Important Information Every Tax Professional Should Know When Searching For A Tax Job

What Every Tax Professional Should Know When Searching For A Tax Job

Build A Personal Tax Brand: Secrets To Being Hired For Tax Jobs You Should Learn Now

Many tax professionals lose wonderful opportunities to be considered for the best tax jobs because they do not know how to position themselves to be selected for these roles. This article focuses on my experiences in tax professional search and what I learned from the actions tax professionals took to rise to the top of the profession. If you are thinking about entering the tax profession, or already in the profession and want to know how to be considered for a tax roles, there are steps you need to take. For the purpose of a tax professional audience, I will break this article into five categories: Public Accounting Tax, Corporate Tax, Law Firm Tax, Independent Tax Services, and Government Tax Roles.

In writing this article, understand the information comes from my experience in working on more than one thousand tax searches over thirty years. You learn a lot when you are speaking with tax professionals in private conversations about their experiences working in these uniquely different tax work environments. You will learn what I learned about these vastly different tax environments; you will learn from this article what tax professionals liked working in a particular environment and the reasons why they decided to leave for another work environment.

Public Accounting/Consulting Firm

A public accounting firm is an ideal place for anyone to enter the tax profession. You will learn alot in a small boutique accounting practice or a mid-level to large firm. This is simply a great  place to begin building your tax and accounting career. If you are fortunate enough to catch the attention of a mentor to guide you, all the better. This is the ideal environment to enter the tax and accounting profession and begin your tax career.

The greatest amount of turnover in public accounting is at the 3 to 5 years of experience where tax staff/tax seniors want to continue to grow. Many tax staff/tax seniors may want to stay until they make manager before they leave the firm. However, the truth is if someone has decided to stay and make manager in public accounting, compared to a tax staff/tax senior who has combined 5 years of experience in public accounting and a corporate tax environment; the hiring executives in corporations prefer hiring the candidate who has combined public accounting/private industry experience. This is a fact. Ask any corporate tax director and they will tell you the same. My advice to younger tax professionals is to focus on the learning experience, not the title.

If you are in public accounting and want to move to another firm, I would then understand the title is the primary driver for most in an accounting firm. What I would advise key hiring managers in public accounting is the best way to retain your professional staff is to invest in their training and education. For instance, you could train your staff in partnerships by sending them to a high-quality partnership  education seminars like Charles Levun and Michael Cohen are nationally trusted trainers in tax partnerships. They go through multiple case studies in their seminars which are highly rated sessions. They generally conduct annual training seminars on tax partnerships in May and June which you can find here:

Spending time training tax professionals on your team is the very best retention strategy you have to keep staff level tax professionals. If I received one dollar for every tax person who tells me they are leaving the firm because they are not receiving enough training in their firms because their Partners are too busy to mentor them, I would be a very wealthy woman.  Lack of consistent training leads to higher turnover in these firms. There are firms that will train your entire team at no cost to your firm, if you ask. If you are on a budget, you can also reach out to firms like Source Advisors, who offer complimentary training courses to firms on R&D Tax Credits And Incentives. Source Advisors offers free training when you register with them at this link with your request for complimentary training for your firm. The reason they enjoy training other CPA firm employees is because they create relationships with other firms in case the firm wants to outsource work to then under a white label and still maintain complete control of their clients. They have a highly trusted reputation and are now backed by private equity firm who also believes in the wealth of knowledege of this tea,. If you want to speak with someone, I recommend you speak with Eric Larson at Source Advisors.


The more you learn, the more you will earn in the world of tax. You also must make an ongoing effort to market your expertise to a steady stream of prospective buyers of your tax expertise.. This is a responsibility most people leave to their firms when they must take personal responsibility in marketing to grow their business and tax practice. Many Tax Partners are now paying for marketing their personal tax brands and do this separate from the firm. I have spoken to Partners that explain to me it is easier to pay to market themselves over the firm whose marketing budget is focused on the firm name, not their personal tax brand. This is something we often see happen and now Partners are taking personal responsibility investing in their personal brands to attract new clients. This is why we recommend a TaxConnections Membership, you must make a personal effort to sell on your own to gain a steady stream of new business. It is smart to start early in your tax career and take responsibility for marketing your tax expertise. You can start later in your tax career, too. However, you must get started. TaxConnections has developed a series for tax professionals who do not enjoy marketing to get results easier using our marketing platform. We built  for the tax professional who does not have the time or interest in marketing their tax expertise. The TaxConnections site does the heavy lifting of marketing a tax professionals expertise.You will learn many secrets to marketing tax expertise during the series of educational messages you receive as part of your TaxConnections Membership.

Corporate Tax

We are observing an interesting shift in how corporations are hiring in corporate tax departments. Companies are increasingly cutting out specialty tax recruiters to reduce costs. At the same time, tax department executives are waiting much longer using in-house recruiters to find talent; while the tax candidates submitting resumes, send resumes into company resume portals and never hear back from anyone at the company. By cutting out experienced tax recruiters from the recruitment process, these same companies are placing a much heavier workload on their tax executives who are already overburdened and understaffed. They currently have more changes in tax legislation to comply with, and project due dates than they can humanly handle.

Corporate tax executives provided an increase in their budgets to work with experienced tax recruiters will always have the top-of-the-line tax departments. When you reduce budgets and take away the benefit of working with a retained tax recruiter, the company misses out on extraordinary talent pool who will only work with someone they trust. Many tax professionals are uncomfortable sending their resume into a resume portal on LI once they discover LinkedIn also sells a service called Glint Services which tracks their daily engagement on LI. Yes, your companies currently employing you can buy a service called Glint Services that tracks employees’ activity on LI. If you are spending your daily activity looking at tax jobs on LI, know this information is being tracked as your daily engagement is being tracked. Read sections 7.0 through 7.5 on Glint Services:

If you have never been aware of this information, it is likely you have never searched 4 links deep on LI’s legal services. Your LI activity information is for sale to your employers. You are likely also unaware that LI and China officially cooperate with each other, as your data is gathered.

LinkedIn is one of the few Western Social Media Networks not to be blocked by China. Perhaps due to the fact they censor content on LinkedIn in order to comply with Chinese  rules. Jeff Weiner admitted in this LinkedIn post in late 2014, WeChat and LinkedIn have been officially cooperating with one other.

Here is what you need to understand about having your professional profile on LinkedIn and their partnership with China.  WeChat provides text messaging, voice messaging, broadcast messaging, video conferencing, video games, photograph sharing, and location sharing.
User activity on LinkedIn and WeChat is analyzed, tracked, and shared with Chinese Government Authorities as part of the mass surveillance network on you! You are most likely unaware of this relationship! This information is available in print folks but people are mistakenly not paying attention to this information as they should.

Do you have an alternative site to promote your tax expertise? Yes, TaxConnections Membership is your alternative using servers located only in the U.S.

Law Firm Tax

There are many tax lawyers who leave public accounting firms and move to law firms. In both law firms and public accounting firms, tax lawyers are hardworking and in a highly competitive business environments. They are good at their craft of tax strategy and tax planning. Many of the tax lawyers I have spoken with tell me their careers in tax law are consuming, and often take away time with their families while working for big firms. It is a lifestyle you must prepare yourself for if you want to make salaries in the 300K-500K, 500K to 1 Million and a book of business of 3M to 5M and more. International and M&A tax lawyers earn a lot given the complexity and sophistication of the work they do for multinational corporations. The law firms love to hire tax lawyers out of the public accounting firms. They are great tax planning strategists who can back up their ideas with the numbers. Big money to be made in a law firm and a bigger investment of your time working in the tax profession.

Independent Tax Services

We are very proud of the work we do for independent tax professionals who build their own tax practices. Although the benefits of staying with a larger firm with colleagues are many, the security of having your own tax practice, and never having to worry about being caught in the next seasonal practice downsizing is important. Tax professionals who have had this experience are starting to awaken to this fact; the only security in your tax career is to take personal responsibility for your tax career long before this scenario could happen to you. This is why every tax professional should have a backup plan for their tax career. Many firms downsize staff their tax staff after April 15th, taking many tax professionals by surprise. The downsizing of a tax team after tax season creates a lot of career insecurity for tax professionals at the end of tax season. Every tax professional should have a backup plan long before they need one. TaxConnections was created to help tax professionals get noticed after spending more than thirty years watching this layoff trend to improve the firms’ bottom line. It is nothing personal, it is about the numbers on the books. With TaxConnections, it is personal to us as we care about the tax professionals we help every day. Bottom line, you must take personal responsibility for your tax career; having your profile on TaxConnections is an insurance policy for your tax career.

Government Tax Roles

There are now thousands of tax jobs available with the U.S. government. In general, you must be a U.S. citizen or national (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) to work for the Federal Government. Many government positions require a security clearance and a background investigation as part of the hiring process. You must do a good job in showcasing your experience to get hired by the U.S. tax revenue authorities. Many positions in government tend to be specialized and not generalized, so the more you showcase your technical prowess in a context of problem-solving and competence, the greater the chances that you will land your dream federal job more quickly. Also, understand it takes a lot more time to be considered for government tax jobs.

Here are some things I have learned through my years in tax executive search. First, many corporate tax executives have shared privately with me their difficulty in hiring people from government tax jobs into private industry. A persons’ mindset in a government role is “ How much money can we get from the taxpayer for the government?” while the mindset of a corporation is “ How do we reduce the amount of taxes paid to the government?” The corporations are happy to pay but they do not want to overpay in taxes.

Another thing we have learned about government tax jobs is the compensation offered is lower than what the tax professional would be paid in a public accounting firm, a law firm, or a corporate tax department. This has a major impact since tax professionals are highly educated and many people simply cannot afford to take a step down in annual compensation.

What tax professionals do gain with a tax carer in government is many vacation days and holiday days off throughout the year. What we have heard privately are a good number of U.S. agents have a side business preparing tax returns or advising on tax audits. These Agents know the rules and regulations and are often EA (Enrolled Agents) who are very successful advising clients or another tax professionals’ clients. They know the rules inside and out, so it is a good idea to have the support of an Enrolled Agent.(EA)

Many tax professionals elect to get an EA designation. The EA course we recommend is offered by a very popular national trainer known as TaxMomma. Eva offers the EA Exam course that will help you pass the EA exam. If you do not have a CPA, we highly recommend you obtain an EA.

The most impactful statement I would make to every tax professional is to have a back up plan for your tax career.  Taking personal responsibility for marketing your tax expertise is a real responsibility you must have to secure your livelihood. You can have your profile up on TaxConnections as a Member; if you need to activate your professional profile to a business profile to attract clients, this can be accomplished in less than fifteen minutes. Your TaxConnections profile is easily transformed into your online business profile reaching hundreds of thousands monthly. If you are laid off due to a firm downsizing, you are prepared in minutes to support yourself with your TaxConnections Membership: You gain an entire online page devoted to your expertise, you gain a blog distribution channel, you gain the spotlight online in front of a steady stream of taxpayer searching for tax expertise online, you gain access to educational resources( paid and free) all for less than one dollar a day. We guide new members through an educational series on marketing your tax expertise.

Call 858.999.0053 X100 or email with any questions or assistance needed to promote your personal brand visibility and identity. TaxConnections Membership ensure your privacy is protected.

If you know of anyone in tax searching for a tax job, please forward this article to help them. There are thousands of people searching for tax expertise on each month.

TaxConnections is where to find leading tax experts and technology around the world. Discover tax professionals who offer you a wide range of tax expertise and be more informed about the technology that supports them in operating efficiently and successfully.

TaxConnections connects tax professionals with new tax clients and tax jobs around the world. Tax Professional Members establish higher visibility online so prospective clients and employers can find our members easily. Each members also receives a Virtual Tax Office which is the most valuable online real estate available today! TaxConnections makes a difference in your professional life.

We offer a Special Membership rate to tax professionals out of work.

Kat Jennings, CEO

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