If you’re in the finance and accounting sector, now is an excellent time to explore new job opportunities. The unemployment rate is low, and the demand for qualified candidates to fill openings in the growing market is high. That means many potential positions could be the perfect match for your skills and expertise – you just need to find them.
Whether you’re an experienced professional looking for your next promotion or challenge, or a recent graduate searching for a competitive placement in a reputable firm, you’ll need to follow some best practices to streamline your process.
Here we’ll outline strategies that work and ways to find opportunities that offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits packages, and long-term career paths.
Start By Setting Goals
Before you go out to find financial jobs, you’ll want to start by setting some career goals and getting crystal clear on what you want from your employer and in your position.
Begin by asking yourself questions to figure out where your passions lie and what your short and long-term goals are. Here are some prompts to help with the process.
- What are the things you most enjoy doing on a daily basis?
- How do you see yourself growing in the next five years? The next 10? What does career success look like for you in those time frames?
- What areas of finance and accounting are you most passionate about? What skills and knowledge do you want to expand to hone your expertise?
- Do you want to stay in your local community or are you willing to commute or relocate for the perfect position?
- What are your salary requirements? Do you want anything additional as part of your compensation package?
- What types of hours do you require? How important is flexibility in your schedule? Work/life balance?
- How hard are you able to work to get ahead, and is that important to you at this life stage?
Once you know exactly what you want from your new position, you’ll be able to narrow down your search and match your credentials with opportunities that most appeal to your needs and goals.
Make a List and Schedule Your Tasks
Although finding a new job is a relatively straightforward process, there are dozens of steps and tasks that go into making it happen. Before you start, it’s best to get organized so that you have a clear picture of everything that needs to happen and can best manage your time.
If you already have a full-time position, you’ll want to schedule hours throughout the week to conduct searches, apply for opportunities, make updates to your resume, CV, and cover letter, network on social platforms like LinkedIn, and to respond to interview requests.
It’s also important that you critique all of your information on social profiles, and have a polished, professional, and up to date resume or CV ready to go before you start the search and application process.
During your job hunt, try to find time for activities that align with your career goals and will make you an attractive candidate to potential employers. Attend networking functions and events, volunteer your time, and work towards additional certifications and licenses.
For example, if you’re interested in a position in the accounting sector, you can work towards getting your CPA or achieving additional CPE requirements while you’re looking for new opportunities.
Polish Your CV or Resume
One of the essential steps in your job search process is to bring your CV or resume up to date and make sure it is as polished and professional as possible.
Start by looking at the format, and ensure that it is clear, concise, easy to read and that your skills and qualifications are easily noticed.
If you are a new graduate and don’t have a long list of relevant experience, highlight your education, credentials, and certifications near the top.
Do research and read the mission statements, job descriptions, and employment postings at the companies that are attractive to you, and use their language in your CV. If you’re able to match your skills with those that the accountancy firms and financial firms value most, like their core strengths, selling propositions, and market differentiators, you’ll stand out in their pool of applicants. To further ensure you application gets passed the initial screening, try using a service like Jobscan to help your resume more seamlessly fit the job description.
Bring Your Online Profile Into the Mix
Once your CV or resume is up to date, make sure to refresh your online profile to match it. For many prospective employers, your online presence is equally as important as your application, and you’ll want to be sure that any public accounts show you in the most favorable light.
Employers and accounting job recruiters may search for prospective candidates on platforms like LinkedIn. Ensure you get noticed by using industry buzzwords in your profile, listing all of your certifications, training, and credentials, and securing endorsements and recommendations when possible.
How to Get Noticed by Finance and Accounting Hiring Managers
When a company posts a new position online, they are often flooded with hundreds of applications a day. That means that getting noticed is your number one challenge as a job seeker looking for finance and accounting roles.
Applying for endless openings online is time-consuming, and it can get frustrating when you don’t get a response.
Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can help showcase your talent and skills that will get you noticed.
Consider this- most finance and accounting professionals look to job boards like Indeed or Monster when they want to make a career change. However, research shows the hiring managers who are searching for top talent only use an accounting job board 31 percent of the time. That means that you’re not positioning yourself in the right space to get noticed by the most desirable companies.
Here’s how to fix it.
Know Where Hiring Managers Search for Talent
Companies rely on three main sources to provide them with a talent pool to fill vacancies. They are:
- Employee Referrals
- Network or Industry Connections
Here are ways you can capitalize on each.
If you have friends or family who have a career in finance and accounting, they may be an excellent resource to help you find financial jobs. If they are willing to vouch for your character, skills, and professionalism, this could give you a foot in the door with an employer who may otherwise overlook your application.
Many companies offer referral programs to their employees, and your friend or family member could get a bonus for sending you their way as a potential candidate.
Spread the word among all of your connections if you’re publicly searching for a new job to help you make those important introductions.
Many businesses prefer to source candidates through a finance and accounting job recruiter like VALiNTRYcpa for several reasons. Working through a recruitment agency streamlines their process and allows them to interview only the best talent for the open position.
As a candidate, there are numerous perks to working with a reputable agency. Not only will they help you find financial jobs that match your experience and skill set, but they can also connect you with a wide range of businesses and opportunities that you might otherwise miss.
Some studies show that up to 41 percent of finance and accounting managers rely on recruitment agencies like VALiNTRYcpa to staff their open positions, and many don’t post on accounting job boards at all. This means that you could miss out on opportunities with the most competitive and sought-after companies if you don’t use the expertise of a recruiter.
In addition, financial staffing agencies offer a personal touch that you miss on a job board. They will get to know you as a candidate and then sell your skills to the company on your behalf. The best accounting job recruiters will also help you prepare for your interview by providing you with the job description, insight into the company culture and team dynamic, and information to help you impress the hiring manager.
Another advantage of working through a finance and accounting recruiter is that they will negotiate your salary and compensation package on your behalf. Because they are often paid commission based on your salary, it’s in their best interest to secure you the highest rate of pay possible and to work with your future employer to put together a package that makes everyone happy.
Job seekers don’t pay reputable recruitment firms for their services, which means there is no reason not to use this valuable resource to get noticed by employers.
Network and Industry Connections
The third resource that hiring managers use to find potential candidates are other connections within their network and industry. This is one reason to become involved in local networking groups and to expand your contacts on social platforms like LinkedIn as employers may look there to see who they know that might be a good fit for a vacancy.
That said, this is also another powerful reason to partner with a recruitment agency. Often, a hiring manager’s first call is to a recruiter who has placed the perfect candidate inside their organization once before, and they want them to do it again.
Finance and accounting recruitment firms can be your industry connection that gets you inside the network of the most important and influential staff members at your dream employer.
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