According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting jobs are expected to grow "as fast as average" between 2012 and 2022. Competition is also expected to be keen, especially among the higher-paying jobs at prestigious accounting firms. If you have your sights set on one of these in-demand positions, there are three things you can do to pump up your resume and improve your chances.
Look for Internship and Volunteer Opportunities
Any work experience you have coming out of college gives you an advantage over the competition. Most schools offer work study and internship programs, but if yours doesn't, make your own opportunity. Look to job search websites for companies offering internships in your area. If you are willing to complete an unpaid internship, opportunities may be available in unexpected places. Talk to small-business owners, local bands, school clubs and amateur sports leagues. Another strategy is contacting companies posting accounting jobs and ask if they would consider filling one with an intern. If an internship isn't possible, ask if any mentoring opportunities are available. Approach working accountants to see if you can spend a day or two observing them: it's a great way to network and may just lead to an accounting job in the future.
Volunteering for a nonprofit is also a great resume builder. Look to small, start-up nonprofits in your community for opportunities. Offer to help set up necessary accounting software and train their staff on how to use it. Consider starting your own nonprofit that provides support to up-and-coming local organizations. Doing so shows initiative and ingenuity. As nonprofit organizations grow, paid accounting jobs open up, and a good showing as a volunteer could get your name to the top of the list.
The absolute best resume builder is becoming a Certified Public Accountant. Most accounting jobs above entry level require the certification. CPAs also average 10 to 15 percent more than their noncertified counterparts. Passing your CPA exams shows you have the necessary knowledge to succeed in accounting jobs and that you are serious about your career.
Writing articles allows you to show off a variety of skills that could land you an accounting job. A well-written article demonstrates not only your written communications skills but also your ability to organize your thoughts and convey information in an accessible way. Use your writing to exhibit your knowledge and unique point of view. Starting a blog is the quickest path to getting published, but for more credibility, submit your work to professional trade publications.
Resume-building sometimes feels like a paradox — you need experience to get the job, but you need a job to get the experience. To improve your chances of landing the accounting job of your dreams, boost your resume by looking for internship and volunteer opportunities, seeking professional certification and showing off your writing skills.
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