Five common mistakes when looking for a tax position


Everyone makes mistakes, but it often feels like there’s no room for error at any point in the job search process. Any typo, error, or mistake on a resume can spell doom for even the most qualified candidates. But there’s more to it than avoiding resume and cover letter errors. Here are five things to avoid doing when you’re looking for work as a tax professional. Remember a search firm can always read your resume and help you get an edge against the competition.

Always ask the recruiter where your resume is going

Whether you’re just getting started or have worked for decades as a tax professional, it’s important to stay in control of your candidate profile throughout the process. When working with a recruiter or search firm, it’s essential to always ask where your resume is going and who you are being presented to as a potential candidate. Any recruiter not informing you where they distribute your resume is likely sending it to as many employers as possible because you unwittingly gave the recruiter permission to send it out. A good way to stay in control is to ensure you’re informed as resumes are distributed, and to always work with a reliable search firm with many years of experience.

Ensure your resume is ready

How often do you look over your resume when you’re ready to start the search? Have you had it reviewed by someone other than yourself? For example, it’s not uncommon for search firms to ensure a resume is taking advantage of a format and style that allows you to present as much information about yourself in as few pages as possible. A second or third opinion, especially from a recruiter or search firm, also gives essential feedback on how to improve your resume for any particular potential employers. The resume is a very important first impression, and it requires careful thinking to prepare for career success. For example, many candidates waste essential real estate on their resumes by having unnecessarily wide margins.

Prepare properly before your interviews

Interviewing is always a challenge. As it is, it can be intimidating to meet with a firm or business’s key executives, as well as your hiring manager, not to mention your future coworkers. But what’s even more intimidating is the inability to know just what they’ll ask, just the need to prepare for as many questions as possible. In reality, you’ll never know what you’re going to be asked until you walk up to the door, but search firms can lend a hand especially with the interview process. A search firm can help you articulate your work experience, work experience, and help you research the employer so you can let your charisma and knowledge shine through any interview.

Tell yourself what you learned from each meeting

As you interview with an employer, always take the time to reflect on that experience. The worst thing you can ever tell yourself is that you’ve done well, but not know how and why you did well. A great way to simplify this is to grab a business card at each interview and to write down what you learned from that conversation. Even the most basic information, from specific compliments, to questions asked, or even hobbies expressed can be valuable later in the interview process. It shows your interest in not just trying to find a career, but to find a team you’ll grow with and ultimately foster success within. Working with a search firm helps you stay ahead of these post-interview steps, and gives you a chance at being as success as these recent candidates too.

Always communicate your value

A final piece of advice for potential candidates in tax is to always communicate your value. Just as real estate agents are always closing, you should be always communicating your value to your hiring manager, future coworkers, company or firm executives, and anyone else who wants to know why you want that career. The way to differentiate one’s self is to focus on your positive value as a byproduct of your work experience, interests, and abilities.
All of this is a lot to decipher and understand, and just a taste of what a good search firm can offer any candidate in the search process. For tax professionals in need of some expert help, then consider the Tax Recruiting Specialists (TRS) at the Jay Heino Company, LLC to help you discover new opportunities. TRS has worked for more than 35 years to help candidates of all experience levels achieve success in the search process. Call us today at (516) 791-1958 or email us at to get started, or take a look at our current openings.