Landing your first job out of college is never easy. Accounting students everywhere are vying for the same positions (career fairs anyone?). But, by following these 10 tips, you can increase your odds of landing that dream accounting job.
Research Accounting Job Opportunities
- Research Accounting Job Opportunities
The first step to landing your first accounting job is to research the types of opportunities that are available. You can start by looking at job postings on sites like Monster and Indeed, but don’t limit yourself to those sites alone! There are many other ways you can search for positions:
- Attend networking events hosted by professional organizations like the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) or Asian Americans in Finance and Accounting (AAFA). These groups also have annual conferences where employers often recruit new hires at their booths during breaks between sessions.
- Check out local career fairs or informational sessions hosted by employers in your area–these tend to be more informal than larger-scale events such as NABA’s Annual Convention & Exposition (ACE). You may even find some opportunities that aren’t advertised yet but could become available soon after meeting with HR representatives at these events!
Get an Accounting Degree or Certificate
If you want to get a job as an accountant, it’s important that you have the right education. There are many different types of accounting degrees and certificates available, so it’s important that you do your research before deciding on which one is right for you.
If possible, take classes in accounting, economics and business while at school so that when it comes time for graduate school or certification exams (such as CPA), they’ll be easier to pass because they’ll already be familiar subjects. Investigate online and in-person programs; both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on what kind of lifestyle suits your needs best!
If you decide after getting your college degree that you want to switch to an accounting degree, you can take the courses you need to level up quickly and affordably on platforms such as cpacredits.com. Having a different major than accounting may actually make you a more interesting candidate to some firms because of your diverse experience and education.
Develop Your Accounting Skills
- Develop Your Accounting Skills
Developing your accounting skills is an important part of the job search process. You should be able to use accounting software and applications, as well as understand how to solve financial problems. If you don’t already have experience with these tools, try taking an online course or attending a seminar at your local community college or university. You can also practice using online tools such as the Khan Academy’s free courses in accounting (www.khanacademy.org).
Create an Impressive Resume and Cover Letter
The next thing you need to do is create a resume and cover letter that will help you land your first accounting job.
- Highlight your education. You may have already included this information on your LinkedIn profile, but it’s important to reiterate it in both documents so employers know where you went to school, when you graduated and what degree(s) or certification(s) are relevant for the position they’re hiring for.
- Include experience from internships and part-time jobs as well as any volunteer work that could serve as evidence of leadership skills or teamwork abilities (e.g., coordinating events). If there are gaps between jobs listed on your resume, be sure not only explain why those periods were off-screen but also show how much growth occurred during those times–and how much more growth would occur if given another chance!
Prepare for Job Interviews
You’ve done the hard work of getting your foot in the door and now it’s time to show off your skills. Before you go into an interview, make sure that you are prepared with answers to common interview questions. Asking good questions shows employers that not only do you have passion for the position but also that you’re interested in learning more about the company and its goals.
If possible, research the company beforehand so that when asked about their goals or mission statement or values etc., you can speak intelligently about them without sounding like an amateur who doesn’t know anything about them! Also prepare some questions for yourself: What does this company do? Who does it serve? How does this role fit into those plans? What are some challenges facing this industry right now?
Network with Professionals in the Field
- Connect with Professionals in Accounting
Networking is an essential part of the job search process, and it’s especially important for accounting professionals. By connecting with people who have firsthand knowledge of what it takes to succeed in this field, you can learn more about what makes a good candidate and gain valuable insights into how to get started.
- Attend Events and Conferences
Accounting conferences are great places to meet other professionals and learn more about your industry–so don’t miss out on these opportunities! Attending local events can also help build relationships that could lead to job opportunities down the line.
Develop Soft Skills
As you prepare to enter the job market, it’s important to develop strong soft skills. Accounting is a field that requires strong communication and interpersonal skills. You’ll need to work with clients and coworkers on a daily basis, so having these abilities will help you succeed in your new position.
Developing your problem-solving and analytical skills is also important for success in this field. Accounting involves working with numbers all day long–you need to be able to think quickly on your feet when faced with a difficult situation or problem that needs solving. Demonstrate strong work ethic and professionalism as well; employers want someone who cares about doing their best work every day!
Get an Internship or Volunteer Experience
One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is by getting some experience under your belt. If you’re in college and looking for an internship, make sure to check out local accounting firms that offer them. You can also look into volunteering at non-profit organizations or even helping out with tax season at your local library!
If you’re not currently enrolled in school but still want some experience before applying for jobs, consider taking an online class through Coursera or edX (or another provider). These classes are often free or very affordable, and they’ll give you a chance to learn from real experts without having to pay tuition fees like those who attend traditional universities do.
Take the CPA Exam
- Take the CPA Exam
The CPA exam is a grueling test that takes several months of preparation and study to pass, but it’s a necessary step if you want to become an accountant. Many employers require their new hires to have passed at least one section of this test before they can start working for them, so make sure that you’re ready by checking out our comprehensive guide on how to prepare for each section of the exam!
Consider Professional Certifications
- If you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, consider obtaining professional certifications. These credentials can help you stand out from the crowd and may even give employers a reason to offer higher salaries.
Certifications are available from several organizations including:
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
- The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
- The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
Of course the tips above are in no way exhaustive. For example, there is no specific information on where to go to land a job as an accountant. The great thing about the world of online accounting advice is that you can find all the information you need online. You may even be able to find business owner’s resumes online (on sites like Guru.com) that could be helpful in applying for a job in a particular company or industry. All in all, these ten tips should help you on your way to landing your first job as an accountant.