In fields such as accounting and finance, many executive search firms prioritize searching for candidates with hard skills – and justifiably. Being able to code, build models, furnish a DCF, and generally know your way around Excel will undoubtedly prove useful in contributing to your team and the firm.
However, hard skills aren’t everything. As we all know, each individual brings personality, ideas, and work habits to the table that invariably alter the group dynamic. No matter how skilled you are on the technical side, you must be able to relate to others and establish meaningful relationships in order to build a successful career.
When searching for an accounting or finance job, it can seem difficult to leverage your soft skills to bolster your candidacy – but it’s not impossible. Here are a few key ways you can highlight your softer skills to improve your position in the talent marketplace.
Fine Tune Your Resume
Your resume is more than a list of professional accomplishments. It functions as the cover of the book of your entire application. And while you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover, many hiring managers do.
Utilize your resume as a vehicle to present your soft skills such as organization, attention to detail, and presentation ability. For example, you can demonstrate that you’ve taken this task seriously by choosing a slightly different but perfectly legible font. Trying experimenting with section headers and dividers that create a clean look and reduce the monotony of uninterrupted text. Finally, show you respect the time of your readers by keeping descriptions brief and the entire document firmly on one page.
Connect with Other Professionals
Expanding your professional network is one of the most beneficial steps you can take in your career, and it is fueled entirely by soft skills. Join relevant industry organizations that meet in your area and practice your networking chops whenever possible. Particularly if you have your eye on a certain future employer, reach out to current employees to talk shop, offering to pick up the tab for the coffee or cocktail. You’d be surprised how often these small connections can influence the application process once your resume has entered the pile.
Master the Art of the Email
Communication skills are one of the most overlooked attributes that can help a candidate land – and thrive in – an accounting or finance job. Given that the majority of corporate communications are conducted via email, mastering this medium is vital to your reputation in the workplace.
Pay attention to the emails that catch your eye and make you follow a link – regardless if they come from your boss or an online retailer. What is intriguing about them? What turns of phrase and tones of voice entice you to keep reading? Feel free to play copycat and implement new writing strategies in your emails until you land on a style that matches your personality. Email is one of the best places to utilize appropriate and professional humor, so don’t be afraid to spice things up if the situation arises.
Above all, keep all your email communications concise, professional, and clean. Typos are not a great look, no matter who is reading.
Crush the Interview
As a soft skills aficionado, interviews are your place to shine. Demonstrate a positive attitude, preparedness, and approachability, and you are well on your way to securing your next job. A local executive search professional can help you hone your interview etiquette so you don’t simply appear confident, but you become genuinely secure in your ability to tell your story, engage the interviewer, and create a lasting positive impression.
For many positions, the interview is the most important piece of the hiring process, so leaning into your soft skills during these important conversations can pave the way for real connections to develop.
Find Your Dream Role
In a rapidly evolving hiring market, candidates need search partners who can help them leverage their skills and take advantage of talent shortage. TalentSpark, Idaho’s premier boutique recruitment firm, specializes in taking a one-on-one approach to every candidate’s unique situation. From crafting a narrative, to sending applications, to prepping for the interview, we will help you discover and land the accounting or finance job you’ve been looking for.
Here in Idaho, we know how to aim high. Let’s work together to amplify your career, starting right now. Contact us to get the ball rolling.