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News & Events

Highlights: October Employment Situation

BY: Clique Studios | November 8, 2018


The Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent in October, which is unchanged from the prior month.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, 2018.  The industries to receive the most job gains were healthcare (+36,000), manufacturing (+32,000), construction (+30,000), and in transportation and warehousing (+25,000).

The unemployment rate of adult women (3.5%) and adult men (3.4%) remained mostly unchanged from the prior month.

Unemployment among long-term unemployed (those who have been unemployed for 27+ weeks) accounted for 22.5% of the unemployed.

Average hourly earnings rose by $0.05 to $27.30.  The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours.

Click here for full report.


Top 5 Things to Bring With You to An Interview

BY: Clique Studios | November 2, 2018

Of all the adjectives to describe how you may feel walking into an interview, there is one modifier that you definitely do not want to attached to your name: unprepared.

Feeling unprepared can lead to other parallel emotions such as nervousness, timidness, and fear – all of which are not ideal for a smooth interview.

If you want your interview to be focused on what you bring to the table rather than what you don’t have at the table, make sure to bring these five things along.

Hard Copy of Your Resume

Given that your resume is often the reason why you were given the chance to interview, you always want your interviewer to have visibility to the qualifications that initially peaked her/his interest.  Don’t make the assumption that they will have a printed copy of your resume when you arrive.


The end goal of an interview is to have conveyed why you are the best fit for the position, it is not to have established what exactly it is that you’re hoping to fit in to.  Do your homework on the company, position and industry so that you are not wasting valuable time trying to wrap your head around the fundamentals of the business and role.

List of Questions

Having done your research, write out a list of questions that will give you deeper insight into their goals and expectations.  Having prepared questions beforehand, you will have time to think about ways you can reinforce your key attributes against a myriad of responses they may give.


Most interviewers will not only want to hear from you before they make their decision, they will also want to speak with others who can verify your background.  A list of references in hand will not only show your preparedness, but will also speed up the process to a final decision by not having to wait for you to pull your list together.


Your confidence in who you are, your background, and what you have to offer moving forward will in turn make an interviewer feel confident in their final decision to deliver an offer to you.  And if you have come prepared with everything else on this list, this should come naturally.



Are Staffing Firms Worth The Extra Cost For Businesses?

BY: Clique Studios | October 29, 2018

For those companies you have never used a third-party resource to assist with their hiring needs, they inevitably ask one question: “Is it worth it?”

With the average fee for a placement by a staffing firm being between 20-30% of the base salary, it may seem like a fairly large fee at first but it is important to consider what it is you are paying for.

We’ve put together a quick infographic highlighting a few of the advantages of working with a staffing firm and will let you make the determination if the cost is worth it for yourself!


If you would like more information on how we can work with your team to satisfy your hiring needs, please give us a call at 312.546.9800.


Chicago Fall Networking Events 2018

BY: Clique Studios | October 12, 2018

The phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” rings true in many instances. In the business world we find that it’s a strong mixture of both. Whether you’re just embarking on your career in the industry or are a well-seasoned executive, there are benefits to meeting intelligent professionals in your field. To save you time on a search, we’ve gathered a few great networking and social events in the industry for the fall in the Chicagoland area.

October 18th – FEI Chicago October Dinner Meeting

Network with fellow professionals during a cocktail hour then enjoy a talk from entrepreneur Jeff Hoffman on how to leave your own legacy and how to be a part of the legacy your employees leave.

October 18th –  Young Professional Networking @ Emporium Arcade

 Join fellow young professionals for a night of networking and arcade games. Food, Tokens, and an Open Bar are all included with your registration fee!

November 8th – IIA Chicago Fall Networking Event

Join internal audit industry peers for this invigorating event and hear from a host of IIA Chicago Chapter Board members, NextGen Committee members and other volunteers, on the chapters activities, events, volunteering and networking opportunities! Drinks and appetizers provided. 

November 13th – 8th Annual Chicago CFO of the Year Awards

FEI Chicago invites you to the 8th Annual Chicago CFO of the Year® Awards with the “Who’s Who” of Chicago finance. Join the FEI Chicago Chapter to mingle and network with Chicago’s C-Suite, while recognizing exceptional performance of Chicago’s financial professionals in their roles as corporate stewards.

 December 5th – ICPAS Member Town Hall Forum

Join Rose Cammarata, CPA, CGMA, Chair of the ICPAS Board of Directors and Todd Shapiro, ICPAS President & CEO for an engaging conversation on the most recent happenings within our profession and a view of what lies ahead.


Highlights: September Employment Situation

BY: Clique Studios | October 5, 2018


The Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent in September, which is a decrease of 0.2 percent from the prior month.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 134,000 in September, 2018.  The industries to receive the most job gains were professional & business services (+54,000), healthcare (+26,000), transportation & warehousing (+24,000), and construction (+23,000).

The unemployment rate of adult women (3.3%) and adult men (3.4%) remained mostly unchanged from the prior month.

Unemployment among long-term unemployed (those who have been unemployed for 27+ weeks) accounted for 22.9% of the unemployed.

Average hourly earnings rose by $0.08 to $27.24.  The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours.

Click here for full report.


How to Resign Without Burning Any Bridges

BY: Clique Studios | September 28, 2018


You’ve done the hard work.  You’ve submitted resumes, had interviews, negotiated salary requirements and accepted an offer all while being a productive member of your current team.  Now there’s just one more balancing act left – resign from your job while maintaining a positive professional relationship with your supervisor.

To those of you who feel that resigning is as simple as waving goodbye as you stroll out the door, I urge you to keep in mind the oft-quoted mantra for success, “it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know (who also likes you).”

So, if you want to avoid burning any bridges and keep your professional relationships in tact, do these three simple things before you leave:


1. Write a Resignation Letter


When you are drafting your resignation letter, it can be easy to go overboard on the details, but this is not necessary.  Just follow these guidelines and your writing session will be a breeze.

DON’T: Leave out the day on which you intend to leave.

DO: Provide firm date of departure no less that 2 weeks from the day you present the letter

DON’T: Include your negative feelings about the company

DO: Highlight the positives of your experience at the company

DON’T: Drag other’s names through the mud

DO: Thank your supervisor for the opportunity they gave you to work with them

2. Create Workflow and ‘In Process’ Lists


Just as you want to be set up for success at your new company, you should also want to provide your replacement with all of the information that they will need to hit the ground running.

By mapping out your current workflow and making a list of projects that are in process or upcoming, you will ease some of the burden of the inevitable learning curve, allowing your supervisor to lead, not continually rehash.

3. Offer to Provide Short-Term Support


Understanding that there will be bumps in the road after you depart (despite your detailed lists), offer to be available for calls after hours for any questions that they may have.

By showing your continued commitment to the supervisor and team that you left, they will continue to be committed to your future success, as well.

Once you’ve made sure to do these three things, ask your supervisor if they would be willing to be a reference for you in the future.  SPOILER ALERT: They will likely say, “YES!”.





Highlights: BLS August Employment Situation

BY: Clique Studios | September 7, 2018


The Bureau of Labor & Statistics reports an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent in August, which is unchanged from the prior month.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 201,000 in August, 2018.  The industries to receive the most job gains were professional & business services (+53,000), healthcare (+33,000), wholesale trade (+22,000), and transportation & warehousing (+20,000).

The unemployment rate of adult women (3.3%) and adult men (3.5%) remained unchanged from the prior month.

Unemployment among long-term unemployed (those who have been unemployed for 27+ months) accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed, though the total number has declined by 403,000 over the past year.

Average hourly earnings rose by $0.10 to $27.16.  The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours.

Click here for full report.


Three Classic Reads for the Modern Executive

BY: Clique Studios | August 9, 2018

Most high-level professionals find themselves engulfed in managing people, business and not investing much time into themselves. Learning should continue into the c-suite roles for growth personally and professionally. Here are three great books to begin the journey to being a better leader.

1.) Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – By: Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

Numbers seem to be the highlight of Finance and Accounting professionals, rightly so, but that doesn’t mean people skills don’t have an equal spot in the office. Knowing how to hone in on emotional intelligence and apply it to your business could be vital to whether there is a successful outcome or not. This book tells you the ins and outs of how to obtain the emotional intelligence so many professionals are missing.

2.) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – By: Stephen R. Covey

Though this book is over 10 years old, the lessons in the text seem to teach timeless lessons. Covey teaches readers how to tackle both personal and professional issues, because he realizes sometimes they intertwine. Whether you feel off track or looking are for more guidance this book is the one for you.

3.) Good to Great: Why some companies Make the Leap and Other Don’t – By: Jim Collins

This book answers the questions from Built to Last about how the greats become the greats. Not every company is born great, but there are ways to climb up the ladder from good to great, much like the title says. Not only does this book build you up, but it shows you how to sustain what you build along the way.











Best Chicago Business Meeting Spots

BY: Clique Studios | August 9, 2018

Sometimes a meeting or interview calls for time out of the office. Often times to get to know a client or candidate people want a friendlier environment to gauge more than just the skillset. There are great spots around the city of Chicago to meet all expectations and accommodate needs at any time of day. Here are a few spots in or around the loop that are easily navigable.


Goddess and the Baker is a great alternative to a Starbucks; though Goddess and the Baker tends to be busy too, they are more spacious. There are multiple locations in Chicago that offer fresh, quick meals and pastries along with caffeinated beverages to begin the day. Each location is lined with seating and tables big enough for work materials if needed. This is a more casual environment.

Wildberry pancakes is a great place to meet for a full breakfast and allows a bigger group to meet if necessary. Wildberry is located both in Streeterville and the loop; reservations are encouraged at each location as they are popular within the neighborhoods. Wildberry opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 2:30 p.m. making it the perfect spot for the morning.


Beatrix has three locations in the city, each serving fresh food with a great environment and seating options for pairs and groups alike. This is a great option for people who are vegan, vegetarian or prefer fresh, natural ingredients. Open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., there is no restriction on when you can enjoy this restaurant during or after business hours.

The Dearborn is a great place for traditional American food, which is never a bad option if you’re unsure what the other party likes. This restaurant is located in the loop and opens at 11 a.m., just in time for lunch. The location is also equipped with a full bar for those interested.

Sweetwater, located on the magnificent mile, is an easy location to meet at and chose from a variation of items on their menu. They have a sizable outdoor area and vast drink menu for later in the day. This is a perfect place to go for appetizers or a full meal, with ample time and space to get business done in a lively environment.



15 Questions to Ask in Your Next Interview

BY: Clique Studios | July 27, 2018


When individuals prepare for an interview, they review the job description, do preliminary research on the company, rehearse their answers to tough interview questions, and strike a few power poses to pump themselves up.

These are all great ways to ensure that you make a great impression throughout the majority of the interview.  But what about the moment when you interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”  If you haven’t prepared what you will say in this moment, then the only alternatives are to wing it or simply say “no.”  In either case, we highly advise you avoid both of those options and prepare questions beforehand.

This is a valuable time to not only show that you’re engaged and prepared, but also to see if the company is a good fit for you.

Before you walk into an interview, you should have these questions listed when it’s time for you to turn from interviewee to interviewer:

  1. What’s the next step in the interview/hiring process?
  2. What can you tell me about the job apart from what was in the description?
  3. What would I be expected to accomplish in my first month/year on the job?
  4. Could you tell me a little bit about the person I would report to directly?
  5. Do you expect the responsibilities for this role to change in the near future?
  6. What is the work culture like here?
  7. How does the position fit in relation to the rest of the organization?
  8. Is there a career path that someone in this position would be expected to follow?
  9. How does the company take an idea from inception to completion?
  10. How do you measure performance and success in this role?
  11. Are there any special projects that I would work on soon?
  12. Is there anything else I could tell you about myself that would help you with your decision?
  13. What are the current focus areas for the company as a whole?
  14. What are the pain points you have to deal with day-to-day that the person in this role should remedy?
  15. Do you see the role expanding in the future?


After asking these essential questions, you should be able to walk out of the interview with more insight into whether or not this is an advantageous opportunity.