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Now that you have graduated or are about to graduate from university, it is time for you to find yourself a decent paying entry level job where you can put into practice everything you know about accounting. However, this process is not as easy as it seems, and many Australian students are finding it hard to navigate the job market.
That is why below I am going to give you 6 easy tips on securing yourself an entry level accounting job, in all areas from staff accountant and budget analysis to junior auditor.
1. Work On Your CV
The first thing you need to do before applying for an entry level accountant job is to improve your CV by including all your relevant personal information, updated contact details, new skills, necessary qualifications and work history.
This information should be easy to read and should not exceed one page, while managing to convey all of your best features. Additionally, do not forget CV etiquette, so ensure you have the grammar and format correct.
Last but not least, customize each cover letter to the accounting firm you are sending it to, as standard cover letters put off potential employers.
2. Start Networking Immediately
If you do not know already, most accounting firms operate via relationships and therefore networking is essential to get yourself in the door. You need to sell yourself and your abilities to your potential employers, and this will happen by networking with individuals and firms who can vouch for your skills as an accountant.
You can build your real brand and virtual brand through a professional accounting association, such as:
3. Get Certified
One of the top ways of securing yourself an entry-level job is by standing out from the crowd with impressive certifications. Certificates like the CA (Chartered Accountant) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) are both hard to get and require additional college courses, however the results are amazing.
Apart from increasing the probability of you getting a job, these certifications can increase your payment premium by up to 5% over non-CA and non-CPA accountants.
4. Practise Your Interview
Practice makes perfect, and that is the same for accountant interviews where interviewees often are too intimated and inarticulate when presented with the tough questions. Coming in prepared will give you the confidence and ability to clearly answer all questions directed at you.
A majority of entry-level accountant interviews revolve around behavioral questions, confrontational questions and core competencies, which cover areas such as innovation, creativity, teamwork, decision making, conflict resolution, business awareness, management, and organization to name a few.
Make sure to allocate time to research the position you are applying for, the company you are applying to, the interviewer you are meeting with, and the industry you will be working in. You can do this online on sites such as these:
5. Start Small
Realistically speaking, it will be nearly impossible for you to jump from university to a top accounting firm with no experience in between. That is why you need to start getting your experience while you are at university, so that you can present 6 months to 2 years of accounting experience on your CV.
Experience can be found in a lot of places, such as small accounting organizations that usually experience difficulty locating qualified accountants to work for them. These well paying positions are usually in bookkeeping and taxes, and will provide you with the necessary accounting experience.
6. Find A Mentor
Last but not least, you need to find a mentor who works in the field of accounting, and who can teach you the ins and outs of this industry.
While university provides you with a lot of theoretical accounting knowledge, a mentor will guide you on working successfully in the industry, building relationships, and creating a career for yourself. So find someone with a good reputation who is willing to take time to speak with you on a regular basis, and if you are lucky you can shadow them as they work in accounting.
Let’s learn some great tips from Professor Ellen Ensher, a mentoring and career expert, as she shares how to find a good mentor for university students on Tedx Talk:
As you can see, securing yourself an entry-level accounting job is possible with the tips given above. So go out and apply them today, and sit back and reap the rewards! Good luck on your accounting journey.