Archive for the ‘Jobs’ Category

Quality Internships – Look No Further than ACG

An article that was posted today in The Atlantic by Derek Thompson cites that the most important attribute in evaluating graduates today is the quality of internships.  Internships are almost twice as important as one’s major, three times as important as your GPA, and 5 times as important as the college reputation.  This research comes as no surprise to ACG as our internship program is the best program in the industry.  We have had more than 40 interns over the past 10 years, most of whom have experienced extraordinary success working in asset management, acquisition, development, and brokerage.  There are more than a dozen firms in Atlanta who regularly hire our interns because the interns not only have great academic credentials but have practical Argus and due diligence experience.

If you are looking to get into the industry and you need the experience of an internship program that trains and prepares you for success, consider applying for our 3-month internship program.  At the conclusion of the program, we place you with one of our clients (or we employ you ourselves).  We are now accepting applicants for our January 2017 program.  Please send your resume to jobs@acgpro.com.

Best Question to ask at Job Interview

According to Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, there comes a time in every job interview when the interviewer asks, “Now do you have any questions forme ?”  This is a terrific opportunity to impress the interviewer.  Kerpen addes that the most important question you can ask is, “How will the work I’ll be doing contribute to the organization’s mission?” 

We further recommend that you couch this question by articulating your value proposition.  For example, you might frame the question as the following: “My Argus and Excel skills are advanced based upon the significant amount of transaction-based work that I have been asked to do over the past couple of years.  How might these skills contribute to your overall mission?”

Entering an interview armed with these types of questions surely will distinguish you from other candidates.

ACG Seeking Experienced Asset Managers in Atlanta

ACG has two new openings right now for seasoned Asset Managers based in Atlanta, Georgia.  The positions require 6-8 years of experience and a very strong ability to negotiate leases with minimal oversight.  Value-add experience is a big plus.  Please give Todd Zeldin a call at 404-653-0049 or send your resume to jobs@acgpro.com to apply for these positions.

 

Job Hunting Tip #14: Don’t Volunteer Information Unless You Can Substantiate It

Over the past couple of months I have run into two different circumstances whereby the candidate should not have volunteered information: (1) the GPA that they had in school; (2) the salary they were earning. Frequently employers are requiring a transcript from your college (and graduate school if applicable) to not only substantiate the information that was stated on the resume but also to confirm that the discussions that occurred during the interviews are entirely valid. Likewise, if you state that you are making $65,000 per year in salary then you should indeed be making that much. Many employers will ask for a recent pay stub to substantiate this information that you are sharing. The primary reason why employers are checking on these facts has more to do with how truthful the candidates are versus the actual fact-checking of the information.

Unless you are asked specifically for this information, it is best to simply avoid discussing it at all lest you somewhat “inflate” the numbers and the opportunity with the employer disappears.

Job Hunting Tip #13: Stay in Regular Touch with your Contacts

I was chatting with a client of mine last week and he mentioned to me that it seems like I always stay in touch with him even when his company does not have any deals on which they need our assistance. I told him that one of the lessons I learned really early in my career is to accumulate friends and business associates and to acknowledge important life-cycle events as an excuse to stay in touch with people during the year. Fortunately Outlook makes up for what is traditionally my poor memory as I am able to document recurring reminders (indefinitely) with very little ease.

Given tools like Outlook that facilitate staying in touch, I am surprised that so few people stay in regular touch with others in the industry, especially those who might be “influencers” and assist them when the need arises.

I know of at least two people who are currently unemployed right now who, at some point in their careers, worked with me to land a job; yet, despite months of being unemployed they are not regularly calling me to find out if there are any opportunities that are a good match with their skill set.

With the employment market as soft as it is today, one should leverage every relationship possible to maximize the likelihood of landing a good job. Call your industry contacts regularly, even if it is just to say hello or wish them a happy birthday. It could be the easiest way to learn about job openings.

Job Hunting Tip #12: Customize Your Resume

I am sure that you have heard that posting your resume on every Internet job board is not the way to land a job and that cover letters should be customized to the specific person and company with whom you would like to work. You might want to think about customizing your resume as well to meet the specific job requirements of a single job.

Most jobs include a detailed job description outlining the responsibilities and requirements to be a competitive candidate. If your resume addresses these specific attributes you will have a much greater chance of an employer reaching out to you to interview you. For example, if you have been working in the commercial real estate industry and have experience working with office and retail properties and you are applying for a position with a company who develops and acquires industrial buildings, you should deemphasize your retail experience and emphasize other items that are required to do this job (i.e. excellent Excel skills, underwrote $XXX million of commercial real estate transactions, expertise in the markets where the company currently owns properties, etc…).

A good rule of thumb is if another candidate can write the exact same sentence on their resume, you should change your resume!

Job Hunting Tip #11: Cover Letter Blunders

Shockingly many candidates make ridiculously stupid mistakes on their cover letters and resumes. Let me give you one great hint: ditch the cover letter. It can only work against you. Here are some of the examples of cover letter blunders that have been sent to me in the past:

1. “I have an extraordarily eye for detail.”
2. “I have excellent finance skills and have worked on $432 million of office projects and $209 million of retail projects, totaling $661 million.”
3. “My due dilligence skills are well-honed” (notice the spelling error).
4. “I speak fluently English.”
5. “I wish to start my career with a company that allows me to utilize my degree while gaining a lot knowledge that I don’t currently have.”
6. “I want to ask am I qualified for this position given my very limited experience.”
7. “I am very detail-oriented and make sure that I dot all of my eyes.”
8. “In addition to my education, I am a really good person.”
9. “I know that I have had a lot of jobs recently but the companies I join keep going out of business.”
10. “Before I apply for your position, does you company perform a background check?”

The above makes you look pretty good as a candidate, doesn’t it!

Job Hunting Tip #10: The Name of your College is Important

I received a resume this weekend from a candidate who listed on his resume that he had received BA in Business Administration / Accounting. Omitting the year he received his degree is not a good idea but something that we have seen with candidates who try to hide how old they are, although employers will find out other ways and hiding the year one graduated actually emphasizes the fact that you are concerned about that issue.

The one item that shocked me about this candidate is that he omitted the name of his undergraduate school! That is a first. I was thinking about what school he might have attended whereby he would be so embarrassed about documenting it on his resume.

For me, I have recruited fantastic analysts from very average schools (provided that the candidates graduated in the top of their class). The school is far less important than how well one did in school.

All I can say is that if you are embarrassed about the school you attended to the point that you omit it from your resume then you probably should not be applying for that job in the first place.

Job Hunting Tip #9: Don’t Negotiate Salary Before an Offer

Sometimes a prospective employer will ask a candidate how much they are currently making or how much you are expecting to make should you be offered the position. I recommend that you do not get in a discussion about salary until you have an offer in hand, although you should have an idea as to the compensation range being offered even prior to your first meeting. In general we are seeing the following compensation ranges:

Analyst: $45,000 to $60,000
Senior Analyst: $60,000 to $75,000
Associate: $70,000 to $90,000
Vice President: $85,000 to $155,000
Asset Manager: Varies significantly depending on the market

If you are using a recruiter like ACG to schedule interviews, leverage off of the recruiter to provide all negotiations. That is part of the value-add of having a broker involved in the deal and it could insulate you from a potentially uncomfortable or even disastrous situation.

Sept. Boot Camp Sold Out – 2 Left in Dec.

Just like the previous week-long Argus Boot Camps, our September 16-20 program has sold out! I was asked by a couple of clients this week why our Boot Camps are selling out even when the transaction market is still below average and the job market has shown little more than a slight improvement. I believe that the primary reasons for the program selling out include:

  • The Boot Camp is the only week-long intense training program in the country
  • CPAs receive 45 credit hours toward their CPE training requirements (and several of the people who have signed up for the program cited that as a huge advantage to take the course)
  • The program covers exclusively the components of Argus that analysts regularly use (office, retail and industrial cases, lots of time on recoveries, learning how Argus calculates, portfolio analysis, etc…) and very little time on the features that are frequently not used because Excel is a better tool (like partnerships, debt, construction budgets, multi-family).
  • We have offered a $1,000 scholarship to students to help out with the enrollment fees
  • Our instructors are fantastic and expert users of the software
  • We personalize every class and meet one-on-one with students during the week if they need additional assistance understanding specific concepts

We thank all of our clients who have sent their analytical staff to our class and who continue to refer others to us. We are humbled by the confidence that they have shown in choosing ACG to be their educational partners and look forward continuing to expand and improve our course offerings.

If you are interested in registering for our December 9-13 Argus Boot Camp, go online today at www.acgpro.com as we are confident that this class will also fill up in the next couple of weeks.