Understanding Accounting and Finance Job Recruitment
Another year, another round of accounting and finance job recruitment has smacked Sy Syms students square in the face before they could walk into their first class. As is tradition, the accounting and finance job search for full-time positions for the following year or internships for the upcoming summer ramps up the moment YU begins. On Thursday night, September 1st, it officially began with the Career Center’s mandatory “Career Fair and Interview Prep Night” kick-off event. However, even before then, ambitious accounting and finance students have been fine-tuning their resumes and scouting out their preferred firms. Just this past Thursday and Friday, September 8th and 9th, were the reliably jam-packed finance and accounting fairs respectively. Next up will come the applications and then, hopefully, the interviews. Navigating accounting and finance job recruitment can be more stressful than maneuvering YU’s signature double curriculum. Hopefully, this five step guide to completing the accounting and finance recruitment process will alleviate much of the associated stress.
Step 1: Take care of those pesky OCR (on-campus recruiting) requirements. Before one can unlock access to apply to an internship or full-time position through YU’s OCR program, there are five core requirements he or she must fulfill. The first was to attend the “Career Fair and Interview Prep Night” which took place on September 1st. If this was missed, it is recommended to contact the Career Center as soon as possible to see if there is anything that can be worked out. The second requirement is to upload one’s carefully crafted (and previously reviewed by a counselor at the Career Center) resume to YU CareerLink. Care should be taken to do this in a timely manner as the approval process can take a few days. The third requirement is to complete the online “OCR Orientation and Quiz”. This can be found on the Career Center website and replaces the in-person seminar students had to attend in previous years. The fourth requirement is simply to sign a Fall 2016 OCR Contract. This can as well be found on the Career Center’s website. The fifth and final requirement is to conduct a mock interview. Only if a student had a mock interview in the spring of 2016 is he exempt from this requirement. Note that one can still apply to OCR job postings before completing their mock interview; however, the mock interview must be conducted prior to any on-campus interviews.
Step 2: Attend the accounting and/or finance career fairs. As of this publishing, these fairs have actually already happened, so if one or both of these fairs were attended, great. If not, students can still proceed with the process without the advantage of these prime networking events.
Step 3: Apply to firms. Now that all the formalities are in the past, it is time to get down to business and apply to the desired firms. Students can apply to firms via YU CareerLink’s OCR service (if they completed the previously detailed requirements) or directly on the firm’s websites. For those students looking for guidance while applying to the numerous opportunities which are found outside of the OCR firms, the Career Center is more than happy to review this process with students. In terms of application requirements, some firms will require as little as a resume submission to as much as a resume, cover letter, unofficial academic transcript, references, and an additional application submitted through the firm’s own website (if the initial application took place on YU CareerLink). It is key to ensure that all the required forms and parts are submitted.
Step 4: The interviews. The finish line is in sight. Typically, there are multiple interviews standing in-between an applicant and the job. For OCR applicants, the first interview generally happens at Beren’s central midtown Career Center location. If the first interview passes inspection, there are usually one to two more interviews at the firm’s location before a final decision on a job offer is made.
Step 5: Navigate the job offers. Those still standing for this step are for all intents and purposes the “winners” of job recruitment, having received at least one job offer. What can be tricky is when an offer is extended from one firm before a decision on whether or not to make an offer is made by a firm which the candidate deems more desirable. Asking for more time to make a decision is fair, but if the firm extending the offer does not oblige, a difficult decision must be made. A route which may also be considered is asking the more desirable firm for an expedited decision. Regardless, it is far better to have a difficult decision to make at this stage than no job offers to consider.
For those interested in tips for how to successfully navigate this job recruitment process from the Career Center and industry professionals, such as composing one’s resume and nailing the interview, please see the article “What You Must Know About Accounting Recruitment” from last year’s first edition of the Commentator.