The importance of minor details
In short, making mistakes is not good. Detail-oriented trainees are more likely to catch and prevent errors, allowing their companies to avoid costly blunders in the long run, while at the same time boosting their own reputations.
Even small mistakes can cause big problems, so it is essential trainees stamp them out by doing things right the first time.
Financial reports for example, are only as good as the information used to compile them.
A seemingly minor error at data entry stage can snowball as data flows through the reporting process – and having an eye for detail helps you ensure the information you work with is accurate at every stage.
Sitting somewhere between a soft skill and a hard skill, attention to detail is essential regardless of job title and duties.
Lee Owen, Director at Hays Accountancy & Finance, comments: ‘In finance, attention to small details is essential, and arguably there is no detail too small.
‘Employers will look for this skill in candidates – and mistakes on a CV for example, which demonstrate a lack of attention to detail, could easily put an employer off.
So how do you go about becoming a detail-oriented employee?
We all know that applying for a new job can be a time consuming and sometimes all-encompassing task. It is one that requires dedication, concentration and focus that extends to the seemingly minor details.
This is a prime time to perfect your attention to detail. Check and double-check each element of your application for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, formatting and consistency.
Neglecting this vital stage of your application and submitting a CV packed with errors, could prevent you from being invited to an interview, no matter how qualified you might be for the role.
The good news is that there are some simple aspects you can consider to boost your attention to detail.
Such trainees have several qualities in common. A proactive mindset is commonly part of the equation, driving them to seek out potential problems and correct them, even if they are not asked to.
Determination and patience are other factors, as well as an ability to focus and an analytical and curious mind.
Typically, trainees with an attention to detail are also attentive and highly observant. They listen to instructions carefully and are either adept at retaining the information or take steps to make sure they don’t miss anything, like taking notes.
In many cases, they are skilled at identifying subtle cues as well, giving them insights into priorities.
Finally, detail-oriented professionals don’t take the easy road. A ‘good enough’ mentality isn’t part of who they are – they always take extra steps to make sure everything is done right.
Author: Alex Miller
This article was first published in Student Accountant in August 2021