All I Want for 2018 is a Job Change: How to Make it Happen

With under 3 weeks to go until the New Year, scenes of family dinners, fireplaces and presents are already dominating peoples’ minds. If one of those “presents” you are hoping for is a different job, you are in luck because December is a great time to put the wheels in motion for a start date with a different company come January.

Apply-Network-Apply some more

If you have been dreaming of sitting behind a desk at a certain company and want to make it come to fruition, put yourself out there and not only apply to open positions that you are certain are in your wheelhouse, but tap into your network to start relationships within that company organically.

Do some research on LinkedIn and try to leverage your contacts for an introduction and take it from there, being sure to let them know of your interest in the company and willingness to meet them for coffee to learn more about the company and their career.

As your relationship grows, make sure to let them know when you’ve applied to positions at the company and if they could put in a good word for you to the HR department/hiring manager. Any personal connections/recommendations from internal employees goes a long way and will likely shorten your wait time in hearing about interviews/next steps.

Even if you don’t have a specific company you are pining for but instead are on the hunt for a change of title, more job growth, culture change, etc., the same process applies. Do some research and come up with a list of companies you think would fit the bill and then put the time into developing personal relationships with people that could open the necessary doors for you.

Call Friedman Williams

As fruitful as your job search can be on your own once you leverage your contacts, working with us will instantly put you in front of hiring managers. Our deep relationships with our clients puts you ahead of the pack and maximizes your chances of securing an interview. And, the more interviews you go on, the better your chances are in getting the offer you want. Let our recruiters help you today: 855-FW-HIRES or http://friedmanwilliams.com/submit-a-resume/.

Build your portfolio of skills

Right before the New Year is the perfect time to sharpen your skills and take advantage of workshops, seminars and certification classes that will add knowledge and value to not only your resume but your next potential company! Putting in the time to invest in your career will not only help you be a better employee but it will also showcase you as someone that takes their career seriously and is proactive and engaged in bettering themselves. Knowledge is never wasted!

If you have a solid skill set and the right attitude and personality, it will only be a matter of time until you find a company that aligns with your goals and experience. And December can be that time!

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GAAP Changes for 2018 and the Impact on Accounting and Finance Professionals

The 2018 financial reporting season will be an important one as it marks the beginning of the implementation of the new GAAP changes. All companies will be impacted by the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) changes, perhaps with public companies feeling it the most. Due to this, all current finance and accounting personnel in companies, (and people looking to secure jobs in these sectors), especially public companies, must be aware of the changes and understand their direct impact on a company’s financial projections.

Origin of Changes

As explained in FASB’s (Financial Accounting Standards Board) Release Notes of the Proposed U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy, the US GAAP is under the purview of The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) and the FASB. Each year there is an opportunity to be part of a public review of the GAAP during certain time frames and once it is in its final form, it is put to use by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Implementation Dates

Brett Cohen, Partner, and David Morgan, Senior Manager at PwC detail the varying dates of implementation based on company type. Because the GAAP changes will be so impactful and arduous to put into practice, an optional deferral date was given by the FASB. For public companies, “the proposed deferral would result in the new revenue standard being effective for fiscal years and interim periods within those fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017.” For nonpublic companies, the implementation would begin on December 15, 2018 and December 15, 2019 for “interim periods within fiscal years.”

The deferral date for public companies is already upon us and has presumably been top of mind for the last year within finance departments. For nonpublic companies, the upcoming year or two will be marked with trying to navigate these changes and doing the heavy lifting in terms of drafting a road map for finance and accounting employees moving forward.

Top New Standards

Denise Lugo of Bloomberg has listed and described the top new standards that will be affecting company’s financial statements:

  1. Revenue
  2. Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting
  3. Cash Flows
  4. Simplifying Measurement of Inventory
  5. Classifying Deferred Taxes.

Lugo explains that for #1: Revenue, it correlates to ASC 606 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers) and promises to be “one of the biggest overhauls in financial reporting” and should be taken seriously as it will go into effect in 2018. This standard “requires a five-step process for customer-contract revenue recognition that focuses on transfer of control, as opposed to transfer of risk and rewards…companies are required to provide enhanced disclosures that focus on the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows from contracts with customers.”

#2: Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting is described by Bloomberg as “making it easier to account for stock forfeitures-losses-because they can be accounted for when they occur instead of having to estimate them…it also liberalizes classification of stock compensation awards for tax withholdings and allows a company to withhold the maximum instead of limiting it to the minimum statutory rate.” This is important as the net income of companies may be affected.

The goal of #3: Cash Flows is to “provide clarity for companies on whether an item should be categorized as operating, financing or investing.” Lugo notes that this factor has not previously been included in GAAP.

Simplifying Measurement of Inventory, standard #4, changes “the measurement principle for inventory from lower of cost or market value to lower of cost and net realizable value.” This will affect companies that sell products and sometimes discontinue products.

The revision to #5: Classifying Deferred Taxes is in the interest of simplicity and efficiency as it “requires companies to classify all their deferred taxes as noncurrent instead of having to go through more complex calculations to determine what is going to happen within the year and what happens after that.”

Changing Taxonomy

In their Release Notes, the FASB compared changes to prior years, and from 2017 to 2018, there was a decrease in new elements and the definition changes and deprecated elements stayed relatively the same, though slightly increased.

The FASB noted that all the GAAP changes were done in the interest of stability and simplification.

The Way Forward: Two Methods

Bradley C. Brasser, Rory T. Hood, Joel T. May and W. Stuart Ogg of Jones Day discuss in detail for Lexology the ramifications and necessary considerations for companies as they grapple with their upcoming first financial reporting of 2018 Q1 under the new GAAP.

Brasser et. al. explains the two methods possible for financial disclosure reports:

  1. Full Retrospective Method: “involves recasting prior periods revenue and expenses to reflect the effects of the new standards;”
  2. Modified Retrospective Method: “will apply the new standard to all contracts entered into after the adoption date and involve an opening balance sheet adjustment for the period for prior contracts with remaining obligations.”

Whichever method is chosen, the earnings described in public companies’ annual and interim reports will be greatly impacted, as this Jones Day team has made clear.

Unsure Footing

Even though these changes have been in the works since 2014, many public companies are still very much in the process of studying the new standards as they relate to their financial bottom line and disclosure practices. The new GAAP will impact companies very differently depending on their size, financial state, etc.

This was seen in disclosure reports made over the summer, specifically with Microsoft and Apple. Lexology included both disclosure statements and Apple was brief and a bit vague regarding the implications of the new standards and Microsoft was more specific and divulging, making mention of specific numbers.

As time passes in 2018 and more public disclosure reports are released from public companies, it will become apparent which method of reporting was chosen and what challenges were faced in doing so.

Historic Changes

Companies, especially public companies that report financial earnings and disclosures, are being affected by “the most historic accounting changes to hit U.S. capital markets in decades,” explains Bloomberg’s Lugo. She highlighted that of the changes, what will be affected are “reporting of revenue streams, balance sheets and net income” and are “likely to roil earnings reports.”

What Employers and Employees Should Do

Also in Bloomberg, Neri Bukspan, a Partner with Ernst & Young in their Financial Accounting Advisory Services division, explained that “companies should also consider creating another, more robust, plain-English articulation to the market about what the changes are. The disclosure should include their effects on company results and comparability.”

It is important for companies to articulate these changes in layman’s terms and make correlations to their specific company since the changes are complex and far-reaching.

This is exactly what Annette Messler has and is doing for Friedman Williams. In leading the internal accounting team of Friedman Williams, Annette works closely with her tax accountants for updates and changes relating specifically to the accounting of our recruiting firm. As with her additional clients, when pertinent updates and or changes come along, she assesses the impacts and delivers what the effects will be to the affected client(s). While Annette doesn’t anticipate an impact for Friedman Williams directly, she explained that there is further research and conversations to be had in order to fully understand the scope of the new GAAP standards.

Adam Brown, BDO USA LLP’s Partner and National Director of Accounting told Bloomberg that “companies should talk to their investor relations team or mention the issue on analysts’ calls where the issue would be noticed so that it can be factored in.”

Keeping the key players in the loop regarding the financial health and reporting of a public company is essential, especially in this time of transition and change.

PwC published the article “New accounting guidance creates volatility in effective tax rates” in which they explain the crucial role corporate tax directors will play during the new GAAP implementation. PwC explains that “over the course of the next two years, companies will need to institute incremental processes to attempt to forecast the impact of stock option exercises…or income tax expense…or potential intercompany asset sales.”

Corporate tax directors play a large role in these forecasts and candidates looking to secure such a position need to educate themselves on how this role will be impacted by the implementation process of these new GAAP standards.

PwC went on to state that “companies with significant stock-based compensation programs will likely experience greater income tax expense volatility, as well as a meaningful impact on net income and earnings per share.”

Companies and those employees that work to design compensation packages should be mindful of this volatility as it affects the recipient as well as company financial forecasts.

Brasser et, al. of Jones Day explains in multiple instances of why it is imperative to involve all key employees in the process of implementing these standards.

They pointed out that the SEC has “publicly encouraged companies to provide transition disclosures to investors about the effects of the New GAAP.” This is largely due to the SEC viewing the new standards as being very impactful on disclosure issues and key stakeholders shouldn’t be surprised on how their company will be affected.

Furthermore, “…is the need to involve the audit committee in the process and to ensure that the SAB 74 disclosures are subject to effective internal control over financial reporting…” The SAB 74 (Staff Accounting Bulletin 74) disclosures reference the necessity of reporting how the new GAAP will affect the financial statements of the company.

The general main theme of the suggestions for employees and companies is to be proactive in informing the necessary people of the effects of the new GAAP standards so there are no surprises in how the company’s finances will be affected.

For people looking to elevate their careers within the accounting and financial sector, it would be wise and imperative to become educated on the new GAAP standards.

——————

Sources:

Brasser, Bradley C. et al. “Are You Ready For “New GAAP” Revenue Recognition? SEC Disclosure Considerations.” Jones Day, 16 Nov. 2017. <https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=6d8b670d-8cd5-47c4-84c1-5bd6a8d33143&gt;

Cohen, Brett and Morgan, David. “FASB Proposes One Year Deferral of New Revenue Standard.” PwC, 16 Nov. 2017. <https://www.pwc.com/us/en/cfodirect/assets/pdf/in-brief/us-2015-09-fasb-proposes-deferral-new-revenue-standard.pdf&gt;

Lugo, Denise. “New Accounting Rules Spell Big Changes for Public Companies.” Bloomberg BNA, 16 Nov. 2017. <https://www.bna.com/new-accounting-rules-n73014449900/&gt;

Messler, Annette. Personal interview. 27 Nov. 2017.

“New Accounting Guidance Creates Volatility in Effective Tax Rates.” PwC, 16 Nov. 2017. <https://www.pwc.com/us/en/cfodirect/assets/pdf/in-the-loop/effective-tax-rates-volatility.pdf&gt;

“Proposed U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy Release Notes.” Financial Accounting Standards Board, 16 Nov. 2017. <http://www.fasb.org/cs/ContentServer?c=Document_C&pagename=FASB%2FDocument_C%2FDocumentPage&cid=1176169304602&gt;

 

 

Please Pass the Eggnog: Make the Most of Holiday Networking

As the Halloween decorations are being put away and the menu for Thanksgiving is being drafted, an even more all-encompassing season will soon be knocking on our door: the winter holidays! With them comes abundant opportunities for networking and making / renewing relationships in both your work and personal sphere. Because not everyone jumps for joy at these chances, here are some tips for coming out of the season unscathed and will success!

RSVP Yes

The old adage of just showing up applies. If networking makes you nervous or you clam up upon walking in a room of new people, simply doing that over and over again will make it (eventually!) become like second nature. And the odds are there will be at least a few other people there that do not have a room full of deep relationships, so finding these people will make you instantly more comfortable.

Did you watch the game last night?

Kicking off a conversation with a light topic and one that is on the minds of most people will allow conversation to flow and a rapport to build. Being mindful of regional sports as well as topics like current events and cultural shows such as musicals or plays in the area will help as you can offer up these topics as a starting point to a conversation with someone new.

I work at __________.

Having an elevator-type pitch of yourself in terms of where you work and what your job title and functions are will not only help connect you to other people but will simultaneously improve your speaking skills. This shouldn’t come across as self-aggrandizing but rather as a brief and specific snapshot of yourself and what your functions could offer other people. Do you work in retail? Explain upcoming sales and promotions. Working in performing arts? Rattle off a few acts that will be of interest to the general public. The more you explain your profession and strong points of your company, the tighter and more nuanced your elevator pitch will become. Over time, you may walk in the door looking forward to offering your elevator pitch instead of focusing on your nerves of networking!

Actively listen.

Too often people get interrupted by someone constantly steering the conversation back to themselves. Don’t be a conversation hog. Instead, let conversation flow between yourself and other people naturally. That ebb and flow will translate to different topics and maybe to different people as attendees come and go. By being attentive and actively listening, this will allow you to pick up on the likes, dislikes, and nuggets of information people offer about themselves that will pay you back in dividends as not only the event progresses, but time in general.

Remember and engage.

Those likes and dislikes that people offered about themselves? By remembering, you have a list of reasons to contact someone in the future. Upcoming networking event you want to see who will be in attendance? Reach out to the people you became friendly with! The state baseball team won the qualifying game that person mentioned they love? Send a congratulatory email! The restaurant chain that that person mentioned they dislike opened a location near you? Send a snarky email to that person to keep the repour going so you can both laugh! This way, a relationship will continue to solidify and once you steer your contacts towards matters of work, you won’t seem like a sales call or stock email sender.

Happy networking!

Q4 Projections and 2018 Forecasting of the Job Market

November is a month that brings the arrival of many things: Thanksgiving, the precipice of the holiday season and the realization that 2018 is almost here. In terms of the job market, Charles Schwab explains that Q4 connotes budget discussions, personnel adjustments and year-end money management. Thankfully, these corporate agenda items will be discussed in the midst of the continuing bull market.

But First, Some Q3 Notes

ADP made some interesting notations about Q3 performances in their “Workforce Vitality Index.”

They noted that the companies making the most hiring were the ones that had fewer than 500 employees.

ADP also found that the strong vitality growth in the construction and manufacturing industries has contributed to men having vitality that hasn’t been this strong for three years, even exceeding the vitality of women.

Strong Q4

“The market has been very strong over the last few years with our clients looking to hire top talent before the end of the year. And plenty have had the budget to do so,” explains James Martinos, Client Account Manager and Senior Recruiter with Friedman Williams.

Experts from Charles Schwab agree.

Historically since 1952, Charles Schwab experts Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Jeffrey Kleintop explain that November and December remain among the strongest performing months of the year.

James has found that in his experience Q4 has been “consistently strong” and he is expecting this one “to continue the recent Q4 trend with the budget and head counts being strong for hiring. The need to hire qualified candidates with the overall profit growth of companies is driving the market.”

Sonders, Sorensen and Kleintop reference the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey as reflecting job openings topping over six million, a banner rate.

Prosperous Job Market

Survey participants of Dr. Richard Curtin, Director, Surveys of Consumers at University of Michigan and Brilliant corroborate the same results while also detailing important predictions for Q4.

The survey findings were of over 850 hiring managers and human resources personnel that hire within accounting, finance and information technology. Respondents predict job openings remaining prosperous with also reflecting the most successful hiring being done through recruiting firms.

An interesting survey conclusion is that the participants noted that corporate accounting jobs such as financial analysts and tax accountants were the most common accounting and finance job openings, with software development and database administrators being the most common in IT.

Christopher Lee, National Group Manager for Friedman Williams, feels that “leadership positions and client facing roles are more and more available; a slow-down in hiring is not what is ahead.”

Not only will the job market be plentiful but the rate at which companies will be making these hiring decisions will be fast.

Quick Hiring Decisions

“If we have the right candidate, our clients are moving very quickly,” states Martinos of Friedman Williams.

The Curtin/Brilliant survey data makes the same conclusion that “nearly all open positions are of recent origin. Of the 38 percent of businesses that reported open accounting / finance positions, 34 percent have been unfilled for 3 months or less.”

These rates support the current successful job market as employees feel comfortable to make job changes knowing that competitive salary and benefits will be offered and, oftentimes very significant to candidates, a quick hiring decision will be made.

Q4 Skills to Improve

When looking for a job change, deficiencies in current skills are highlighted for candidates as they move through the interview process (if there are any). Survey participants were asked to identify the biggest skill gaps and within accounting and finance, the largest was problem solving, followed by communication. This shows that not only are technical skills important but so is the ability to translate information and opinions.

An important notation about skills within the hiring process is made by Lee’s 2017 experience: “The battle of talent is always a crucial one for clients. Many clients are driving their hiring with the most interpersonally qualified candidates, even if they are lacking some of the technical proficiencies needed for a position. They desire the will, the drive for learning and the demonstration of a focused work-ethic and can train in areas not yet developed. This has been even present in 2017 and I see this trend continuing in 2018.”

Harvey, Irma and Maria

As strong and stable as Q4 is projected to be, the recent hurricanes will have an impact on the economic data, albeit not at an overwhelming rate. Charles Schwab explains that since the economic numbers have been steadily increasing, rebuilding in the affected areas may constitute a short bump, but will overall not largely affect the economic numbers other than a slight downward curve. In their National Economic Outlook of September 2017, The PNC Financial Services Group noted that gasoline prices were most affected by Hurricane Harvey this past September.

Q4 Glass Half Full

As with any optimistic outlook, there are usually cautionary factors to consider. Charles Schwab thinks that the bull market is here to stay for the time being and will begin to change to a bear market when the stock market begins to sense a recession.

Tight Labor Market

PNC and the Curtin/Brilliant survey are reporting on the tightening of the labor market.

James Martinos has found that in his experience “great candidates are always in need, more so now than ever. The labor market for highly qualified candidates is thin and our clients are relying on us more than ever to find the skilled candidate for their open positions.”

James’ experience supports the survey result of recruiting firms having the most placement success. As the survey points out, companies oftentimes have to pay a higher salary to replace an employee than if they were continuing that person’s modest wage increase.

Inflation as a Factor

Charles Schwab explains that the factor of inflation could come into play in Q4: the “key to watch will be whether traditional measures of wage inflation starts to take hold…” Charles Schwab expert Kleintop further investigated the issue of inflation and found that the current bull market may be undermined if central banks aggressively anticipate inflation through the tightening labor market, specifically the global labor market. He explains that since the current unemployment rate hasn’t been this low since 2001, wage inflation can start to increase at a faster rate next year if unemployment dips even further.

Thumbs Up for Moving Forward

In their Economic Outlook, Edward Jones assesses the current economic climate as indicators for what will most likely happen in the near future. They anticipate the economy to experience continued growth with regulatory relief, confident consumers, low interest rates, wages continuing to modestly grow and increases in spending due to the unemployment rate lowering.

The possibility of tax cuts may even improve the 2018 numbers even more if it comes to fruition.

Christopher Lee anticipates that “projects and initiatives are continuing from the previous year and being green-lighted for the current year. Our business is accustomed to seeing an uptick in hiring during this time of year; our clients want their new and key team members in place early in the year, helping to drive these projects forwards towards the desired results.”

2018 By the Numbers

The PNC Financial Services Group published their National Economic Outlook this past September and their findings align with those of Edward Jones. They anticipate the Real GDP to increase as well as the amount of payroll jobs (Real GDP has been increasing steadily since 2016).

PNC details that “with solid fundamentals for consumer spending, business investment, and the housing market, the U.S. economy will continue to expand throughout 2018. Real GDP growth will be 2.2 percent in 2017 and accelerate to 2.7 percent in 2018, with support from rebuilding, expected tax cuts, and an expanding global economy.”

In terms of the job market, no matter what year or time of the year, Lee explains that “our recruiters know that constant education and reinforcement of critical market information leads to everyone’s desired career results.”

In short, the current and predicted near future is ripe for exploring the job market and feeling confidence about how the stock market has and will continue to perform.
—–
Sources:
“ADP Workforce Vitality Index 3rd Quarter 2017.” ADP, 20 Oct. 2017. <http://workforcereport.adp.com/2017/3/wvi.aspx&gt;

“Economic Outlook.” Edward Jones, 5 Oct. 2017. http://www.edward jones.com/market-news-guidance/quarterly-market-outlook/economic-outlook.html

Faucher, Gus, et al. “September 2017 National Economic Outlook.” The PNC Financial Services Group, 5 Oct. 2017. <pnc.com/content/dam/pnc-com/pdf/aboutpnc/EconomicReports/NEO%20Reports/NEO_092017.pdf>

Kleintop, Jeffrey. “Infation May Be The Biggest Question For Investors in 2018.” Charles Schwab, 5 Oct. 2017. <https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/inflation-may-be-biggest-question-investors-2018&gt;

Kleintop, Jeffrey, et al. “Schwab Market Perspective: Fourth Quarter Fun…of Folly?” Charles Schwab, 5 Oct. 2017. <https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/market-perspective&gt;

Lee, Christopher. Personal interview. 9 Oct. 2017.

Martinos, James. Personal interview. 9 Oct. 2017.

Wong, Jim. “Brilliant Q4 2017 Accounting, Finance and Information Technology Hiring Forecast.” Brilliant, 5 Oct. 2017. <BFS_2017_Q4_HiringForecast_WEB.pdf>

{Now Filled!} We’re Hiring: Recruiting and Office Assistant!

Friedman Williams provides Freelance, Temporary, Projects, Contract, Consulting and Full-Time staffing in Information Technology, Administrative Support, Accounting & Finance and Creative Services within Interactive, Digital and Traditional Media. With offices in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., firm works with clients and candidates nationwide.

Position Summary

The Recruiting and Office Assistant will be exposed to all aspects of the recruitment lifecycle and will report to the HR & Office Manager. He/she will have full responsibility of certain projects while also completing tasks under the direction of the HR & Office Manager and Managing Director as necessary.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Submit candidates through client portals
  • Create new jobs in Bullhorn database
  • Send follow-up emails to clients re: candidates based on start date
  • Draft weekly job posting Excel report
  • Put together marketing box mailings and send via Post Office
  • Conduct prospect research and record in Bullhorn database
  • Assist recruiters with formatting resumes
  • Work with recruiter(s) to source candidates
  • Assist with scheduling when necessary
  • Secure travel arrangements when necessary
  • Monitor inventory of office supplies
  • Answer main line calls (limited)

Requirements

  • Experience working in an office environment
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with professional and pleasant phone demeanor
  • Ability to work independently and with others in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
  • A team player mentality
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of information
  • Familiarity with Office suite
  • Interest in staffing a plus
  • Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree preferred

How to apply

Please email cover letter and resume to Lauren Lestino at llestino@friedmanwilliams.com with the job title in the subject line.

Ace That Interview

Whether you are pounding the pavement for a new job and/or career change or just want to brush up on your interview skills, Friedman Williams believes that preparation for an interview, whether in-person or via phone, can exponentially increase your chances of moving on to the next step in the hiring process.

How to Prepare Beforehand:

  • Fully read and absorb key content on the company’s website, including:
    • Office locations and ballpark number of employees
    • Names and titles of senior management
    • Names, titles, and background of people you will be interviewing with (including their LinkedIn page!)
    • Mission Statement
    • Company history
    • Recent important news, press releases and/or events
  • Have fresh copies of your resume and any other requested documents
  • Reflect and refresh yourself on your job history and experiences. Have examples prepared of your ability to overcome adversity, work independently and in a team environment, and specific ways your skills and experience match the job
  • Refresh yourself on what your day-to-day is like in your current job and what you are truly an expert in (could be technical skills as well as situational)
  • Have a compelling and sincere reason as to why you want this position at this company. The hiring manager will respond to personality, energy and motivation as much as how technically able you are.
  • Prepare a few questions so you come across as engaged and interested in both the role and company.

Day-Of Essentials

  • Have your resume and any other requested documents with or in front of you
  • Wear a suit, even if it is a phone interview. This will make you feel more confident and in turn your speech and language will come across at a higher level than if you were sitting on your couch in sweatpants.
  • Do not arrive more than 5-10 minutes before the interview and treat everyone you meet with a friendly demeanor. You never know if the hiring manager(s) will ask the receptionist his/her opinion of you or how you behaved.
  • Great the hiring manager with a smile and firm handshake. If a phone interview, smile and answer “This is {your name}.”
  • Answer every question to the best of your ability and do your best to let your personality, ambition, motivation and technical skills match you to the role and company.

 Make Your Impression A Lasting One

  • Follow up with a thank you note for each person you met during your interview. Reiterate your interest in the position and company and why you see yourself successful in their culture and environment.

Position Profile: Executive Assistant

Basic Scope of an Executive Assistant’s Duties:

  • Serve as gatekeeper to executive with both people and information
  • Manage communication and correspondence with a highs sense of confidentiality
  • Timely alert executive with relevant news, updates and messages
  • Manage complex calendar, meetings and itineraries
  • Serve as host to visitors of the office
  • Manage transportation and trip details as well as updates and changes
  • Manage finances by drafting expense report and other necessary financial reporting
  • Think ahead and present suggestions and tips to executive to ensure seamless flow of daily tasks

What are the usual requirements of an Executive Assistant?

  • Bachelor’s degree, dependent on the organization
  • Strong written and verbal skills
  • Strong organization and resourcefulness
  • Ability to think on your feet and be a problem solver with minimum instruction
  • Sense of decorum and confidentiality
  • Strong ability to multi-task and be proactive
  • Software and other technical skills will vary depending on the organization but often include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook
  • Flexibility to work after hours and be reachable when necessary

How does an Executive Assistant differ from an Administrative Assistant?
An Executive Assistant has an enhanced role and directly supports an executive of the company as the first point of contact for the executive’s office. The scope of duties is often more complex and rigorous and focused on one executive, as opposed to an Administrative Assistant supporting more than one person. The Executive Assistant is also privy to a larger scope of sensitive and confidential information about the organization and executive and will need to exhibit a high degree of decorum and professionalism at all times. Depending on the organization, an Executive Assistant may mentor and or supervise Administrative Assistants within the same department as the executive.

What education is usually required or most beneficial?
This all depends on the organization itself and the type of industry but generally speaking, a Bachelor’s Degree is usually preferred or required. If the job description notes that a degree is required, there is typically no room for negotiation. In terms of specific areas of study, all education can be relevant and useful if presented the correct way. If a candidate has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and applies for an Executive Assistant role at an accounting firm, that will be of interest to the employer. If a candidate is a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s in English and conveys strong writing ability and communication skills in the interview, that is relevant and helpful.

What is a typical salary range?
Salary can vary greatly depending on the organization and industry. For example, a nonprofit will pay a lot less than a law firm or financial sector organization. What a candidate should keep in mind when considering salary is how the overall quality of life will be in the position relative to the salary, such as benefits, commute, etc.

What will give me an edge when interviewing for an Executive Assistant role?
Prior Executive Assistant experience is always helpful and a plus, but the necessary qualities and characteristics of the position must be conveyed in the interview. Supplying these through exact examples of past experiences and work product is the goal. With such a key position as this, oftentimes personality, presentation and demeanor are as important as technical skills. If the executive doesn’t feel he or she can trust you with sensitive information, you will not be offered the role.