You have the skills and the drive to be a financial project consultant, but how do you stand out among the competition and move to the top of those “best of” lists kept by recruitment agencies? Well, there's no better time than the present to take it to the next level.
Here are six ways to help you make recruitment agencies take notice and place your resume at the top of their file:
1. Show, don't tell
Some words do a better job than others of conveying your strengths. When cultivating your resume, in place of overused words and phrases such as creative or effective, reach for action words that describe the impact you made. For example: "Reviewed depreciation provisions for existing equipment, resulting in $38,000 adjustment over previous year," or "Hired and trained finance team members responsible for new regional division." Being specific about accomplishments can go a long way toward convincing recruitment agencies to place your resume in the “to call” pile.
2. Maintain your edge
Sharpen your skills and take advantage of e-learning opportunities as well as continuing professional education programs. Certifications can also give you an advantage over the competition. If you'd like to dig deeper into a niche area such as fraud, for example, you could become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
Let your recruitment agency know when you take classes or receive certifications. Having up-to-date skills makes you more marketable and easier to place.
3. Build a reputation
It's no secret that recruitment agencies are looking to social media for new talent. Use this to your advantage by marketing yourself as an industry leader. LinkedIn is a valuable tool that can help you keep abreast of trends in the financial world while giving you a platform to demonstrate your level of expertise. Be an active participant in online finance and accounting groups — your interactions there could lead to other opportunities, such as guest blogging or speaking engagements, to distinguish yourself as an expert.
4. Be responsive
Whenever your agency contacts you, call or email back as soon as you can. The more responsive and accessible you are, the better your job prospects. Recruiters often need to staff jobs quickly — within just a few hours in some instances — and the more quickly you can help them do it, the more likely you are to join a recruitment agency’s top tier of candidates.
5. Check in
Don't wait for your agency to call you. Check in regularly, especially if you're on an assignment. It's as simple as sending a quick email. Staying in touch shows that you value your relationship with the agency and keeps you on a recruiter's radar.
6. Show your soft skills
Interpersonal abilities such as diplomacy, active listening and openness to diverse perspectives are increasingly important in today's business environment. But many employers are reporting that finance professionals are coming up short on soft skills. If you work on building and showcasing these abilities, recruitment agencies — and the employers they represent — will likely take notice.
Working with an employment agency can save you time while job searching, and your efforts to make yourself more marketable will help get you to the top of your recruitment agent's list for placement.