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Every Challenge is an Opportunity

By Barden - Finance, Accounting and Tax Recruitment

CIMA Ireland have invited four recruitment experts to provide an overview of the Irish market and how you should prepare for your next interview, in case you are considering a career change.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Roman philosopher Seneca (and echoed by Oprah and well-known life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins).

There’s no doubt that things have changed quite significantly over the past few weeks. If you are a CIMA student who is considering your career options, what to do now, and what next steps you need to take, then this is the perfect blog for you to help you to prepare for opportunities now and create more luck for yourself in the future.

Barden are THE experts in accounting and tax recruitment. CIMA asked us to pull together our best advice when it comes to your career. Here’s what our team had to say…

The Market Right Now

At the moment this is an ever-changing market, with different challenges popping up day-to-day. The market is changing on a daily basis and nothing is straight forward! What you should focus on are things that you can control. This starts with getting well-informed advice on what your next career decisions should look like.

The best advice we can provide right now is to evaluate your own situation before making any decisions surrounding your career. If you are in a stable position it might be best to stay put and weather the storm. This might also be a good time to sit down with your manager and discuss new areas to explore, or solve any issues you generally wouldn't have time to focus on.

If you do find yourself in an unstable situation with work, don't panic, again focus on the controllable factors. Also reach out to those who know the market and careers, and ask for their advice. Recruitment consultants are closest to what’s happening out there right now and can be your eyes and ears on the ground.

It’s also the perfect time to get your ducks in a row (see more below) and focus on some key areas like:

  • Preparing and updating your CV, cover letter, LinkedIn profile.
  • Doing some research on interview prep, either in person or by phone or video.
  • Look at potential opportunities in areas you may not have looked at before. For example the part-qualified industry is generally a fast-moving and buoyant market, and as a result tends to adapt well to external influencing factors

CIMA Ireland and Barden have ran a series of webinars to help you to succeed in your finance and accounting career.  You can watch them on demand ! Find each link below.


Getting Your Ducks in a Row

One thing we are certain of is that this too will pass. Now that you might have a bit of breathing space use this time positively and productively to get your ducks in a row, so that you are ready to take that perfect opportunity once it comes up.

First things first..

1.       Do the Research

Proactively research what you'd like to focus on. A key consideration is the corporate landscape in order to cultivate a career instead of simply landing in a job. Consider the following…Practice or industry? What does the career journey look like in each? Financial accounting or would you like to progress down the financial analyst or management accounting route?

On LinkedIn look at the profiles of those whose roles interest you. Check out their career journey to date, including where they came from and what they did to get to where they are now. Identify what piece(s) of the puzzle are you missing in order to get to where you want to be. Look into different organisational structures too, which can offer different things. Whether it be working with ERP systems, closely with a qualified Accountant, different entities, currencies etc. suss out where you can get this exposure and experience.

2.       CV Preparation

We could talk all day about CVs…but here are some of our top tips when it comes to CV preparation.

Keep in mind where you want to go and give your CV a spring clean. Your CV should always be aimed at a specific role. Key words are critical so remember to match those of the job you are targeting. Keep in mind that you may be trying to get past a gatekeeper, so make sure to use the right language!

Context is crucial. Always give information on the company, team structure etc. If the information is relevant put it in and don’t worry if it is over 2 pages. Use metrics to measure your performance where possible (i.e. volumes/values). It’s best to include less information on the less relevant roles and those in the distant past.

Hobbies, achievements, IT & language skills are a yes. Hiring managers are interested in the person too so make sure to include these.

When it comes to the synopsis at the top of your CV make sure it’s unique to you. Include a brief summary of your experience to date, and keep to hard skills, not soft skills, this is what interviews are about!

Webinar “CV Tips and the Irish Jobs Market Overview” You can access the recording here 

 

3.       Interview preparation

Get your ‘Tell me about yourself’ spiel down to a tee, so your interview always gets off to a good start. Interviews nowadays can be quite competency based and preparation is key. A competency is a fundamental skill, capability or aptitude that is required to achieve a required level of performance on the job. You will be faced with either:

Situational based questions – What you would do in a particular situation.​ For example: suppose you observed conflict between team members over the division of work.  What would you do?

Or,

Behavioural based questions –  Most interviewers use these. What you did do in a particular situation.​ (past situations). For example: Tell me about a time you helped to solve conflict between team members.

Research and put together a list of competencies which may be tested (job specifications and company cultures/values/mission statement on their website are a good place to start). Review sample questions. Understand what the competencies actually look like in action, and put together a few examples for each using the STAR method. It is tricky to think of them on the spot!

Webinar “Ace your Accounting & Finance Job Interview” You can access the recording here

 

4.       LinkedIn

Get your STAR rating!

  • Get that professional photo up and take down the one with your friends in the pub. Or worse again don’t leave it blank. Is that profile even real?
  • Update all education (stage of exams), work experience and certificates/licences.
  • Build your network of connections in your area.
  • Ask at least 3 people to endorse you or write you a virtual recommendation.
  • Finally switch on open to opportunities!
Webinar “From beginner to All Star: How to improve your Accounting LinkedIn Profile & Job Search Tips” You can access the recording here

Would you like to reach out to Barden's Team? 

Tara Higgins, Team Lead in Barden Cork | Expert in AP/AR/Payroll & Part Qualified Accountant Careers | thiggins@barden.ie |

Cliodhna O’Brien, Associate in Barden Cork | Expert in AP/AR/Payroll & Part Qualified Accountant Careers | cobrien@barden.ie

Nicole Carroll, Senior Associate in Barden Dublin | Expert in AP/AR/Payroll & Part Qualified Accountant Careers | ncarroll@barden.ie

Aoibhin Byrne, Associate in Barden Dublin | Expert in AP/AR/Payroll & Part Qualified Accountant Careers |abyrne@barden.ie

CIMA Ireland and Barden have ran a series of webinars to help you to succeed in your finance and accounting career.  You can watch them on demand now!

Webinar “CV Tips and the Irish Jobs Market Overview” You can access the recording here 
Webinar “From beginner to All Star: How to improve your Accounting LinkedIn Profile & Job Search Tips” You can access the recording here
Webinar “Ace your Accounting & Finance Job Interview” You can access the recording here

Are you a Part-Qualified CIMA Ireland Accountant? Book your 1:1 Video Call Career Coaching Session

CIMA Ireland in partnership with Barden Accounting and Tax Recruitment, are pleased to advise that the career consultancy service currently available for CIMA part-qualified candidates has been extended until the end of 2020!

Our chief concern is to guide you with your career and your next steps in your professional future, during these challenging times. Or, perhaps you are looking for some insights into updating your CV, improving your interview skills, or making Linkedin work for you.

This initiative with Barden Recruitment provides you the opportunity of availing of:

  • 1:1 Video call providing a free of charge career coaching session with their expert team of CIMA consultants.
  • Access to Barden’s vast knowledge and first-hand experience of the current Irish marketplace.
  • Tailored discussion, specifically aimed at addressing your career goals and aspirations in the world of accounting and finance.

By availing of this, CIMA Ireland hopes to assist you as you gain the necessary experience to become a fully qualified CIMA accountant!

Please note that this is on a first come, first serve basis.

*Please note that you have to be a CIMA student in Ireland to avail of this career consultancy service with Barden.

Book your 1:1 session with Barden 

Publication updated: October 13, 2020.

CIMA Ireland Events & Webinars

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