Posted by Accountemps on Monday, March 17, 2014 - 00:00 | Follow me
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While shamrocks, parades and festive green clothes may lift your spirits, you'll need more than the luck of the Irish to land an accounting or finance job in today’s competitive marketplace. You must think strategically and sweat the small stuff throughout the application and hiring process.
Follow these job search tips to ensure you don’t have to rely on good luck when looking for work.
1. Write a Targeted Resume
Many job hunters make the mistake of sending identical resumes to every company they contact. While revising your resume to best fit each organization takes a little extra time, your efforts will pay off. Keep in mind that companies are increasingly seeking accounting and finance professionals with specialized skills, rather than jack-of-all-trade generalists.
Focus your resume on what makes you unique, rather than using broad descriptions that could apply to anyone in the field. This is one of the most important job search tips to learn. For example, if you’re an accountant with experience or training in internal auditing, include that information in your skills or summary section if pertinent to the open position. Getting specific will help your resume stand out from the pack.
2. Customize Your Cover Letter
Just like resumes, cover letters should be targeted to each company — and that doesn’t mean simply addressing it to a different person. While your resume summarizes your experience and background, your cover letter is your opportunity to expand on those skills that most qualify you for the accounting job you're applying for. Read through the company’s job description carefully. Then, be sure to incorporate keywords from the job ad, such as “financial analysis” or “audit schedules,” and use them as a focal point when writing your cover letter. Take the opportunity to explain to the employer why you are not just a good fit but the perfect fit for the position.
3. Diligently Prepare for Interviews
Interviews can be nerve-racking, but when you prepare by following these job search tips, you’ll be more at ease. Before you arrive for the interview, make sure you’re an expert on the company by doing your research. Study the company’s website and reach out to your contacts through LinkedIn and other social networks to find out everything you can about the organization. Then, weave that knowledge into your interview responses. Remember that a memorable candidate focuses on the employer’s needs, not their own. Base your answers on what the company is looking for in an employee and why you’re the best person for the job.
4. Share Your Gratitude
People often forget one of the most overlooked job search tips: expressing gratitude to an employer after the interview. A thank-you note is not only good etiquette; it serves as a pleasant reminder of who you are and is often a nudge to the hiring manager to move on to the next step.
As with your resume and cover letter, your thank-you note should be targeted to the employer. In addition to thanking the interviewer for his or her time, include a sentence or two that references something you discussed. Your attention to detail, as well as your courtesy, will go a long way toward making you a memorable candidate.
Share your job search tips in the comments section below.
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