Job Hunting In The New Economy

Better Happy Than Safe

In today’s economy, many financial professionals believe that staying where they are is a shrewd maneuver that guarantees a steady paycheck. But staying with a safe bet is not always the right move—particularly for ambitious and qualified candidates who stand out above the rest. Besides, just because you’ve got security doesn’t mean that you can’t keep an eye out for greener pastures. By periodically evaluating your position and scouting out new opportunities you’ll get a clearer idea of what’s possible—and a vision for achieving future career goals.

The Cream Always Rises To The Top

Despite the economic downturn, today’s leading firms are still looking for the best and brightest to fill out their rosters. In fact with many executives cutting the fat from their payrolls, only the “best and brightest” human assets are being hired to pick up the slack.

This “trimming of the fat” that’s currently occurring across the financial services industry provides the perfect opportunity for stellar financial professionals with proven track records to maker lateral moves within the industry or to move up the corporate ladder. During the reshuffling and reorganization that occurs as businesses take a hard look at their bottom line, some employees are let go; but for those who are dedicated to strategic career planning, this “shake-up” offers a chance to rise to the top.

Know Your Value

As businesses move from quantity to quality mindsets, the need for high performing financial professionals is paramount to breathing new life into Wall Street and trust back into the market. However, many firms want their teams to believe that any job is the right job to hold on to valuable human resources. Further, if they can convince you that you’re lucky to get anything in post-Bailout America, then they can negotiate you down on salary and benefits. What is important to remember is that all firms—from small to large corporate entities—are always hungry for talent that brings in revenue. This fact bodes well for people with solid track records and enviable resumes who have no intention of settling for second rate.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

While it’s easy to stay at your current secure position to hedge your bets in this tough economy, if you’re not happy where you are you’re ultimately selling yourself short. This is why going with the right financial recruiter can make all the difference for those dedicated candidates who want more than what the status quo provides. A good financial recruiter will asses your skills and background, give you an accurate picture of what the current market is like, and work tirelessly to get your CV into the right hands—all while you continue performing at your current place of employment.

Periods of enormous economic change can be frightening to many, but the clear-minded financial professional sees the climate of flux for what it is: a precious opportunity. By choosing a powerful advocate to find you the right job while you continue to earn, you have a better chance of finding an environment that will help you achieve your career goals more quickly.

To talk to Michael King about your options in this economy click here now.

Wall Street Pay Raises On The Rise

CEOs are being more forceful in their efforts to retain valuable workforce members now that the economic downturn appears to be lifting faster than most analysts previously thought. Pay raises and pay cuts are slowly being listed industry-wide, first quarter results show.

Last year was a different story: businesses and CEOs routinely used pay freezes or pay cuts to pull their already lean staff through the recession, despite fears that employees would burn out and turnover would skyrocket once the recession lifted. Such tactics no doubt helped business trim their budgets, but left CEOs anxious to quickly change direction once the economy showed signs of improving lest they lose employees.

Now first quarter reports show a new trend for 2010: pay freezes are being lifted and some employees are being given special bonuses.

Why the bonuses? Forward thinking managers understand that key employees’ efforts—in terms of sacrificing raises and in rethinking current business models—transformed their companies into the leaner and more productive companies they are today. CEOs are eager to reward these key employees for their work in an effort to staunch poaching and circumvent broad turnover increases as the economy climbs back from the downturn.

Many CEOs and managers are already finding that its more difficult to retain valued employees than it was before the recession hit and expect it to only become more difficult as the economy steadily improves. While turnover has only increased slightly in recent months, managers are attempting to ward off defections and build employee loyalty.

This increased willingness to reward current employees bodes well for new financial hires: not only does it illustrate that CEOs are much more confident about how 2010 will pan out, such internal corporate anxiety about potential turnover signals CEO anticipation of increasing job opportunities in the marketplace. Companies eager to show current workers they appreciate their contributions—and willing to make decided efforts to retain them—are also likely to recruit and reward new hires. It also means that CEOs and managers late to lift pay freezes and pay cuts are likely to lose employees as new, better opportunities surface in the job market.

With opportunities increasing, now is the perfect chance to find your dream job with a company like Michael King Associates. Contact us now to find out how we can help you today.

 

Tips For Acing Your NYC Brokerage Industry Interview

Let’s face it: interviewing for a brokerage position in New York City isn’t the same as other professional interviews, especially in today’s economic climate. Here are some of Michael King’s tips for making the most of your retail brokerage industry interview.

Read The News

It seems like a no-brainer, but before you walk through the door of your dream company for that all-important interview, make sure you’re completely up to speed on what’s going on in the global financial market. You need to go a little deeper than just skimming the headlines in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, though. Most CEOs and other senior managers are going to be looking for more than a basic understanding of what’s going on: they’re going to expect you to have considered insights into the current economic situation. Making it a practice to read reliable industry news sources and analyses on a daily and weekly basis will not only help you land a brokerage job, it will help you better perform that job and assimilate into the new corporation’s culture once you’re hired.

Keep Up To Date & Review Old Knowledge

Make sure you’re familiar with the latest standards in the brokerage industry, but please do take some time to review financial basics, especially if you’ve been in a specialized position for a number of years. Reviewing textbooks and guides, attending continuing education workshops or seminars, and networking with trade-group members will go a long way to helping you develop into a fully rounded and evolving professional.

It’s In The Details

If you’ve added to past employers’ bottom line over the years, make sure to include a list of statistics that demonstrates that value to bring with you to the interviews. Merely claiming that you’ve added to the bottom line won’t cut it.

But What Does It Mean For Them?

In a similar vein, make sure to demonstrate how your particular past experiences bring specific value to a company’s current needs. In today’s budget-conscious financial climate, everyone wants to know what specific and immediate value you can bring to their business.

Be Honest

Those of us in the financial industry need to be extra careful about integrity these days. That’s why you need to be scrupulously honest in both your application materials and your interview. Remember, in today’s world of social networking, its really easy for an employer to not only verify that what you say in your resume about your past experiences is true, but it’s also easy for her to check out your professional network and ensure that you really know who you say you do. Exaggerating your relationships will not only fail to land you the job you’re interviewing for, but it also may sully your chances for future positions at other companies as well.

For more information on how to secure your ideal position in the brokerage industry contact Michael King Associates now.

 

Building Your Personal Brand Through Social Media

In today’s tech savvy social media platforms are becoming an integral part of the recruitment process—and those in the retail brokerage industry are no different. Whether you use a recruiter like Michael King or want to go it alone, how you appear to your prospective employer makes all the difference in a world where your most valuable asset—you—is only one Google away.

You’re Being Watched

Assume that any prospective employer is Googling you prior to your initial interview. And always assume that they’re investigating in depth any presence you have on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, as you move through first, second and third interviews. Make sure there are no inappropriate posts, links or photos on any of these sites, even if a friend or colleague uploaded or linked to the item(s) in question. In particular, never post any kind of criticism of a boss, coworker or client, let alone anything that may be considered illegal, sexual, or discriminatory. In general, just assume that your potential employer is reading everything you do online.  So keep it positive.  In fact, positivity and the ability to build relationships is what all employers want to see.

Cross Your Ts: You Are Your Brand

An incomplete or lackluster profile is worse than no profile at all and can make prospective employers lose confidence in you.  Ensure that your online profiles, particularly the one listed at LinkedIn, are complete, polished, and truly reflect the breadth of your experience in the brokerage industry. Consider your LinkedIn headline and profile your personal positioning or branding statement: your prospective employer is going to use this profile, in conjunction with your resume and cover letter, to determine whether its worth bringing you in for an interview.

Who You Know Matters

Reach out to your network for positive recommendations, as you never know how or to whom you’re connected.  Your future boss will look just as closely at your online connections as she will at your profile. Don’t waste your time accepting connections with people who don’t reflect the message you want to send to prospects: there’s a very good chance an interviewer will contact one of your connections to develop a clearer picture of who you are as an individual.

Be Subtle….

While we here at Michael King are working hard to find you your dream job—we’d like you to go on with business as usual. This is not only a professional way to conduct business, leaving your current employer with a positive experience of you only helps build your personal brand equity. Further, just as you should assume that future employers are looking at your online presence, assume that current employers and coworkers may be monitoring your presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Instead of advertising that your looking for a new position—and anxious to leave your current one—use your profiles to detail your work experience and highlight your current job position title, responsibilities and career aims. In addition, join groups focused on the retail brokerage industry as some recruiters routinely seek candidates through them. Finally, be sure to set your LinkedIn account settings so that every time you form a new connection—say with a retail brokerage recruiter—everyone in your network isn’t notified.

Take It Offline

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter should be complements to the work we do for you. In other words any help you can give us to solidify the relationships we build for you can make all the difference. Keep in mind, however, that a reference from a trusted source like Michael King is invaluable: We save both parties valuable time finding the right position for both you and your prospective employer, and time is everyone’s most precious commodity. So use these well-known social media platforms to build your personal brand and network, but using both on and offline avenues stacks the cards in your favor for finding the job of your dreams.