Finance remains a strong sector, and since accounting departments are essential to every business, it’s not hard to see why. However, it’s also a popular and competitive field for that reason. Here’s how to go from search to settled.
If you’re a budding accountant, then you need to understand that it’s not just a matter of you knowing that you have a head for numbers and great attention to detail. You’re asking prospective employers to trust you with their money, and if they’re a reputable business, then they’ll expect some evidence that you know what you’re doing. Business accounting can get quite complex, and has to work within traditional and legal standards, so it’s not the sort of thing that you can just step into without prior experience.
Completing an accredited finance programme or course helps reassure employers that you have the skills they need, especially if you don’t have any practical experience in the field yet. LSBF offers a variety of programmes and courses, including full-time, part-time and online options, so you can get the credentials you need at the pace and in the format that’s right for you.
Work your network
As a student or budding professional, you may not feel like you have much of a professional network, but don’t underestimate the power of connections in employment. Check in with contacts in other areas of your life to see if they know of any opportunities. You may also use online channels, but be cautious not to link your professional identity with anything that might turn off employers.
Target your search
Are you open to relocating? Is there a specific type of accounting that you would like to do, or a specific sector with which you’d like to work? If you’re having trouble finding an opportunity, then broadening your search often opens up new possibilities. On the other hand, narrowing your target to a very specific niche can help you get the education and customise your resume to suit employer needs better.
Polish that resume
Resumes should be powerful because of their content, not their format – go for clean, scannable and conservative in presentation. Highlight your credentials, including education, experience, and skills or traits. Don’t get wordy, but if you can point out some notable achievements that help employers envision what you could do for them, then it can help you stand out from the crowd. Consider outside help to make sure the content and presentation are flawless.
Impress in person
Dress in crisp, conservative styles that communicate professionalism. This is not the time to express your personality. Employers want accountants who are detail oriented – display this in your self-presentation. Prepare ahead of time by reciting your education, experience and accomplishments. Ideally, think about what types of challenges your prospective employer might have, and how something you’ve done in the past or a skill you have could help them solve those challenges.
Prepare by taking relevant courses or programmes, ask connections about opportunities, be willing to expand your search, and polish your resume and person for best results. Remember that employers need candidates like you. If you’ve prepared well, be confident in yourself.