The summer months are a valuable time of self-reflection and career decision-making for Accounting and Finance professionals. As you wrap up mid-year assessments and begin planning year-end goals, it’s a good time to carefully weigh career options, especially this year. Since late 2021, one key trend has remained consistent: It’s a red-hot job market with ample opportunities for top talent.
There are more Accounting and Finance jobs than people to fill open positions. So companies are being uber competitive with benefit packages, compensation and professional development opportunities.
Now is the time to set up interviews that will advance your career. As you prepare for your job search, you’ve probably got the basics covered:
- Updated resume and LinkedIn profile
- Thoughtful and relevant interview questions
- Company-specific cover letter and thank-you email
But here’s one thing you might not know. Hiring managers are moving faster than ever to snap up talent, so you should have your professional references ready once that offer comes in. Here are five tips for actively managing your references.
1) Update your contact list
Accuracy is critical and it may have been a while since you last reviewed your list. Ensure emails and phone numbers are up to date. Also check titles and company names.
2) Show courtesy to your references
In advance of sharing contact details, tell references that you are interviewing for a new position and ask permission to share their information. Confirm their preferred method of contact, email or phone. Do they prefer using a personal or professional email or number? Is there a specific time of day that works best with their availability? Don’t blindside a reference or put them on the spot without adequate notice.
3) Select contacts carefully
When considering who will be a good reference, think about your relationship with that person, significant projects on which you collaborated or a leadership position where you excelled. Choose former colleagues and peers who can speak to your skillset and expertise. If you haven’t spoken in a while, use this opportunity to reconnect. Share a fond memory or express how they impacted your career. Seeking a reference can be a great opportunity to reinforce and build your professional network.
4) Format your list professionally
Take time to format your list so that it looks as professional as your resume and cover letter. Use the same font. Ensure there are no typos. Be consistent in how you detail the information for each person. Include, name, title, company, contact info and a brief note that describes your relationship with each person.
5) Express gratitude
Follow up promptly with a note of thanks when references confirm they are willing to help. Once you are hired, reach out again to share the good news and tell them how much you appreciate their willingness to speak on your behalf. End your email or conversation with an offer to assist in their future endeavors. When asking for support it’s critical to reciprocate it in return.
Planning your next career move requires preparation, research and practice. Alliance Resource Group is here to help.