What Everyone Should Know About Accounting

So you want to tackle accounting, but you aren’t sure what it entails? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Accounting is one of the most misunderstood fields out there, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. There’s a real sense of gratification in knowing that you, yes you, can save a business from impending doom. You can also save yourself from a life of debt. However, in order to reap these rewards, you should get familiar with the following items.

The Disciplines of Accounting: Financial and Managerial

Accounting isn’t just accounting. Contrary to what you see in the movies, accounting doesn’t surmount to one long sheet of paper chalked full of numbers and symbols. It’s all broken down into categories, then divided into two forms: financial and managerial. Managerial forms are used to log all things financial. The financial form is what outsiders like financial institutions will see. The managerial form is painfully long since it has to show the ins and outs of every penny, while the financial form summarizes this information for easy reading. To be a good accountant you definitely need to have a handle on creating detailed and easy to understand managerial forms. To be a great accountant, you should master both.

Accounting Is Based on Two Foundations: Assets & Liabilities

While managerial and financial are the two disciplines of accounting, assets and liabilities are the two foundations. In summary, an asset is what you or your client owns, a liability is what you owe. If your car is paid in full, it’s an asset. If you’re still paying the car loan, it’s a liability. Most loans are liabilities (even if you think of the money itself as an asset). However, some loans double as assets, like a house purchase. Houses can be revamped to increase in value, thus changing from a liability to an asset-liability.

A Ledger Is the Accounting Holy Grail

If you’ve never seen a ledger, you’ve never done accounting. A ledger is a kind of financial graph that contains 5 basic fields: amount deducted (debited), amount added (credited), description, date and balance. Understanding how to keep a ledger is crucial to accounting. There are three types of ledgers that any accountant should be familiar with: General Ledger (tracks liabilities, assets, income, etc.), Sales Ledger (people who made purchases that haven’t been paid in full) and Purchase Ledger (purchases that haven’t been paid).

The Accounting Process Isn’t Written in Stone

There are dozens of programs out there claiming to be “the only program you’ll ever need.” Many accountants fall for this statement and soon realize that ‘the only program’ differs from client to client. To be honest, there isn’t any fail-safe program that can guarantee accurate reports. The reason? Accounting isn’t an exact science. It involves actions that can’t be quantified, like knowing when to strike a customer from the accounts receivable list or ‘estimating’ a cost that wasn’t accurately reported. You’ll also come to know that the tax requirements for each of your clients will differ greatly — even if they’re in the same industry. If there’s room for guessing, there’s room for error — so a good eye for detail and exceptional critical thinking skills are crucial in accounting.

Accounting Software Makes Life Easier

Handwritten records are a must for any accountant, but accounting software is necessary for easy access and safe keeping. Instead of loading everything onto a Disc or flash drive, most accountants use cloud-accessible accounting software. This software allows you to access your books anytime, anywhere (as long as you have a PC and Wi-Fi connectivity). These programs are secure and can only be accessed by authorized individuals with verified login credentials.

Instead of carrying around a ledger book, cash flow records, balance sheets, income statements, etc., from each of your clients, they can log their information directly into these programs. They can also set up their financial accounts to automatically sync. This saves you from chasing down receipts and allows you to have more accuracy in your final report.


If you want to do accounting right, you have to understand that it isn’t as exact as it seems. There’s a lot of educated guesswork involved so you should have some background in business and math. With careful study, practice and of course patience, you’ll be well on your way to being the best accountant on the block.

– For this post, we would like to thank Parker Hansen.

Professional Resume Critique

Each week we review a resume in need of some help. Our comments are authentic, straightforward and 100% tailored to the particular document you will see. We aren’t necessarily re-writing the resume, rather marking it up and giving tips for improvement.

Considering the vast mix of cultures and backgrounds of the American population, global experience is an absolute advantage for professionals in any industry. Yet, day after day we see so many clients undervalue their international experience or bilingual abilities when it comes time to highlight them on a resume.

The marked-up document below is a prime example of this. This client is a senior manager in the hospitality industry, which by nature facilitates collaboration between diverse populations. Our client mentions the fact that he has global experience and can speak two languages, but he doesn’t explain why those attributes make him a must-hire!

It is vitally important that the client rewrite his opening summary to shine a spotlight on his ability to interact and converse with people of various backgrounds. Another aspect missing from the top third of page one – the most critical section of resume real estate – is any focus on guest relations. This is a major misstep considering his industry.

Yes, it is important to highlight your ability to cut costs, automate operations and lead teams to success, but not at the risk of downplaying the importance of guest satisfaction and your multicultural experience. We rewrote the document to this client’s delight, but below is our initial critique that helped shape the overhaul process.

Reading the in-document critique may leave you questioning the quality of your resume but please note we are not out to scare, but prepare you for future career success. A professional writer is ready to critique your resume today – FOR FREE.  Get started here.

Which Day of the Week Should I Apply for Jobs?

Everybody hates Mondays. They mark the end of relaxation and the beginning of another week full of work stress. It’s understandable to dread it, but now there is at least one good reason to look forward to Monday: job applications.

That’s right. Job seekers can now look forward to Mondays because 30 percent of people who apply for a job on a Monday make it to the next stage in the hiring process, according to a recent study byBright.com. The survey looked at more than 15 million views of job postings and 500,000 job applications since January 2012, and Mondays had the highest success rate of any day of the week.

Job Application ChartImage Credit: Bright.com

Even though Monday is the most successful day, the day of the week with the most job applications is Tuesday. According to the study, 37 percent of job applications are submitted on Tuesdays and only 20 percent of Tuesday applicants move on to the next round of the hiring process.

If you’ve been applying for jobs on weekends, you might want to reconsider in the future. Only about five percent of applicants apply on Saturdays and Sundays, and Saturday is the worst day of the week to do it. Only 14 percent of applicants advance to the next round when they apply on Saturdays.

While the results of this study are definitely significant, they were not able to determine why Mondays have much better results for job seekers. Bright.com suggests it could be because Mondays give employers more time to view applications during the week, or Monday applicants are simply more hireable.

No matter what causes this trend, you should try to take advantage of it. Use the weekend to perfect your resume and cover letter, but don’t hit send on your application until Monday morning. It could be the difference between landing an interview and getting lost in the shuffle.

When do you normally submit job applications? Will you save your next one for a Monday?

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Come Recommended.

Entry-Level Accounting Jobs for Recent College Grads

Entry-Level Accounting Jobs for Recent College GradsIf you’re a recent college graduate with a 4-year accounting degree, current job prospects are brighter for you than many other college grads. In fact, accountant and auditor jobs recently ranked No. 4 on UC San Diego’s HOT Careers list. This report looked at which positions college grads would have the best chance at securing without needing additional education.1

Entry-level accounting jobs and internships come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, or should we say industries and job titles. If you are ready start your job search, but aren’t sure which type of accounting position to pursue, here’s a breakdown of some of the top jobs available for recent grads with 4-year accounting degrees.

Accountant Jobs

You graduated with an accounting degree, so a job as an accountant is pretty obvious, right? Consider looking for a job as an in-house accountant, or put your accounting skills to work for your city, state or federal government.2 Accountant positions typically fall into one of the following categories:

Generalist. If you would like the opportunity to perform a wide range of accounting tasks, look for a general accounting job. These positions come with variety and may give you the responsibility of managing other accounting staff.

Specialist. If you prefer to focus on a specific area of accounting, consider seeking out work as a specialist such as a cost accountant, tax accountant or auditor.

General Ledger. If you see yourself managing a corporation’s general ledger, preparing financial reports and overseeing the work of accounts-payable and accounts-receivable clerks, then look for work as a general ledger accountant. This position might also be referred to as a chief accountant, accounting manager, corporate controller or corporate accountant.

CPA (certified public accountant) Jobs

If you live and breathe accounting and want to work for a company that specializes in your field, consider becoming a CPA, and apply for work at a CPA firm. Or if you want to obtain a more advanced accounting position for a private corporation or the government, a CPA license might give you the leverage you need.

In order to be certified as a CPA, you will need to pass the CPA exam and work in the field for a minimum period of time, as determined by the state where you live. Many CPA firms will hire new accounting grads for entry-level CPA positions, even without a license. However, the new hire must currently be studying for his or her certification or start the process once they are on the job.

CPAs can find work in a variety of capacities and specialty areas – whether at a CPA firm, private company or government agency. According to the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), CPAs can support businesses in a number of ways:

– Assurance Services

– Consulting Services

– Information Technology Services

– Forensic Accounting

– Environmental Accounting

– International Accounting

– Tax and Financial Planning3

If you hope to advance your career in accounting, obtaining your CPA license can help give you an edge over the competition.

Financial Analyst Jobs

While you may need a finance degree (and an MBA) to secure a financial analyst position at one of the top finance firms, private corporations in industries such as manufacturing, e-commerce, health care, utilities and others often hire recent accounting graduates for financial analyst positions.

Entry-level financial analyst jobs don’t require prior experience, but you can expect to work a lot of hours. The median income for a financial analyst comes in at about $75,000 per year, which makes these positions highly desirable and helps take the sting out of the long hours.

If you are a strong researcher, who excels at creating detailed financial reports and can make sense of large volumes of data, a financial analyst position might be right for you.

Recent college grads with 4-year accounting degrees have an abundance of career options to choose from today. If you’re looking for the best entry-level accounting and finance jobs, visit the Doostang website, and start searching for accounting jobs and finance careers now. We specialize in helping recent accounting and finance graduates get hired.

Photo Source: Shutterstock


1. DeVries, H., MBA; Baru, S, Ph.D.; Shapiro, J., Ph.D. “HOT Careers for College Grads and Returning Students 2014,” (special report). 2013. UC San Diego Extension. Available at http://extension.ucsd.edu/about/index.cfm?vAction=reports. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.

2. Cohn, M. “Top Entry-Level Accounting and Finance Jobs.” Accounting Today website; May 29, 2013. Available at http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/Top-Entry-Level-Accounting-Finance-Jobs-62796-1.html. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.

3. “What Does a CPA Do?” Pennsylvania Institute for Certified Public Accountants website. Available at http://www.picpa.org/content/38406.aspx. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.

4. “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Financial Analysts.” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Available at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm. Accessed Nov. 18, 2013.

Financial Analyst Jobs: Duties and Responsibilities

Financial Analyst Jobs: Duties and Responsibilities

Recent college graduates who are looking for entry-level finance jobs often seek out financial analyst positions to kick off their finance careers. If you think a career in finance is in your future and a position as a financial analyst might be right for you, make sure you’re up for the duties and responsibilities involved first.

Financial analysts work long hours, are often required to travel at a moment’s notice and must be willing to immerse themselves in extensive research to succeed. They must also be able to grasp and communicate (verbally and in writing) complicated economic and financial insights and data in order to make financially sound recommendations to the companies they support.

This takes a lot of courage, especially if you are making recommendations that involve millions or even billions of dollars.

Another thing to consider when looking for an entry-level finance position is the type of company you would like to work for starting out. The experience you gain now may dictate where you end up working later on. A variety of types of companies hire financial analysts, such as:

– Private banks.

– Investment banks (buy-side or sell-side).

– Brokerage firms.

– Insurance companies.

– Private corporations.

– Government agencies.

Think you have the passion, stomach and work ethic to make it as a financial analyst? Here’s a breakdown of the duties you’ll be required to perform.

Research, Research and More Research

In general, the role of a financial analyst is to cultivate and review large volumes of data then formulate a recommendation based on what you have learned. You will need to examine national and global trends in economics and finance and make predictions based on this research.

Financial analysts also spend time researching the strengths, weaknesses and risks associated with different companies based on the type of firm for which they are working. They are often required to make lengthy, onsite visits to the companies in question during this research phase.

You may be wondering how an analyst’s duties vary based on the type of firm. While the core responsibilities are very similar, there are some differences, because goals vary from one type of firm to the next.

A financial analyst working at an investment bank will research and evaluate companies to determine risks and the potential benefits and profits pertaining to mergers, acquisitions and IPOs (initial public offerings). They will need to closely evaluate financial and economic conditions and often utilize forecasting tools and models.

A financial analyst at a buy-side investment firm will research companies to determine which businesses their organization should or should not purchase stock in for an in-house fund that the firm manages. They also need to closely evaluate financial and economic conditions and often utilize forecasting tools and models.

A financial analyst at a sell-side investment firm prepares research reports for buy-side firms that are looking to purchase stocks to add to an investment fund. These analysts often focus on a specific industry sector and will spend time comparing the quality of securities in that sector. Ultimately they will recommend whether to buy, sell or hold specific stocks.

A financial analyst at an insurance company or private corporation will research a variety of economic and financial data pertaining to the specific industry at hand. In addition, they will look closely at the financial health of the company itself or other companies that it may have an interest in presently or in the future.

Financial Presentations and Reports

Once the analyst has wracked up hours of research and analyzed untold amounts of data, they need to present their recommendations to a department head or team, depending on the firm.

This is where it helps to have solid technical writing skills as well as experience with preparing spreadsheets, charts and graphs. A good analyst will be able to prepare a technical financial report that clearly supports the recommendations they are making – with both numbers and words.

Staying Abreast of Current Economic and Finance Trends

Along with the company and industry sector specific research that analysts perform, they also need to read general financial and economic industry reports, research, journals, newspapers and the like to stay on top of trends in the finance industry as a whole. Seeking out webinars, media reports and industry events also help top financial analysts stay informed.

So if you still think you’re up for the hard work and long hours that come with a career as a financial analyst, Doostang is here to help. Visit our website to search jobs, today. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up.

Photo Source: Shutterstock


“Career: Financial Analyst.” Princeton Review website. Available at http://www.princetonreview.com/careers.aspx?cid=68. Accessed Nov. 15, 2013.

“Becoming a Financial Analyst.” Investopedia website. Nov. 4, 2012. Available at http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financialcareers/06/financialanalyst.asp. Accessed Nov. 15, 2013.

“Best Business Jobs: Financial Analyst.” U.S. News and World Report website. Available at http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/financial-analyst. Accessed Nov. 15, 2013.

Financial Analyst Jobs: Getting Hired With or Without an MBA

Financial Analyst Jobs: Getting Hired With or Without an MBA

If you’re passionate about making it to the top in the world of finance, securing a financial analyst job is one of the best places to start. And when it comes to entry-level finance jobs, analyst positions pay a decent wage straight out of college. You can expect to earn about $75,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

So what does it take to get hired as a financial analyst?

Education. Education. Education.

It all starts with a solid undergraduate degree from a top university. Depending on the industry or sector you prefer, your undergrad studies should include coursework in economics (macro and micro), business principles, accounting and mathematics. For certain specialty analyst positions, a degree in law, engineering, agriculture, physics, biology or computer sciences might be preferred.

If you’re hoping to be considered for senior financial analyst jobs, an MBA is usually required as well. In fact many firms will hire an MBA from one of the top tier business schools for a senior analyst position right after graduation.

Candidates with undergraduate degrees will typically need to work their way to the top, but will be considered for junior analyst positions if they:

– Can get an interview – stellar cover letter and resume required.

– Have great grades.

– Attended a top 20 undergraduate university.

– Have experience that relates closely to the position.

– Can demonstrate passion for the finance industry.

– Know the history, goals and other ins and outs of the company where they are interviewing.

– Make a great impression and successfully answer top interview questions.

Do I have to get an MBA to rise through the ranks?

Obtaining additional certifications and licenses may help you land a senior financial analyst position. So if you haven’t obtained your MBA, consider participating in a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) program and work toward passing the Series 7 and 63 exams.

The CFA® program focuses specifically on investment knowledge vs. the broad range of topics covered by most graduate school programs. Since it is offered in a self-study format, you can work toward obtaining the charter while you’re completing your undergrad education or if you’re already working.

The Series 7 and 63 licenses are required if you want to sell or take orders for investment securities. FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) manages the testing and requires that a financial securities firm sponsor the applicants.

The Series 7 exam is extensive – 250 questions – and covers investment securities, handling customer accounts and customer financial evaluation. The Series 63 exam pertains to the uniform state securities laws, and allows a representative to work in a specific state.

Earning a CFA® and preparing to pass the Series 7 and 63 exams takes time and hours of intensive studying. In other words, you have to know your stuff. Adding a CFA® or Series 7 and 63 license to your resume can help you advance your career and get hired for a senior analyst position, but not at every firm – many still only hire MBAs.

Photo Source: Shutterstock


“Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Financial Analysts.” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Available at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.

“CFA® Program.” CFA Institute website. Available at http://www.cfainstitute.org/programs/cfaprogram/Pages/index.aspx. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.

FINRA Registration and Examination Requirements. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority website. Available at http://www.finra.org/industry/compliance/registration/qualificationsexams/qualifications/p011051. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.


Top Interview Questions to Expect for Financial Analyst Jobs, Part 2 of 3

Top Interview Questions to Expect for Financial Analyst Jobs, Part 2 of 3

Question Categories: Goals and Company Knowledge

This is the second in a series of posts about how to best answer interview questions for financial analyst jobs, based on question categories: Education and Work Experience; Goals and Company Knowledge; and Technical Competence.

In the first post of this series we discussed how to answer financial analyst interview questions based on the categories Education and Work Experience. As with the first post, we’ll share some of the questions you might expect in the categories of Goals and Company Knowledge, along some tips on how to approach the answers so you make a great impression.

As we mentioned last time, if you want to make it past the first interview, you must take time in preparing for an interview and practice answering frequently asked interview questions. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will feel. So do the prep work and practice hard if you want to stand out.

Interview Questions to Expect by Category

Here are some of the questions you will likely be asked during your interview, along with some tips on how to approach questions about your goals and your company knowledge.

Goal Questions

The interviewer will ask questions about your finance career goals as they pertain to the financial analyst position you are trying to secure, as well as your goals for the future. Some potential questions may include:

– What are your short- and long-term goals in this financial analyst position?

– Where do you hope your finance career takes you in the next five years?

– How much money do you expect to earn in the next five years and 10 years?

– How can your personal career goals help our company achieve its goals?

The interviewer is trying to determine if you are a good fit for their organization based on where you are today and where you intend to be five and 10 years from now. The type of work you hope to do as well as the amount of money you hope to earn should align with what the position in question allows. He or she is also trying to learn how much you know about the company’s goals (more about this in the next section) and if your experience and desire will benefit the company.

Prepare yourself for this series of questions by researching the roles of the financial analysts who currently work at the company. Try to speak with someone who works at the organization and has an understanding of the financial analyst roles, goals and responsibilities to gain some insight. Otherwise review the job description closely, and tailor your answers to align with the duties outlined there.

You can also review the profiles of financial analysts who work at the firm (now or in the past) on LinkedIn to see if there are any consistencies across backgrounds and experience, and highlight any of those qualities that you also offer. Earnings information is pretty easily found online or through word of mouth.

Company Knowledge Questions

The interviewer will ask you questions that are specific to the company to which you are applying. Topics can range from specific stats and history to how your background aligns with the organization’s goals. Some potential questions may include:

– Why did you apply for a position with this organization?

– Why would you like to work for us?

– Can you tell me what you know about our company?

– What qualities do you have that make you a better hire for our company than your competition?

– What experience or knowledge do you bring to the table that will help our company improve or grow?

– What challenges do you expect to experience in this company’s financial analyst role?

The interviewer is trying to find out if you did your homework and took the time to research their organization. They are looking for people who will be passionate not only about the finance industry but the firm in particular. If you don’t show any specific knowledge about the company, its history, goals and challenges, the interviewer will likely write you off. And if you can’t show how you can contribute to the organization’s bottom line, consider that another strike against you.

Prepare for this series of questions by doing some good, solid research about the company and try to answer each of the aforementioned questions specifically. Read the company website from top to bottom, and look for the latest news about the organization and its key players online. Again, arranging to talk with people who work with the firm can really give you an edge. Do your homework.

You can read part one of the series here. Next up? We will address questions about your Technical Competence.

Photo Source: Shutterstock

YouTern’s Top 50 Blogs for Young Careerists: 2013

YouTern recently came out with its most recent list of the Top 50 Blogs for Young Careerists to help students and recent grads thrive in their careers in this complicated job market. And we’re thrilled and honored to announce that Doostang has made the list! (Thanks YouTern!)

We love supplying our audience with up-to-date career advice and enjoy all the feedback we get in the comments section and through our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Our audience means a lot to us and we hope we’re answering all your career questions. (If not, tell us what you’d like to read about in the comments.)

According to YouTern, each blog on this list was narrowed down and eventually chosen using these three parameters:

  1. First and foremost: the quality of the content; nothing is more important
  2. Second, we value consistency: frequency of blogging, a constant voice, etc. (alas, some of our previous favorite bloggers… well, stopped blogging consistently)
  3. Third, we chose to eliminate those in the deep end of the self-promotion pool. Lastly, we selected those bloggers, regardless of their years of experience (yes, that means there are some old-school types in here!) whose advice is wholly applicable to young careerists

Thanks to YouTern for providing this list of incredible career resources and for including us among other talented blogs and thinkers. Below is just a sample of a few career blogs that made the cut. You can check out all 50 who made the list, here.

Brazen Life by @BrazenCareerist | There’s still no better online community for young careerists – and the stable of writers here is second-to-none.

EmilyBennington.com by Emily Bennington (@emilybennington) | One of the best career bloggers out there – on her site and for Forbes, Monster, Huffington Post and more.

Keppie Careers by Miriam Salpeter (@Keppie_Careers) | A contributor to CNN and the Wall Street Journal, Miriam’s advice is second-to-none.

Loosen Your White Collar by Melanie Axman (@mellymelanz) | This Gen Y blogger and entrepreneur, and former HR professional, gives it to us straight and fast.

Under30Careers.com (@Under30Careers) | Brought to us by @JaredOToole and the team at Under30CEO, this new entry is already a terrific resource for the young careerist.

How to Get the Most Out of a Staffing Agency When Job Searching


If at first you don’t succeed, try a staffing agency.

According to the American Staffing Association, “U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.95 million temporary and contract workers per business day during the third quarter of 2012, which represents a 4.3% increase over the third quarter of 2011.” More companies are using employment agencies to screen interview candidates so by joining forces, you can increase your chances of getting more interviews and accepting a job with the best employer.

Here’s what you need to know about staffing agencies in order to have the best chance of landing the right job.

1. Know the Differences

There are many different kinds of employment agencies out there. Some focus on contract work, others are temporary placement firms, while others focus on placing qualified candidates in permanent jobs with their clients. Some firms may charge a fee for finding you a job, especially temp work, but most reputable staffing agencies will not charge you anything for their services. Typically, the companies the firm works for will pay to be matched with the best candidates for their jobs.

2. Find One in Your Field

Agencies will focus on different types of employment, but they also often specialize in placing candidates in specific industries or fields. For instance, a staffing agency like Incepture will focus on healthcare, finance and IT professionals, but not marketing or law. It’s important to choose an agency or agencies that will have strong connections within your industry to help you get a job that suits you. Diligent research on staffing agencies in your industry will help you find potential jobs that meet your skills and work requirements.

3. Make Contact

Once you have chosen a few staffing agencies in your field, it’s important to do more than just send them your resume or an email saying that you are interested in staffing services. Like regular employers, staffing firms will see a lot of resumes, and you need to make yourself stand out. Call the agency on the phone and ask to speak to a placement representative.

4. Know What You Want

Before you make contact, you should have a clear list of your skills and work that you are willing to do, and where you are willing to do it. Providing the agency with a clear picture of what work you can perform will make finding a job easier for them and for you. Just make sure that you remain flexible in the work you will accept. If you’re holding out for a specific job or company, you may be left waiting for a long time.

5. Treat This Like an Interview

If the agency accepts you as a suitable job candidate, you’ll be called in for an interview and probably a series of aptitude tests to determine your skills and best fit. This interview should not be taken lightly, and should be treated just like an interview with a potential employer. Staffing agencies work hard to deliver the best job candidates to their business partners, so consider your placement officer as a gatekeeper to other jobs. However, an interview with the staffing agency is a great opportunity, since you can treat it as a rehearsal for an employer interview, and you can ask candid questions about the company that you might not be able to ask in a full interview.

6. Stay Positive

Remember that staffing agencies are only one tool you can use to search for your next job. Even with the business contacts and assistance of a staffing firm, it is easy to get discouraged while job hunting. One of the most important things to do in a job search is to stay active. With staffing agencies, you should stay in touch with your placement officer at least once a week to let them know that you are still available and ready to work.

Have you ever tried or found success with a staffing agency? Let us know your experience.

About the Author: Mike Cushing is a freelance writer for Incepture, a Florida-based staffing agency serving the healthcare, IT and finance industries in Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville.

Go Green in the City 2013 Challenge

Calling all business and engineering students! It’s time to team up for the annual Go Green in the City challenge.  Sponsored by Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, Go Green in the City is an international case challenge for university business and engineering students around the world to find clever solutions for energy management.

The top 100 teams will get to work together with a mentor from Schneider Electric to develop your idea further which is a great experience to get an insight into a truly global company. For the 25 finalist teams, a two-day final in Paris is waiting, full with networking opportunities, case presentations and interviews. As if this wouldn’t be enough, the winners get to travel the world and will be offered a job at Schneider Electric.

So what are you waiting for? It’s easy to apply! Pair up with a teammate, business or engineering student, and create a presentation of your idea for intelligent energy solutions for a smarter city.  The presentation can be a text document, pictures, or a video. At least one of you must be female and you both need to study in the US, however, you don’t have to study at the same university. Part from the US, students from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, Russia, and Turkey are all welcome to apply.

One of the runners-up teams 2012 came from US. Will you be one of the teams representing the US in the final in Paris in June 2013 competing against top talents from around the world?

The deadline for submitting your entry to the competition is March 3, 2013.  Pre-register now to get all the latest updates and competition details at: