters, it is important to find ways to access the ‘hidden job market’, for example through online (Linkedin) and physical networking, referrals etc.

Expect to be hired based on their skills

OK, so let’s be clear here: in an interview situation you are selling your ‘attitude’ and your ‘value’, not your skills.

“You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.
Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them; they hire already motivated people and inspire them”

  Simon Sinek

With the amount of technology and accounting software tools now at our disposal, our accounting skills are now ‘table stakes’. Ensure that you display a positive ‘can do’ attitude and that your value is demonstrated and easily visible when describing your career contributions

Ignore resume keywords in the job application process

Let’s take a situation where you are applying for a Senior Financial Analyst position. From an analysis of several job descriptions taken from Workopolis, examples of recommended keywords for a Senior Financial Analyst resume would include

forecasting, budgets, business, management, projects, performance, Accounting, reporting, financial, support, team, issues, Excel, information, reports, asset, models, create, Analyze, cost, trends, KPIs, support, variances, Planning, functions, analytical, develop, team.

For your resume to be selected by the automated keyword tracking software used by online job-search engines, it is essential that your resume contains the popular keywords used as search criteria used by recruiters and internal HR departments.

Assume that they do not have to sell themselves in a job interview

A well-structured resume with action-oriented content is like a passport to enter another country. It gets you past the front door into a candidate pool, to be considered for hire by way of an interview. That’s all it does. People often make the mistake of assuming the work to get the job is now done and that the resume should sell itself in order to get a job offer.

Newsflash: We now live in a world where we as accountants need to be as good at ‘marketing and selling’ our attributes as we are at our core competence, by developing the art of self-promotion in an objective and non-arrogant way.

Neglect ‘interviewing’ the potential employer / client to determine there is a mutual fit

Treating the interview as a one sided process, similar to an exam, is doomed to failure. Hiring decisions are primarily made on a person’s attitude and fit. However fit has to work both ways. If your overriding preference is to have work-life balance and the prospective employer mentions that 12 hour days are the norm and culture of the company, the relationship between you and the firm will not end well in the long run. It is critical to ensure that you find out as much as you can about the company’s culture, norms and practices before and during interview.

Some revealing interview questions are

“What type of people are successful here?”

“How is knowledge transferred between different levels of staff?”

“Is succession planning an integral part of the company culture?”

You will be amazed by how you much you can learn by these type of questions. You are then equipped with the insights needed to make an informed decision, as to whether the company’s way of doing things is going to work for you over the long term.

Part 2 of this article will be published in the next edition.



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