Tips for Accountants: How to Build and Manage Your Brand – Part 3

By Frank Wdowczyk, CPA, CGA

Frank, Senior Recruitment Partner at Clarity Recruitment, has over eight years of practical accounting experience, and seven years as a finance recruiter.

He lends his extensive expertise to finance professionals across the GTA. 

The final instalment of How to Manage and Build Your Brand explores the value of working with a recruiter and the role professional development plays in maintaining and expanding your brand.

Working with your recruiter to share your brand

As an accountant looking for work, being smart about how you brand yourself is half the battle. The other half is working closely with your recruiter to ensure your brand is being exposed to the right people. If you haven’t heard recently from your recruiter or if you applied for a job and didn’t hear back from them, feel free to e-mail them to inquire into the status of your candidacy. While you don’t want to annoy, an occasional note to ensure you’re still on their radar is acceptable.

You can also apply for positions that your recruiter is recruiting for. Remember, not everyone is a good fit for every job. Having a brand also means having a target “client” or “customer,” so exercise discretion about the positions you apply for. The easiest way to diminish your brand, both with a recruiter and a potential employer, is to apply for roles you clearly aren’t qualified for, e.g., if you’re an AR clerk and you throw in your name for a CFO vacancy.

Expanding your brand through professional development

Developing a strong personal brand should be just one part of your search – expanding and refining your skill set, competencies, and experience should be another; doing so will extend your brand identity.

Just because you’re currently unemployed doesn’t mean your professional growth has to come to a halt. More employers are looking beyond traditional skills and work histories, valuing unpaid and informal experience. Consider volunteering through your professional association or community, take a course to refine your skills, learn macros and VBA, etc. Use your time productively to continue your professional development. This will build your personal brand and value to employers; it will also add another chapter to the “story/pitch” you share with others.

Personal branding is about separating yourself from the rest of the pack. Defining, marketing, and selling what makes you unique amid the crowd – improving your odds of finding a job.

This article originally appeared in the mid-October 2013 issue of The Bottom Line.