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Ford Peterson: Young CA’s

Tomorrow night, a number of Young CA members will be going to an event at LinkedIn to discuss how to get the most out of their online profile.

As part of our ongoing relationship with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Ford Peterson will be on hand to answer any questions accountants have about what recruiters look for when deciding which people to contact.

With that in mind I thought it an opportune time to cover a couple of the main points.

What Are Recruiters Looking For?

From a recruiters point of view, there a couple of things we are interested in:

  • Job title;
  • Job function and industry;
  • Education;
  • Role responsibilities;
  • Time in role;
  • Track record of promotion;
  • Career history.

Job Title

Because of the way the LinkedIn jobs work, the job title you have on LinkedIn is becoming more important, especially if you are looking for a change.

When anyone posts a job on LinkedIn, LinkedIn will come up with a shortlist of likely suitable candidates based on a person’s job title, function and industry (covered below).

There are a few shortcomings with this, the main one being there seems to be 100 different job titles for the same role.

So, if you are looking for a new job it is worthwhile doing a little research about what LinkedIn are calling people with your experience, and amending your job title to reflect that.

Job Function And Industry

In a perfect world everyone on LinkedIn who is an accountant would have the following job functions:

  • Accounting / Auditing;
  • Finance.

I’m only really including finance as relevant for people who are working in commerce rather than professional services.

With respect to industry, I’m not really sure how much this matters for accountants unless you are in a niche industry or a functional role.


Education is where I think most people fall down in setting up their profile.

If you are completing or have completed the CA I would be making sure it is on your profile.

University is less important but I would still put it on.

Role Responsibilities

Role responsibilities are especially important if you are working in a larger organisation like the Big 4 where an analyst could be:

  • Audit;
  • Business Services;
  • Corporate Tax;
  • R&D Tax;
  • Insolvency;
  • Management Consulting;

You get the idea.

If I’m looking for someone out of the Big 4, I will search by job title and education and then will look at all the profiles that match that to work out which people are in the teams we want.

If that information is not on your profile, then you are more likely to get irrelevant contact requests / miss out on relevant positions.

Time In Role

Pretty self explanatory, just make sure you put the dates on your profile.

Track Record Of Promotion

If you have had a few different roles in the same business, make sure people can see that.

Every role, regardless of which organisation should appear on your LinkedIn profile (same goes for CV’s)

If you have been with an organisation for 10 years and only have your most recent job title, then people will think that you are stagnant in your career.

Career History

Again, pretty self-explanatory, just like a CV, make sure you put on all your previous jobs and companies.

You never know who might be looking and they might really like people who have worked at a company you worked at 5 years ago.

In closing, recruiters use LinkedIn for a number of different reasons, including:

  • Market mapping;
  • Talent pipeline management;
  • Active positions they are recruiting.

Most recruiters will keep the searches they use very broad and will narrow down after actually looking at a profile, so use broad terms for discrete values (i.e. industry / job function / education) and get into the specifics in the free text (role responsibilities etc).

Follow Ford Peterson on LinkedIn to keep up to date with posts like these. If you are actively looking for your next job, check out our Candidate Resource Centre which covers off on most things from CV writing to interview success guides.



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