Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ask BJ - Making Job Agents Work for You!

A frequent question that we see from candidates while searching our career site for jobs is:
"What happens if I don't see a job that matches what I am
looking for?
How do I go about submitting a resume?"
To help ensure that candidates do not get 'lost' in the resume database and that they are directed on to the appropriate recruiter for a response, we need to have a resume submitted to a specific job. If you are not able to find a specific job to apply to, a 'job agent' can be created. With the job agent function, our Career Site will email you once a job match is found.

When creating your job agent, complete the fields shown above and then Confirm your entries.
  • Job Category
  • State
  • City
  • Position Level
You can always modify or delete an existing job agent or create a new one. You can create up to 3 separate job agents on the Career Site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Power of Influence

We all grew up with people that influenced our lives. Be it a teacher, mentor, parent, grand parent, or perhaps someone from whom we learned what NOT to do, it is undeniable that our interactions with other people play a significant role in our up-bringing. In many cases, the people in our lives were most important to us when we had a decision to make and we looked to them (or to our interactions with them) to help us make that decision. Was it “right” or “wrong”? What else could/should I do?

Eventually, we became more and more confident in our own ability to make decisions and, viola! We became adults. Ok, it sounds simple … I may have skipped over years of pre-teen and teenage angst, turmoil and plenty of regrettable decisions related to clothes, hairstyles and dates for which my “decision influencers” were apparently on hiatus!

So, what does all this have to do with your success? Volumes of research and our own experiences tell us that decision influencers (parents, mentors, etc.) have become an increasingly significant resource for today’s young professionals as they navigate their careers. It’s refreshing to see the shift back to embracing the experiences of our predecessors and inviting their input. That’s why we created a special site just for career influencers. McGladrey Career Influencers is chock full of information that career influencers will find relevant and informative when a loved-one of theirs is considering beginning or continuing a career with McGladrey.

I invite you to visit our McGladrey Career Influencers site and share it with your own network of career influencers. We’d love to hear what you think so, please comment to this post with your thoughts and feedback about the site.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Get LinkedIn to Supercharge Your Job Search

In my last post, I mentioned that I was a huge advocate of LinkedIn and it's use by both recruiter and job seekers. More specifically I said that I would write a future post about how to use LinkedIn "to supercharge your job search. It just happened that the day after I wrote that post, a great post went up on that described how job seekers can get the most out of LinkedIn, which was as good if not better than anything I would of ever written. If you have any interest in learning more about using LinkedIn to enhance your career, I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Importance of Networking in Challenging Times

Let's face it, the economy is in rough shape today. Wall Street is in a tail spin, the financial services industry (and related industries) are laying-off employees in increasing numbers, energy costs are higher than ever, the housing market is struggling to recover, it's enough to give you a migraine.

The good news is that even though unemployment continues to rise, it's still relatively low by historical standards. There are still good jobs out there, more in some industries than others, but regardless, great talent is still in heavy demand. If you find yourself currently in a situation where you have to find a new job now, or are concerned about what the future might bring, there is nothing more important for your future career prospects than to reach out to, and connect with your network.

Networking is proven to be the number one way for people to connect with great opportunities. I'm a bit of a network-aholic myself, and I can tell you that I wouldn't be where I am today without the network that I have grown and cultivated over time. Having a good resume is important, job boards are tools to connect you with job openings. But your best chances of finding that next great career opportunity is to reach out to your network and let them know that you are (or might be) looking to make a career move.

Making a career move for some people can be a very personal subject. In some cases, it's important to keep your job search out of the public domain. In situations where you need to make that career move however, your network offers you your best chance to connect with a new, great career.

Why? First of all most companies (McGladrey included) offer their employees financial incentives to help bring talent into the organization. At McGladrey, I consider ALL of our employees to be recruiters for our organization, and we compensate them nicely for their efforts. Secondly, referrals are often seen as carrying more value than candidates who come in through other channels. You would only refer talent into your organization that you would vouch for as being good, wouldn't you? Both you and your referrer have 'skin-in-the-game' in terms of your success in the new role as well. Finally, your network may be aware of job opportunities that have not been posted yet. It's a great way to get your foot-in-the-door early for that perfect fit job that could open up tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.

Who is in your network? Family, friends, neighbors, current and former co-workers, current and former classmates, former employers, etc. Connecting with them in-person is ideal, but now more than ever, virtual networking has become a very powerful way to connect with and grow your network exponentially.

If you are not on LinkedIn currently, stop reading this now and join. LinkedIn is the predominant online business social network, with over 25 million users from all walks of life. I'm a big fan on LinkedIn and I'll write a future post on how you can and should use LinkedIn to supercharge your job search. In the meantime, I've posted a link to my LinkedIn profile below if you would like to connect (make sure to reference 'Success starts here.')

I'm also a fan of Facebook. Facebook is much more of a true social network, but for your job search, that's OK. Over 70 million users are now active on Facebook, and the fastest growing demographic is 25-35 year-olds. My 20 year high-school reunion is coming up, and my class has a group page. I've reconnected already with over 50 old friends, with new connections happening almost every day. These connections are primarily social in nature, but who knows, maybe they will pay off some other way someday, either for myself or for those I've re-connected with. (BTW, if you are on Facebook, be sure to visit the RSM McGladrey page and become a Fan!)

The bottom line is that you never know who in your network might lead you to that next great career opportunity. Don't wait for great jobs to come to you and don't rely on job boards alone to lead you to a new job. Take your job search into your own hands and let the people you know and trust help you connect with that next great career opportunity.

View Ben Gotkin's profile on LinkedIn

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Greg Jones: Making a difference locally and around the globe

Perhaps you’ve always thought about doing some volunteer work, but just never got around to it. Or, maybe you already participate in volunteer activities, but wonder if one person can really make a difference. The following story should provide plenty of inspiration and confirmation that YES, you CAN make a difference.

In February 2008, Greg Jones, a Tax Director in our Pasadena office and an Assistant Governor in the local Rotary District, spent two weeks in India with 50+ other Rotarians from around the world. While the trip involved a little sightseeing, the main focus was on something else entirely. “Our main purpose was to participate in India’s National Immunization Day for Polio,” Greg explains. In a joint effort with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and several other agencies, the Rotary Club is working to eradicate polio throughout the world.

On National Immunization Day, Greg and his group went to several small, rural villages southwest of Delhi. “We helped immunize small children by giving them two drops of an oral polio vaccine. We were the first non-Indians to visit most of these places,” he says. “I helped with about 275 immunizations. 1.2 million kids were immunized across India that day. Believe me it was a real experience.”

Since the international polio eradication efforts began 10 years ago, annual cases worldwide have dropped from 350,000 to 1,300.

After administering vaccines, Greg and his fellow Rotarians traveled to Chahalka, a village with a population of about 7,000 and no running water, no bathrooms of any kind and very little electricity. Greg says, “It is very much like a medieval village in most respects.” Here the volunteer group built a job training center and a day care center, and worked on some sanitation projects. He says, “We also did some work at a school in town. Only about 6% of the students are girls (but they seem to be the top students).”

Now back in Pasadena, Greg is helping to raise funds to build the first toilets in Chahalka, and may return in February 2009 to assist with that and participate in more immunizations. He has been traveling throughout the local area to give talks on the trip to build awareness of the Polio Eradication effort and to raise money for the Chahalka Project.

Greg believes and practices the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.” As part of his Rotary Club duties, Greg oversees five clubs in the Pasadena area and participates in several other Rotary activities, including feeding the homeless at Pasadena's Union Station and adopting Field Elementary School. He traveled with people from the District to build five houses in Tecate, Mexico in May of this year. He’s the Vice Chairman of the Post Parade Committee for the Tournament of Roses, serves on the Board of Directors of the Rose Bowl and is on a few other community boards around town, including a support group for the Hastings Branch Library, which he created a few years ago.

To learn more about National Immunization Day, the Chahalka project and other Rotary activities, visit the Pasadena Club website, which Greg created and maintains.

If you'd like to a make a difference alongside of people like Greg Jones, here are some of the openings in our Tax Practice of Southern, CA:

Tax Director - Irvine, CA

Tax Manager - Irvine, CA

Tax Supervisor - Irvine, CA

R&D Director - Irvine or Pasadena, CA

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Going for the Gold

Normally I'll provide content regarding the awesome team and events in the Southern California Economic Unit, but with the Summer Olympics still resonating (how about those opening and closing ceremonies); it seems fitting to raise the subject about what it takes to be a champion in our business.

A gold medal is the Olympic hallmark that announces to the world that you’re the best. Whether you receive one gold medal or eight, like our modern day Aqua Man, Michael Phelps. A gold medal means you’re an outstanding athletic professional. You have garnered the respect and admiration of your peers. People aspire and desire to be like you.

To be champion requires several key attributes. Here are just a few.

All great athletes have a desire to be the best in their field. When an athlete first gets the bug to perform they are consumed with perfecting their skill. They eat, sleep and drink their sport. In interviews you often hear athletes talk about who their athletic mentors and heroes are; the seasoned athletes whom they model themselves after and want to become. A well rounded athlete also knows that it’s a privilege to have the physical and mental capability to compete. As such, they are committed to go the distance for the honor of being titled “The Best”.

Being the best is an integral part of human nature. As business professionals we all have a desire to be the best at what we do. We strive to be at the top of our game; not from an ego standpoint but from a quality standpoint. We train, educate ourselves, and strive to be the very best in our field. We look to internal and external leaders in our industry and learn what makes them highly successful and so darn good at what they do. We study and apply their techniques. We look to the day when we can become masters of our craft. To be considered one of “The Best”.

If an athlete is anything it’s dedicated. You hear story after story of athletes who got up at the crack of dawn every day and worked through bone crushing, grueling training sessions. Despite the tired muscles, exhaustion, blisters, failures etc, they remained committed to their sport with a laser like focus on the ultimate prize. A dedicated athlete is always in “The Zone”.

A champion professional is without fail dedicated to their trade. They are committed to the process, their colleagues, industry, clients, and vision. They are ready, willing and able to go the distance. Whether it’s working long hours, undergoing years of training, using outside of the box strategies, or overcoming countless obstacles, they remain steadfast in their dedication to seeing the job through to the end. A champion professional stays focused on his/her goal, shows up each day with their game face on and is always in “The Zone”.

Athletes are motivated by many factors. I’ve often heard that it’s the drive to meet the challenge and know you have the capability of accomplishing something great that motivates an athlete to go beyond their comfort zone and reach for what others would deem impossible. Athletes are often quoted saying “It’s only difficult after it’s done”. How true this is.

As such, a champion professional is motivated by the drive and challenge to go beyond meeting their clients’ and superiors' expectations. To reach beyond what they thought was impossible. It could be taking on a role in un-chartered waters only to realize (or maybe even be shocked to know) you truly did have what it takes to accomplish great things. Being properly motivated allows you maintain your composure during difficult situations, having a good attitude during the repetition of the job, and not letting your failures overcome you but rather stretch you beyond your limits. It’s having a healthy, competitive drive and the desire to win; and getting your clients and superiors to say “Well done”.

Experiencing “That Moment”. A dedicated athlete dreams night and day about making it to the Olympics, and more importantly, standing on the coveted middle box to accept their well deserved gold medal. The struggles, pains, and frustrations all fade to the background as the crowd’s cheer, the anthem plays and they bask the sweet taste of victory.

I’ve had the opportunity to experience professional victories and the joy of taking in that “that moment” is priceless and well worth the journey to get there. No matter what the obstacle, a difficult client, a weak market, hard to find talent, or going weeks without seeing a placement, it’s vitally important to use your champion attributes, stay the course and apply your years of training. Use your mentors for guidance and most importantly, don’t deny yourself the win. There’s nothing like having “That Moment” when you’re standing in the winners circle. Now… on your mark… get set… go!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Best Place to Launch a Career? McGladrey receives honor

There are numerous annual "best of" lists or company rankings published each year, and it is easy for many non-Fortune 500 firms to get lost among the who's who of top companies. Generally, if a company has a well-known brand and strong name recognition, they zoom to the top of the list. This past week, Business Week magazine published their "Best Places to Launch A Career" list, and for the first time, McGladrey was included in the annual ranking, coming in at #104. It would be easy to discount that ranking based on the number alone, but it is a great accomplishment for McGladrey, as it shows we are becoming a recognized name in the public eye. The Business Week list uses three components to determine the final ranking:
  • Firm provided information as requested by Business Week

  • A poll of Career Services directors of U.S colleges

  • A survey of 40,000 U.S. colleges students (conducted by Universum USA).

McGladrey is honored to receive this recognition based upon these criteria, and for the nearly 1100 college (entry-level and intern) students who have made the decision to launch their career at McGladrey, we thank you for placing your trust in us. Public accounting may not always sound glamorous to non-accountants, but with many firms making the Business Week list, there is something to be said for the challenging and interesting opportunities that await. McGladrey could just be one of the best kept secrets within the profession.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Team Building...and eating. A lot of eating.

This post was contributed by one of the Supervisors on the Health Care / Not for Profit team, Rick.

"Every year our team goes up to one of our team members cabin’s during the week for a fun night away from work. We usually end up boating, playing yard games, and enjoying a few adult beverages. We have been lucky every year so far with the weather, and have enjoyed ourselves a lot. It is a good way to talk to your co-workers, of all levels (partner through staff), and get to know them on a more personal level. Our team has a lot of fun together, and we typically grow some really good bonds through events like this, as well as other events we have annually (i.e. Saint Patties day party, Annual Eating Competition, and random other events. I think it shows a lot of who we are that our partner’s not only allow us, but strongly encourage us, to all to take two days of a normal work week to go up to a cabin and just have fun. We look forward to this event all year long, we usually start planning this event in “prime-time” to give us something to look forward to and to insure that all of us have no excuse to go."

***Note from Jay***

While Rick does an excellent job of describing how the team does a great job of enjoying time together outside of the office with the cabin event, you might have noticed a little mention in his post about an eating competition.

For the past couple of years one of the Directors on the Health Care / Not for Profit team sponsors an eating competition at Chipotle. McGladrey auditors come from miles around to witness the competition which takes place during busy season.

The Challenge: Who can eat the most burritos in 15 or 30 minutes.

While he might be to modest to brag, Rick has won the past two years. And to prove it, here's a picture of him in the heat of the competition!
Rick, your eating ability is an inspiration to us all! Good luck in 2009!
Interested in joining Rick's team? Check out the open positions below for the Health Care / Not for Profit Audit team:

Meet our National Director of Recruiting & Talent Management: Ken Bansemer

"The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start!"

One of my favorite quotes, and while it applies to the sport of running it could also be applicable to many other endeavors in life such as starting a new hobby, planning a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, or starting on a new degree. But in my professional world, I must ask you the questions: Are you ready to start a career with McGladrey? Are you ready to change organizations to seek greater personal and professional fulfillment? Have you wondered if the grass is greener elsewhere? If the answer is yes to any of these, consider McGladrey.

As the national director of Recruiting & Talent Management for the firm, I have seen firsthand many changes this organization has gone through in the 4 ½ years I have been here. McGladrey continues to grow in every aspect: clients, revenue, people, and career development opportunities. I encourage you to learn more about the McGladrey organization by book-marking the Success Starts Here blog, or setting up an RSS feed to receive updates regularly. And when the time is right – reach out and contact us to explore our opportunities further. Until then, I invite you to learn more about me through my video introduction.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Labor of Finding a Job

Another Labor Day weekend, and summer for that matter, has come and gone. I hope you had an enjoyable weekend and summer yourself.

Labor Day is historically celebrated as a day of rest from work. Summer is ending, school starts up again, and in our industry, it typically marks the recruiting 'busy season'. Our campus recruiters are gearing up for job fairs, presentations and interview days. Our experienced-hire recruiters are proactively looking to fill the remaining openings we have before the end of the calendar year and the start of the accounting 'busy season'.

For those of you whose Labor Day signifies the time to look for a new and better job, the process of finding a new, better job can often be a complicated and tedious process. Resumes, cover letters, interviews, assessments, applications, references, multiple offers, negotiations (all of this going on while you have a job, or have other life events to attend to!) It's alot for anyone to handle. It is often said that finding a new job is a full-time job in itself, especially if you are focused on making sure that your new job is significantly better than your current one.

Finding job opportunities in the public accounting/professional services industry isn't the hard part, with thousands of jobs listed on a plethora of national, local, and niche job boards. But, how do you make sense of it all? What job boards are right for the types of jobs you are looking for? After you take the time to submit your resume, does anyone even ever look at it?

Using job boards as a primary job search tool can prove to be particularly frustrating. A column in this Sunday's Washington Post Careers section illustrates the challenge of navigating this landscape. Ultimately, using targeted job searches on job boards should only be a part of your overall strategy. Most major employers post all of their jobs to the major job boards (i.e. Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs), but what criteria are you using to help you decide which jobs to apply for? And when you do apply, are you doing anything to set yourself apart? Are you truly qualified for the positions you are applying for? Do you have any other connections into the organizations you are applying to?

If you are in a job search mode, you need to consider these questions as a part of your overall strategy. In my opinion, job boards are an excellent way to explore what types of jobs exist within employers you may be interested in working for. The rest though is in most cases up to you. If I were to offer just a few tips on how to use job boards as a part of your job search strategy, they would be:

1) Don't just limit your search to 'brand name' employers. Great jobs exist in small and large companies, companies with well recognized brands, and those who are unknown.
2) Apply only to those positions where you meet the minimum qualifications. Don't assume that the employer will settle for anything less.
3) Tailor your resume and cover letter for the job(s) you apply to, making sure to highlight how your qualifications meet the job(s) minimum qualifications.
4) Consider using job board aggregators such as Indeed and Simply Hired, which essentially pull job postings from a variety of sources, potentially reducing the time you spend searching , and increasing the time you have to apply, interview, and get hired.

There are more tips of course, and future posts will certainly address those. For those of you who are kicking off your post Labor-Day job search, happy hunting, and good luck with finding that next great career opportunity (maybe even with McGladrey!)