3 Morning Activities That Are Guaranteed to Boost Your Productivity

How you spend your morning helps determine how productive you are throughout the day. When your morning begins with energy-producing activities, you are better able to decrease your stress level. Incorporate these three activities into each morning to increase your productivity throughout the day.

1. Meditate

Quieting your mind stimulates creativity, contemplation, and being in touch with yourself. Meditation also helps you relax, keeps your stress level down, and improves your focus and memory. You are better equipped to think more efficiently and effectively. Start by setting aside five minutes each morning and working up to 30 minutes. Sit up or lie down, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. When your mind wanders, refocus on your breathing. If you have trouble keeping still, look for a guided mediation online. Follow the instructions while focusing on your breathing. With practice, you will gain peace of mind and accomplish more throughout the day.

2. Eat Breakfast

Since your body gets energy from turning food into glucose, you need to start each day with a healthy meal. Plus, your metabolism is better earlier in the day, meaning your body can more easily turn the calories you eat into energy to use throughout the morning. Aim for eating within two hours of waking up so that you can capitalize on your energy stores before starting work. Include protein and healthy carbohydrates such as fruit or whole grains. Avoid donuts and other sugar-laden foods that will not sustain you.

 3. Exercise

Exercise improves circulation and releases endorphins that increase well-being and minimize pain and discomfort. Whether doing yoga at home, participating in a spin class or running around the neighborhood, you will lower your stress level and maintain energy throughout the day. Completing your exercise routine in the morning ensures it gets done while allowing time to complete your work. Plus, because exercise helps you clear your mind, you are better able to focus and make good decisions about work projects, problems and more.

Find Your Next Accounting or Finance Role Through Casey Accounting & Finance Resources

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5 Buzzwords You Should Incorporate into Your Interview

The words you use during an interview convey an impression of you and your abilities. You want that impression to show you are the most qualified candidate and should be offered the job. Be sure to incorporate these five buzzwords into your next interview.

1. Responsibility

Mention a few key responsibilities you held that are essential to the role. Share stories of how you contributed to other employers and helped them move forward. Mention specific examples of your knowledge, work ethic, and accomplishments that will transfer to your next position. Use the responsibilities listed in the job posting as a basis for your answer. Include statistics in your answer. For example, “I understand customer service is a key part of this role. I spent three years working in a high-volume call center, answering customer calls and finding solutions. I am adept at deescalating situations and making customers happy.”

2. Passion

Demonstrate why you are passionate about the position. The interviewer wants to know you will come to work each day because you care about what you do, and will perform beyond your job description. Mention specific reasons you are excited about the role. Perhaps you enjoyed performing those tasks in the past, enjoy thinking about how your work will affect your target audience, or how you can improve your skills. Maybe you see things through to completion and finish your work on time. For example, you reorganized a presentation at the last minute because the client changed their direction. Or, you still finished a project when the office computers were down.

3. Leadership

Discuss your greatest examples of leadership. Talk about how you led teams and projects and took ownership of your results and accomplishments. For example, show how you encourage top employee performance through recognition and rewards and assigning new responsibilities for professional growth. Mention how you delegate responsibilities to enhance employee skills and increase value to the organization. Discuss how you openly give and receive constructive feedback so individual and team performance improve.


Provide examples of how you collaborate with teammates. Working in teams promotes innovation by sharing and developing ideas to move the organization forward. The interviewer will be especially impressed if you collaborated with employees in another department. For example, mention how you ensure everyone understands their role in completing a project and what the timeline is for each task. And, discuss how you stay on task and help others follow suit. Plus, share how you ask for help and assist your teammates when needed.

5. Results

Explain the measurable results you achieved that relate to the position. The interviewer wants to see specifically how you benefitted a previous employer, and how you may benefit your next one. Provide statistics with your answer. For instance, “I increased sales by 25 percent in three months.”

Set Up an Interview With Casey Accounting and Finance

For help with finding your next role, set up an interview with Casey Accounting and Finance! Contact our top Chicago recruiters today.


Yay or Nay: Applying for a Job You’re Technically Underqualified For

Like most people, you have probably come across an amazing job opening and were disappointed to learn that you were underqualified. Perhaps the posting called for ten years’ experience, and you had only two, or for someone who managed a team of at least 50 when you managed just 15. The question is, how do you determine whether to apply for the role or look for another one?

Yay: You Have Transferable Skills

If you can demonstrate that you have transferable skills, then apply. Employers are more focused on hiring potential than an exact match. Highlight your transferable skills, knowledge, and experience in your cover letter so that the hiring manager knows you understand the position and what they are looking for. And, write a memo that outlines what you believe the main challenges of the role are and how you would handle them. Mention your awards, achievement of performance standards, upward career advancement, and professional certifications to show you are a high-level professional. Provide examples of how you blend with company culture. You just might be called in for an interview.

Yay: You Have an Employee Referral

If you know an employee who will refer you, then apply. Since referred candidates tend to have similar interests as the employee, blend with company culture, and remain loyal to the organization longer, they are hired more often than non-referrals. If you do not have a connection with the business, then create one. For instance, if the hiring manager is speaking at an upcoming event, then plan to participate and introduce yourself. Or, if the company founder was featured in a recent article, reach out with a comment or question. Cultivating relationships will give you an in with the organization.

Yay: You Can Demonstrate Motivation

If you can clearly show that you are motivated to excel in the role, then apply. Unlike technical skills, motivation cannot be taught. Highlighting a plan to gain the required skills through hard work, dedication, and willingness to learn increases your chances of being offered an interview. For instance, show that you are open to taking a class or engaging in on-the-job training. And, mention examples of how your flexibility and desire to learn benefitted previous employers and can add value to your next one. Or, offer to work for free on a temporary basis so that the hiring manager can see that you are an asset to the company and should be brought aboard full-time.

Nay: You Are New to the Workforce or Changing Careers

If you are just entering the workforce or switching careers, then do not apply. You lack the skills and experience necessary to fulfill the job responsibilities. Applying would be a waste of time for both you and the hiring manager.

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Apply for work through Casey Finance and Accounting Resources, a leading Chicago employment agency!


7 Podcasts That Will Help You Land a Job

Have you been listening to podcasts to help land your next job? You can learn cover letter and resume tips, networking tricks, interview secrets, personal branding ideas and more. Take advantage of these podcasts to move closer to getting the role you want.

1. CareerCloud Radio

Do you want to brush up on the fundamentals of getting a job? Then subscribe to CareerCloud Radio. Gain insight into what to include on your resume, how to answer interview questions; how to negotiate salary; and other nuts and bolts of the job search. Guests include resume writers, career coaches, recruiters and job seekers. Be sure you listen to “Great Resumes and Good Advice.”

2. Career Relaunch

Are you transitioning to a new career? Gain the inspiration, help and motivation you need to get through up and down times during your transition. Host Joseph Liu, a career change and personal branding strategist, interviews professionals from all backgrounds who successfully transitioned between dramatically different roles. Don’t miss the episode “Making Your Next Career Move with Khai Yong.”

3. The Pitch

Similar to the TV show “Shark Tank,” The Pitch lets entrepreneurs share their ideas and potentially negotiate funding. Hear intriguing business ideas and learn how to sell someone on yours. A must-listen-to episode is “Shift.”

4. Manager Tools

Are you climbing the corporate ladder? Then subscribe to Manager Tools. Whether working toward your first management role or continuing to move up in the ranks, learn about performance reviews, coaching, office etiquette, delegation and other skills. Definitely catch “The Bridge Between Feedback and Coaching.”

 5. Sleep With Me

Do you need a good night’s sleep before an interview? The host rambles on about stories that grab your interest in the beginning but become drawn out until you fall asleep from boredom. Remember to listen to “Club Senseless.”

6. How Did You Get Into That

Do you need help mapping your career plan? Host Grant Baldwin interviews professionals with unique jobs to gain insight into how they got into them. Listen to fan favorite “How to Become a LEGO Master Builder with Chris Steininger.”

7. Side Hustle School

Whether you want to keep your side gig where it is or turn it into a full-time venture, learn the basics behind increasing your cash flow with a side gig. Host Chris Guillebeau interviews inventors, artists and entrepreneurs to see how they came up with their idea, overcame challenges, and received impressive results. Don’t miss the episode “Where to Find Hustle Ideas.”

Find Accounting or Finance Work in Chicago

To land your next job, partner with Casey Accounting and Finance Resources, a leader in Chicago employment!


Strong Economy, Robust Hiring, and 8 Staffing Trends!

As recruiting for talented staff becomes more difficult, Casey Accounting & Finance Resources is experiencing record levels of placements for accounting and finance talent.  Our secret to success?  Dedicated recruiters with an average of over 10 years recruiting accounting & finance talent.

As the demand for increasing workforces continues, Staffing Industry Analyst has identified eight trends affecting staffing including the following:

  • The global economy is doing OK
  • Technology/automation
  • Skills shortages
  • Legislation
  • Gig economy
  • Public perception
  • Procurement sophistication
  • Rise of Asia

For additional information on these 8 trends, please click here: Read More


6 Tips to Prevent Yourself from Being Burned Out

Career burnouts can be caused by multiple triggers. A heavy workload, lack of control and an adverse work environment may be factors in feeling burned out. Rather than letting them overwhelm you, take action to maintain your work-life balance.

1. Learn to Say No

Do you say “no” to requests that do not fit your job description or schedule? You cannot spend your time responding to others’ needs while not filling your own. Avoid taking on tasks that you need to stay late for or that are not part of your work responsibilities. Take on tasks that interest you and can be adequately planned for during the workday.

2.Compare Your Regular Tasks and Job Description

Are you taking on more work than you should be? Make a list of your regular tasks, then compare it to your job description. If you discover you are taking on responsibilities beyond what you should be assigned, bring the discrepancy to your manager’s attention. You may be able to shift some of your workload to colleagues and free up time for other tasks.

3. Cultivate Workplace Relationships

Are you developing friendships with co-workers? Sharing thoughts and experiences makes people feel validated and supported. You can discuss positive events in your life, ask for help during challenging times, and return the favor as needed. Surrounding yourself with positive people will keep you focused, energized and progressing in your career.

4. Take Time Off

Do you frequently take time off? Even if you cannot spend two weeks on vacation, you could plan a long weekend for rest and rejuvenation. Regularly taking three- and four-day weekends is more effective than taking several weeks off a few times a year. To further reduce your feeling of burnout, limit your use of digital devices after work hours. When you get home, either put your smartphone away or turn it off so you do not check email or text messages. Whatever needs doing can wait until tomorrow.

5. Change Work Area

Can you change the area where you perform your work? Perhaps you can move your desk to another part of your office or work in another department. You could talk with your manager about working remotely one day per week. Changing your scenery can stimulate your mind and encourage you to continue performing your tasks.

6. Meditate

Have you tried mediation? The centuries-old practice has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of burnout. Meditation develops an awareness of present-moment experience with a compassionate, non-judgmental approach and can improve your focus. Typically, meditating for as little as 10 minutes a day can rewire your brain to relax and be more productive.

Change Your Accounting or Finance Role

When it comes time to change your accounting or finance role, reach out to Casey Accounting and Finance Resources, a leading staffing agency in Chicago!




Your New Job Is Boring. What Changed? What Can You Do?

After a few weeks at your new job, you may find yourself disinterested in your tasks. Because you need to be engaged in your work to feel job satisfaction, you may decide to look for something else. However, you may end up in the same situation elsewhere. Therefore, you need to uncover what changed in your job and what you can do to improve it.

Alter Your Surroundings

It may be another office, a coffee shop or other location where you can complete your work. A change in scenery may help you focus. You may even decide to go for a quick walk to clear your head and see things in new ways.

Look at Your Tasks From a New Angle

Objectively look at your tasks as though you were an outsider. See how you can make things interesting. For example, work on a different task first. Make your calls in the morning. Take your break at different times. Wait three hours to check your email.

Meet Colleagues

Walk in the break room at various times and introduce yourself to employees in other departments. Talk with different co-workers at company functions. Make plans to participate in activities outside the office. You’ll be more engaged in your work knowing you have friends nearby.

Actively Learn

Attend seminars and conferences to find out more about your industry. Take a class related to your field. Ask if you can cross-train in another department and fill in when needed. Go for a promotion so you have additional responsibilities that keep you busy and engaged.

Talk With Your Boss

Let your boss know what the issue is and how you may improve it. Perhaps you need additional tasks, a new project or a more challenging workload. Focus on what the company needs and how you may contribute. You may be able to find a solution to a recurring problem or help colleagues complete a project. Mention your performance with your current workload, what you have learned and accomplished, and why you are the best employee for taking on additional assignments.

Partner With a Staffing Agency

You will be tested on various skills to determine where your interests and expertise are. You will add to your experience level and discover what your true passion is. By working in a temporary position, you can determine how well you fit with company culture and whether you would be happy being offered a permanent role. If you are dissatisfied with a position, you can easily move to a new one.

Reach Out to an Accounting and Finance Staffing Leader

Are you looking for a new accounting and finance position? Reach out to Casey Accounting and Finance Resources to find your next role by partnering with a top accounting recruiter in Chicago!



What Can You Do to Show Past Success in Your Accounting Career?

When searching for your next accounting position, you want to demonstrate ways you provided value for previous employers and how you can do so for your next employer. You will set yourself apart from the competition and come closer to landing your new role.  

Give Statistics on Your Accomplishments 

Your key performance indicators (KPIs) are what show how you add value to an organization. For example, to measure your timeliness, focus on time to process invoices/transactions/payments, percent of financial reports submitted on time or days to close the books and sign off the month/year. To measure your quality, focus on your percent of accuracy in transactions/payments, percent of collection rate of outstanding amounts or percent of audit recommendations implemented. General measurements may include your percent of tasks finalized on time, percent of internal procedures updated or percent of processes optimized.   

Demonstrate Your Commitment to Professional Development 

Employers want to know you value keeping current with changes in the accounting industry, learning new skills and taking the initiative to help both your career and the company. For example, show you use the most current accounting software to ensure the organization’s financial operations are both easily done and compliant with all laws and regulations. Subscribe to professional blogs and publications to stay updated on accounting trends. Continuously learn about new accounting techniques and changing guidelines and business laws from the FASB and updated tax forms and rates from the IRS. Remain aware of new accounting techniques in financial institutions, including fee structures and account offerings, that impact how companies manage their liquid capital and investments. Participate in professional associations such as the AICPA, IMA or IIA for self-study courses, live web events, group study options, conferences, and training modules to stay current on regulations, GAAP and IFRS policies.    

Provide Recommendation Letters 

Potential employers will gain more insight into your background and capabilities than they would by calling a former employer’s HR department. Ask two former managers and two former colleagues to create an endorsement for your skills and experience. Have them include their title and a brief background to show they were in a position to determine your good fit with the organization. Request the writers include the number of years you worked for the company, specific examples of your accomplishments, and your credentials and awards. Ask the writers to mention your professional qualifications and which traits and skills make you qualified for the role you want. Have the writers show that you were a valuable contributor and left on good terms.  

Find Your Next Accounting Position Through a Staffing Industry Leader 

Find your next accounting position through Casey Accounting & Finance Resources, an award-winning financial recruiter in Chicago! 



The LinkedIn Strategy That Helps Your Job Search in 2018

Although you probably use LinkedIn to stay in touch with friends and colleagues, you are missing out by not using it to find your next job. Learning to properly connect with influential leaders in your industry may help you land your next position.

Cultivate Relationships

Comment on posts you find especially engaging. Share insightful content that may be of interest to others. Participate in LinkedIn Group discussions. Notice the individuals you commonly interact with. Determine their job titles and whether they may be able to help with your job search. Ask individuals to connect with you through LinkedIn. Start sharing resources such as articles and case studies that may be of interest to them. Send a short message acknowledging birthdays, work anniversaries, new jobs and other special occasions. When you see articles about a connection’s company or content the person wrote, like, comment on and share the information. Provide endorsements for your connections’ skills. If someone endorses your skills, send a quick message of thanks.

Send an InMail

Research the individual, the company they work for and their role. Find out the person’s interests and commonalities you share. Explain why you want to connect and what benefit the individual may receive. Include a personal interest you both share to make a memorable connection. Let the person know you would like to speak to them about a specific topic, such as a post they wrote or an article involving their company. Ensure your message is clear and concise.

Follow Up

Find the person’s email address and ask to set up a time to talk about their job and the company they work for. Mention you are looking for a job and are very interested in learning more about the employer. If your contact is not in a position to hire you, ask whether they will connect you with the hiring manager. After being introduced, mention to the hiring manager your top skills and experience and how you can benefit the company. Have your LinkedIn profile or resume available when you ask about potential job openings. Be ready to answer questions about your work or to schedule an interview.

Work With a Leader in Accounting and Finance Staffing

Work with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources for help finding top accounting and finance professionals! Our team of award-winning financial recruiters in Chicago is ready to help your career grow.


2018 Accounting and Finance Salary Survey Available!

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources has compiled updated salary data for the fields of accounting and finance. With the start of 2018 now passed and the recruitment industry getting busy, having the most up-to-date information is vital!

With compensation trends changing on a monthly basis, both sides can benefit from having this information during job negotiations.

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can help financial professionals who want to learn more about what salary expectations should be. We have compiled our salary survey list with updated facts and figures including job descriptions for more than 110 accounting and finance positions for the Chicago metropolitan area.

Email us today at FinancialSalarySurvey@caseyresources.com and we will be happy to share this with you.  In the “YOUR MESSAGE” section, please enter “2018 Accounting & Finance Salary Survey”.