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Improve your prospects

We spoke to Cheryl Ramsden from top recruiter Howett Thorpe about the general state of the job market

April 2017

What is the job market like for PQs at the moment?
The market continues to build momentum and is typically driven by candidates looking for new opportunities. Companies are always keen to hear about good calibre, progressive individuals and take more of a proactive approach to PQ recruitment than they have in the past.

What one thing could PQs do to improve their chances of getting their dream job?
Be contactable! It is also vitally important to ensure that their CV reflects the roles they have carried out. The CV should have a direct correlation to the jobs you have had, but also how you come across in person. It is vital that you detail where you are in your accountancy studies and any exams booked. It is also important that you network Ė opportunities are generated from people you know, too.

What is the funniest thing a candidate has ever done?
On arrival for interview, a candidate somehow managed to lock themselves in an underground carpark (where she didnít have any phone signal). After the client had called us to find out the whereabouts of said candidate, who was now 40 minutes late, she was finally found by another employee and rescued Ė sadly she didnít get the job!

How do PQs get the most out of their recruitment consultant?
Ensure that you make the time to meet the recruitment consultant face-to-face, as building a relationship is pivotal to the success of finding that dream job. This will allow the consultant to understand culturally what type of opportunity and business environment you will be most suited to. If you donít arm your consultant with the knowledge they need to represent you then you canít expect the best representation!

How easy is it for PQs to switch career paths Ė say from practice to industry?
Very easy. Companies value the experience of working within a practice environment and quite often those in the FD community will have qualified through the very same career path.

Lots of current research says employers are looking for accountants with softer skills. Is that true?
The stereotype of an accountant is being dissolved within the accountancy and finance industry. It is assumed that accountants have the technical knowledge, but companies will also want assurance that someone is commercially astute and able to work with non-finance professionals.

What advice do you have about using the web and social media?
Itís really important that your posts on LinkedIn are business relevant Ė it is a professional networking site. Ensure that when looking for a job you are mindful of what you are posting on social media sites. Some clients that we have worked with will Google the candidate to find out more about them. Follow organisations that are of interest to you. And donít just send the standard invites or introductions Ė make an impact and make sure what you do is relevant.

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