3 Tips for Starting Your Search for a Job in Accounting

Looking for an accounting job can be a full-time position in itself. Follow these tips to spare yourself the headaches and anxiety, and cut down your time on the job market.

If the title of this post caught your interest and you’re reading this right now, there’s a good chance you’re one of two kinds of people. Either (1) you’ve just graduated from a finance and accounting program, or (2) you’re currently working in the industry and looking for a change of scenery.

Whether you’re looking to land for your first accounting job, or just on the hunt for a better one, the search for a job in accounting and finance can be as stressful as it is challenging. But it doesn’t have to be. Before you abandon your job hunt to pursue a new career as a professional skateboarder (they really do have the coolest shoes), follow these three tips, to help you organize and streamline your search for an accounting job.

Do your homework

Begin by defining the industries that you want to work in. Knowing what you’re passionate about will help you land the accounting job that is right for you. It’s human nature, after all, to work harder for something we have a real interest in.

Research different companies in your industries of interest; focus on those located in your own city or province/state. Use LinkedIn and Google, along with other online resources, to determine the key players.

Knowing what you’re passionate about will help you land the accounting job that is right for you.

For example, if you google “consumer goods companies in Toronto,” you’ll not only find job postings, but also gain access to other directories that are parts of associations (e.g., the high-tech industry). Ultimately, this research will show you who the major organizations are in your industry of choice. That kind of valuable information will accelerate your job search.

Network, network, network

When we talked to Raj Kailasanathan, Director of Finance and Corporate Treasurer at Real Matters, he emphasized the importance of networking for advancing your career and identifying new opportunities. To be successful in your search for an accounting job, you need to build relationships with the people in your networks. LinkedIn is a great resource (as well as, increasingly, job-hunting in general).

The key thing to remember about relationship-building and networking, however, is that it’s about gathering information, not asking for a job. No one wants to be solicited in that way.

Instead, ask your contact if they could spare you fifteen minutes of their time. Explain that you’re interested in working in the industry and would love to ask them a few questions about their own experiences.

When you meet up with your contact, make sure to put your best foot forward, so that they’ll remember you when your fifteen minutes are up. But don’t sell yourself too aggressively; remember, this isn’t a job interview. Have some questions prepared for your contact, so that you’re not wasting their time. For example, ask about how they entered the industry, what they like about their role and if the company uses a particular recruiter or firm.

To be successful in your search for an accounting job, you need to build relationships with the people in your networks

Talk to recruiters

Recruiters can be especially valuable resources for your job-hunting efforts. It pays to have built some rapport with your recruiter before you start pounding the pavement for a job, but even in the middle of your search, they can be immensely helpful. Contact some well-known recruiters, and inquire into whether they place talent in your industries of choice. Even if they don’t specialize in your area of interest, they can give you the name of a recruiter who does.

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If they are active in your industry of choice, you can pick their brains about how you can make yourself a more marketable candidate. And if you already have the name of a recruiter favoured by one of the companies on your wishlist, even better. Listen carefully to what they have to say. Recruiters can leverage their network to help you land the accounting job that makes sense for your skills, interests, and core values.

Job searches don’t have to be unnecessarily time-consuming or stressful. Save yourself some time and energy in the long run by being smart and focused in your job-hunting, taking advantage of your contacts and recruiters, and above all, identifying your passions and interests. Figuring out what makes you tick will help you muster the drive and enthusiasm to keep going in your search for your dream accounting job.

How have you streamlined and simplified your job searches in the past? What advice do you have for jobseekers to help make their job hunts as painless as possible? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!