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Taxing times ahead in 2019

The market for tax professionals has remained buoyant in recent months; despite uncertainties surrounding Brexit and Making Tax Digital, the market is still relatively strong with a steady flow of jobs, says Morgan McKinley’s Harriet Stocker.

Harriet Stocker

January 2019

Transfer pricing and corporate tax have been big players this year, with Big Four firms in particular ambitiously expanding their teams and departments in this field. Similarly, the demand for indirect tax specialists has also seen an uplift within the practice market in the bigger firms.

The personal tax market was also steady in 2018, with recruitment among the Top 20 and many general practice firms. Now, more than ever, there is the increased requirement for qualifications, with ACA/ATT/CTA qualifications placing premiums on salary and on the quality of candidate.

There is an expectation from firms that young professionals will study towards the ATT and subsequently the CTA; firms will typically fund this study both in terms of fees and study leave.

Setting yourself apart

The surge of opportunities does naturally lead to a surplus of talent and this means that in order to be successful, you will need to set yourself apart from your competitors. This can be done in simple ways such as cleaning up your social media. Stories of candidates losing their offers as a result of inappropriate social media posts may sound like faux horror stories, but it is not unheard of. Clear up any inappropriate material and improve your privacy settings if necessary.

If there is a video interview, make sure you wear interview appropriate clothing; this could be a suit and tie, or a smart dress/skirt suit and blazer. Prepare appropriately for any interview. Online forums often give potential interview questions which can be a useful preparation guide.

In face-to-face interviews, it is crucial to dress professionally but it is equally as important to offer a firm handshake, make good eye contact and smile. It may seem obvious, but interviews are stressful and sometimes the basics can go out the window.

Go into the interview with three to four scenarios and examples that you could draw upon for competency-based questions and you’ll find that you’re able to answer these questions more easily. The saying goes: ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, and with interviews preparation is key. It is easier to relax, answer questions and come across well if you’re armed with a few loosely prepared responses and this will certainly set you apart from your competitors.

Harriet Stocker is Consultant, Personal Tax Recruitment at Morgan McKinley.

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