Networking is an excellent way to make connections with fellow CPA candidates as well as build relationships with possible employers. Networking is all about creating contacts within the CPA profession and interacting with others. Every interaction you have is an opportunity for a connection. Below, we outline some of the benefits considerations when networking.
Where to network
For candidates, workshops provide an opportunity to get to know like-minded individuals who are working towards a CPA career. The individuals you meet in your workshops can be valuable contacts throughout your education and into your career.
Social media helps bring people together, including career searching and networking. Platforms like LinkedIn are great places to begin building a network of individuals in your desired profession.
The events organized by provincial CPA chapter associations are another venue for developing your professional network and getting to know those around you who are also working on becoming a CPA.
How to network
Breaking the ice at networking events can seem overwhelming. A simple and effective way to start a conversation is to introduce yourself. Offer your name and ask if the other person has attended similar events in the past. Chances are they aren’t sure how to start a conversation and will be happy to speak with you. Once you have started the conversation, keep it going by asking questions.
Think about why you are attending the event and prepare a small elevator pitch. Are you looking to meet other students or candidates? Do you want to meet qualified CPAs? Are you looking for a new job? You don’t have time to talk about your entire resume so it’s best to have a few points that you can cover in 30 seconds.
Bring contact information you can leave when attending networking events but refrain from handing it out to everyone you meet. Business cards are great to have with you..
CPA Alberta provides some excellent documents on how to network in different situations and CPA Canada has a post on the type of questions you should be asking when networking.