Starting a New Job? Conquer the First 90 Days Like a Pro

After landing a new job, the gears that once propelled you through the application and interview process start to shift. Now, you should be zeroing in on how to be successful in this new role.

The first 90 days of a new job are crucial for making a good impression. During this time, you need to be focused, productive, and take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. Here are some tips for conquering the first 90 days of a new job like a pro.

Define Your 90-Day Goals

When starting a new job, it’s important to establish some goals for the first 90 days. In fact, this exercise should be your top priority. The 90-day goals you set will act as your true north as you navigate this new position. 

Meet with your manager to understand what is expected of you, and then develop a list of what you’d like to expect of yourself. During this time, ask:

  • How can I best deliver results/contribute to the team?
  • How do I want to develop professionally during the first year, and what can I do during the first 90 days to set myself up for success?

Become a People-person

If first impressions are lasting impressions, as you meet new colleagues, ensure your first impression is a good one. In a virtual environment, this may seem harder than it previously was. That’s why being proactive is key. You may need to go out of your way to meet with new team members, even if just for 15 minutes, to introduce yourself and get to know them better. Hone in on the organizational chart, and learn who you can go to for what – this will help you traverse future projects.

As you meet with fellow teammates, be intentional about asking questions. Remember, the 90-day window serves as a grace period for questions there are questions that you can ask during the first 90 days that may seem off-putting to ask after that 90-day period. So, not only should you be asking questions about how this new team operates, new terms that you might not be familiar with, or each colleagues’ work style, but be sure to take notes.

Lean into the Learning Curve

The first 90 days of a new job are exciting, but can also be overwhelming. Trying to memorize new names, new titles, new processes all while trying to master your new role can prove to be a huge undertaking. In fact, data has shown that new employees only have a 25 percent productivity rate during the first month on the job. In fact, it’s not until after that 90 day period that a new employee reaches their full-productivity capacity. That’s why during the first 90 days it’s especially important to be patient with yourself. Listen, observe and absorb information. Once you pass the 90 day mark, then you can start to form opinions and begin implementing changes.

Read on about developing important soft skills to help you thrive in your new work environment.

Top Value-adding Achievements to Highlight on Your Resume

When applying for jobs, many make a big mistake – they believe their resume only serves to outline their previous responsibilities. Truth is, it’s more than that. If your resume doesn’t show the value that you’ve brought to past employers, you’re missing the mark. In a sea of applications, stand out by including these value-adding achievements on your resume.

Highlight Ways You Increased Revenue or Reduced Spending

Generating revenue and cutting costs are key goals of every business. So ask yourself, what was your role in working towards those goals at your previous workplace? When it comes to increasing revenue, be specific. Be sure to include dollar signs and figures. The main point here is to connect the dots: If a project you worked on resulted in an increase in revenue, make note of that. After all, you were part of the team that made it happen.

Same goes for saving money. If you identified ways the company was overspending, highlight them on your resume. Calculate percentages that show the impact these changes had in reducing spending.

Here is an example from of what this could look like for a financial analyst: “Saved [company name] X% by identifying [the exact number] of low-margin projects.”

Showcase Systems or Procedures You Introduced, Developed, Optimized or Implemented

The ability to identify and overcome current or potential problems is a valuable skill for any employer. What ways have you creatively tackled a problem at hand? Perhaps you found a way to simplify an overly complicated process, or maybe you identified a new system that will alleviate the team workload. These are things that add value to your employer, and should certainly be included on your resume.

But how can you quantify these examples? You can calculate hours saved or use numbers to show how the process was simplified.

Here is an example: “Implemented a new system that allowed two people to do the same amount of tasks that previously took four people.”

Include Awards You’ve Won

If you’ve won an award, it’s definitely worth noting on your resume. The value-add? It shows your future employer that they’d be getting the best in the business. And it looks good to their customers and future job seekers to know that the team is highly qualified.

Now that your resume is ready to go, check out these tips for acing behavioral interview questions.

How to Ace Top Behavioral Interview Questions

If you’re in the market for a new job, you may find yourself preparing for behavioral interview questions. Including behavior-based questions is quickly becoming the standard in the interview process — and for good reason. By understanding how you handled situations in the past, hiring managers can get a better sense of how you may handle situations in the future. We’ll tell you what behavioral interview questions are, in addition to common behavioral questions and how to answer them.

What Do We Mean by “Behavioral Interview Questions?”

If you’ve been in an interview and heard the words, “Describe a time when,” or, “Give an example of,” then you’re likely familiar with the concept of behavioral interview questions. Unlike other interview questions that may be looking for answers that are more factual or informational, when interviewers ask behavior-based questions, they’re wanting to hear you tell a story of a previous experience. Sound intimidating? Well, it doesn’t have to be.

Key Behavioral Interview Questions to Prepare For

The hiring manager will likely tailor behavioral interview questions to the specific job you’re interviewing for. Read through the job description and think of potential behavioral questions and relevant examples from your previous experience.

Need some inspiration? We’ve scoured Glassdoor to find out what some of the top accounting firms are asking:

    • Ernst & Young (EY): Tell us about a time you stepped up as a leader.
    • Deloitte: Talk about a time when you felt the most collaborative.
    • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC): Describe a time when you influenced someone senior to yourself. 
    • Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG): Give an example of a time when you failed and what you did to overcome that failure.

How to Answer Behavioral Questions

Regardless of what behavioral question is being asked, you can ensure a successful answer if you follow this formula: 

  1. Explain the situation.
  2. Detail how you handled it – be sure to alternate between “I” and “we” to balance how you come across as both a team player and a leader.
  3. Emphasize the results of your actions.

Remember to focus on the positive side of the story. While some of the questions may be on the topic of past failures, highlight the lessons you learned from those experiences. 

Troubleshooting: If you find yourself telling a story where you responded to a situation that didn’t quite work out, it’s okay. The best recovery is to tell the interviewer how you would handle that situation with the knowledge you have today. That shows growth.

Are you nearing the end of the interview stage? Read this article to learn how to manage multiple job offers like a pro.

How to Manage Multiple Job Offers Like a Pro

In this labor market, it’s not unusual for skilled candidates to juggle multiple job offers at once. A fortunate conundrum, yes — but still a challenge that professionals must learn to navigate.

We share our top tips to help you weigh each job offer, so you can identify the right opportunity for you and keep your professional integrity intact.

1. Get It in Writing

Oftentimes, employers or hiring managers verbally extend job offers as a way to gauge the prospective employee’s excitement for the role. Before you can officially make a decision, however, it’s important to get an estimate when the company will be providing an official offer in writing, so you can use it to compare — or negotiate — the terms with competing job offers.

2. Respond Positively to All Offers

Even if you’re waiting on an expected offer or need time to consider, you should still communicate your enthusiasm for the opportunity in a timely manner. There are several ways to properly handle this without having to immediately accept, such as expressing your appreciation for the opportunity and asking for time to properly review the letter. It’s also in your best interest to ask for a timeline of when they’d like a response by, so you can coordinate evaluating your other opportunities accordingly.

3. Review Your Options

This part can get complicated, as it requires you to fully examine your career aspirations and determine how each opportunity stacks up against those goal posts. You can develop your own system for comparing and contrasting job offers, but assessing the following key factors can be a great starting point: job title, core responsibilities, compensation and benefits, growth/training opportunities, company culture and work/life balance. Use this experience to either negotiate a better offer or to provide some clarity on what ultimately matters most to you in a career opportunity.

4. Act Promptly

No matter where you land in the decision-making process, it’s imperative you respond to all parties within their preferred timeline, and either accept or deny their job offer. Always be appreciative in your message and thank the hiring manager for their time and interest. You never know when another opportunity may arise, so you want to keep your working relationship positive and professional.

Are you looking for a new career opportunity? Submit your resume today to connect with one of our recruiters.

4 Steps to Landing Your Next Promotion

When you find yourself achieving all your goals, feeling ready to face new tasks and wanting to focus on new initiatives, it might be time to ask for a promotion. It can be a daunting process, but knowing when and how to make the request can make things easier — and certainly help your career.

Before approaching your manager, remember that you must first define your goals. Now is the moment to be your biggest supporter. Take some time to make a list of your most significant professional accomplishments in the last year. Use your three most notable achievements as the foundation of your case for a promotion. Once you have locked down why you deserve it, use the following steps to get prepared:

1. Avoid Being Vague About Your Value.

It’s natural for many of us to be modest. But there’s a significant difference between being modest and underselling yourself. Consider the fact that what seems ordinary to you could be extraordinary to someone else. There is no such thing as an insignificant achievement, so make a list of them.

2. Plan to Meet Face-to-Face.

Emailing your proposal does seem more convenient, but it can also be significantly riskier. This ask is undeniably a face-to-face discussion (whether virtual or live), and you should schedule it sooner than later. It may feel it’s easier to express things that you would generally be afraid to address in person via email, but you also miss out on opportunities when you forego a conversation in favor of digital communications.

3. Practice Asking.

Asking for a promotion is the type of discussion that should be rehearsed. Once you’re satisfied with your script, we recommend going over the conversation numerous times with friends or family. Practicing means being more comfortable talking about yourself and your talents, as well as proactively prepping for inquiries or even obstacles that may emerge. If you get nervous, remember that most of the negation work is done before you ever even ask.

4. Don’t Wait to Be Recognized.

The most obvious opportunity to inquire about a promotion is during your review. It is an established chance for you and your boss to evaluate how you’ve been doing and where your career is heading. However, you should not sit around and wait for the promotion to be delivered to you. Instead, take the initiative and begin talking to your manager as soon as possible. Of course, don’t expect them to be able to read your thoughts. If you want more responsibility, a more prominent role or believe you’ve proved increasing value to the business in your existing capacity, it’s critical that you speak up and let them know.

Browse our blog for more career advice and insider tips.

Accounting Certifications Employers Are Looking For

An accounting certification helps increase earning potential and qualify financial professionals for more opportunities. If you’re thinking about getting a certification, looking into some of the more common options will help you determine which one is right for you. In this article, we’ll go through four of the most popular accounting certificates, how to get them and how they benefit your career progression.

Of course, continuing education is an investment of both time and money — and your employer may be able to assist you in making a case for credentials. Each has its own set of school and work experience requirements, as well as concentrations on particular abilities. But knowing which one is best for you depends on your professional path, expertise, qualifications and financial means. Here are four of the most prevalent accounting certifications:

1. Certified Public Accountant

A CPA is the most prevalent accounting credential, and is necessary for many professions in the field. It tests your skills in risk management, taxation, forensic accounting and other essential accounting skills.

Prerequisites include five years of higher learning, a minimum of 150 continuing education credits in business and accounting and verifiable relevant experience. The CPA exam takes approximately a year to pass; exam and license criteria differ by state, but most state agencies demand one year of accounting experience before granting the license.

2. Certified Financial Analyst

A financial professional’s knowledge and talents in asset management, economics, professional ethics and investment analysis are verified by holding the CFA designation. The CFA Institute is the organization that sponsors the certification.

Prerequisites include a bachelor’s degree and four years of relevant experience. Total certification time can be completed in 18 months, but most people take over two years.

3. Certified Internal Auditor

For those wanting a job as an internal auditor, the CIA certification is the only globally accepted credential. It shows that you can work well with both internal and external clients. It also denotes risk and control, as well as information technology skills.

A bachelor’s degree is required in addition to two years of internal auditing experience. One year of experience can be replaced with a master’s degree. Certification can take anywhere from a year to 18 months.

4. Certified Management Accountant

The CMA validates capability in cost management, internal auditing skills, decision analysis and forecasting. The Institute of Management Accountants is the sponsor of the certification. A CMA exhibits comprehension of essential accounting and financial management abilities from an internal, managerial, or generalized standpoint. If you want to work for a major, international corporation, most accountants would secure their CPA and CMA certifications.

Candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree and two consecutive years in financial management or management accounting. Time to certification is one to two years.

Search our jobs to gain more experience and find a new role nearest you!

5 Ways a Recruiter Can Advance Your Job Search

It’s time to jailbreak your job search. Cut the time, unanswered leads and barrage of resume send-outs with the addition of a key player who knows the process like their career depends on it. Because, well, it does.

Enter: the recruiter.

They can help simplify the job hunt process and get you noticed by the right people — all while providing personal support along the way.

1. Recruiters have established relationships with employers.

A strong professional network and landing the perfect career opportunity go hand-in-hand. Why not get a boost on the competition by leveraging a recruiter’s lengthy list of established relationships to your advantage? “We’re very well connected,” Century Group explains. “We know who to put the resume in front of, even if we haven’t worked directly with them.”

2. Recruiters streamline the job search process.

One of the biggest complaints job seekers have about finding a new job is the time — a luxury most people don’t have. That’s where the recruiter comes in. “We’re doing the work,” Century Group says. “At zero cost to you, we’re managing the entire process and scheduling multiple interviews with different companies on your behalf.”

3. Recruiters bring a personal touch with support and coaching.

A recruiter’s role is two-fold: supportive cheerleader and unflinching realist. It’s in their best interest to make your best interests a priority — even if that means giving you honest feedback and coaching during the job search and interview processes. From resume revisions to helping compose a memorable thank-you note, a recruiter will partner with you to find the right job that meets your individual qualifications and needs.

4. Recruiters give you access to exclusive positions.

Remember that insider’s knowledge that comes with the territory? Recruiters not only have their finger on the hidden job market, but can share valuable information about the company you’re interviewing with. “We also have the ability to market your background to companies that aren’t necessarily hiring and get you an interview,” Century Group adds. “We can get candidates into the positions they want.”

5. Recruiters add you to their talent network.

When you’re in, you’re in. Recruiting firms keep an up-to-date log of candidates they’ve worked with in the past, and use their respective tracking systems to match skill sets to positions. This allows recruiters to keep you in mind for new opportunities throughout your career. And when you’re ready to make a move, there’s already someone in place to help you in your search.

Submit your resume and connect with one of our recruiters today!

3 Compensation Package Questions You Need to Ask

To some, the most important element in a job is how much money they make. Others are more interested in what they get in addition to the money, such as good benefits, training and opportunities to learn new skills. The truth is that both salary and perks matter when evaluating a job offer or potential career move.

What is most important to you in a job offer or potential career?

In order to decide which factors of a compensation package are most important for you, consider your current salary vs. the salary being offered, the type of work environment you’re looking for, and what additional benefits are offered in the compensation package. 

It’s important not only to consider these things before accepting an offer, but also be sure your future employer knows what is most meaningful to you so there aren’t any surprises down the road.

The amount an individual is compensated for their work can have a direct impact on how much effort they devote to their career. That’s why it’s no surprise a study done by Achievers found 52% of employees are either actively looking or would consider leaving their company because of compensation. 

So what exactly is compensation? Compensation can be broken into three key factors. To determine which factor is most important to you, consider how each will affect your life:

  • Salary: The salary offered by an employer typically acts as the employee’s main source of income. This includes the monetary value you’re willing to work during normal business hours in addition to any overtime rates, if applicable.
  • Benefits: The benefits structure is an important factor that often varies widely depending on company culture and performance. Benefits are defined as indirect compensation beyond your determined salary and annual raise. Some traditional benefits to ask your potential employer about are insurance (both health and life), paid time off, training or educational opportunities, childcare, remote-work stipends, workout resources, on-site snacks or meals or additional workplace perks.
  • Promotions: One element of the compensation package that many overlook is the opportunity to be promoted within the company. In some cases, it may be worth accepting a slightly lower-than-anticipated initial salary if there is an opportunity to quickly advance in the company.

How does this compensation package shape up compared to industry standards?

Three words: research, research, research. Determine the cross-section of your worth and current, local industry standards when considering your compensation package. Make a list of what skills you could be bringing to this position including your experience, training and education. Then, find out what is common for someone with your level of expertise to be compensated. Lastly, ask yourself if that salary range and benefit package level would satisfy your willingness to excel at this job. If not, this last question is for you.

Have you brushed up on your negotiation skills?

Knowing what you want out of a job is just the beginning — you need to know how to ask for it. There are three key components to successfully negotiating your compensation package: know your worth, stick to your number and back it up with stats. Learn how to negotiate your salary with ease by reading our Best Practices to Negotiate Your Salary.

Best Practices to Negotiate Your Salary

So you’re starting a new job. Did you negotiate your salary? Seems like an obvious tactic, sure. But for many job seekers, not always an easy one.

Don’t leave potential money at the table. Here are a few best practices to help negotiate your salary for that next job or promotion. Trust us, you’ll be happy you did.


The first step to salary negotiations: do your research. Our recruiters regularly negotiate salaries on behalf of candidates, and understand that paying top professionals at market rate is key. The market dictates what people are making. And if one company isn’t willing to pay that, another one will.

Not sure how to price yourself? Century Group recommends looking to salary guides to find what peers in similar roles and/or backgrounds are making in your area. Arming yourself with that information is a useful tool when deciding on a number that makes sense for you.


Now that you’re equipped with your role’s market value, it’s time to get specific. Be prepared with a number that you’re comfortable with. Most importantly, stay committed to it. A salary range gives employers an out — an option to give you an offer that falls toward the lower end of that spectrum. But with a specific dollar amount, they’re more likely to give you a final offer closer to the mark.


A sure way to prove you’re a good investment: show it. Whether it’s for a new role or a promotion, create a brag list of your accomplishments, skill set and career highlights to better help illustrate your value. Employers are gradually cluing into the notion that competitive pay is integral to securing skilled workers, but supporting your ask with how your work positively impacts the company’s bottom line may bolster your case.

Download our 2021 Salary Guide to make sure you’re pricing yourself correctly and assist with your next salary negotiation!

4 Tips for Acing the Second Job Interview

You did it! You aced the first interview in the hiring process. Now that you know more about the company and what they do, it is time for round two. The first interview likely gave you a general introduction to the company and the role; it also served as a brief opportunity for the company to get to know you better.

The second job interview will likely take a deep dive into your previous work experience and allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and preparedness for the role. But don’t let going to a second round of interviews sound intimidating. Here are four helpful tips on how to ace your second interview with confidence.

1. Prepare Answers to Situational Questions

During the second round of interviews, you might encounter the age-old “what would you do” type of questions. These questions provide interviewers a chance to see how you react in certain scenarios. In order to have confidence in situational questions, you need to prepare. After all, a second job interview is only as intimidating as the questions being asked. Deftly answering situational questions will show interviewers that you are capable of succeeding in the role and is an excellent opportunity to highlight your strengths or skill sets.

2. Be Confident and Keep Your Responses Professional (and Honest)

Be confident, polite and friendly when answering questions or completing tasks in front of interviewers. Remember, the company wants you to succeed. If needed, ask clarifying questions. Honesty throughout the interview process is paramount   if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s always better to admit that than make up an answer.

3. Ask Questions About the Company

Remember, the interview process is twofold: it allows the company to get to know you, and vice versa. During the second job interview, ask intentional questions that will help you determine if this position is a good fit. Questions such as  “What are the company’s current goals?” and “How has the company evolved over time?” will give you a better understanding of what it might be like to work there.

*Also, don’t forget that answers from past interviews may lead to questions for this interview! Be sure to review your notes from the first interview and think of relevant questions.

4. Arrive Early

Arriving early to the second job interview shows that you are taking this opportunity seriously. Upon arrival, take a moment to collect yourself: inhale deeply and be reminded of all the preparation you’ve done to get to this moment. Arriving early holds true for virtual interviews as well. Doing so will allow enough time to ensure your technology is properly working.

Has your job interview gone virtual due to COVID-19? Here are more tips for a successful video interview.