When starting a job search, one of the key questions is: "Who can help me find a job?" In the finance and accounting industry, there are many opportunities to network and get advice and support from other successful professionals. Just keep in mind that nearly every professional goes through this process at some point. So most people will be sympathetic to your request, even when you feel hesitant to ask.
How do you actually say to others, "Help me find a job, please"? Here are some tips:
Take advantage of social media
If you find a position you're interested in, it can be helpful to introduce yourself to the employer by starting a conversation online. Employers in the finance and accounting industry that are looking for new talent are increasingly starting with social media. So connecting with a hiring manager at your target firm could be easier than you think.
By connecting with companies you're targeting, you'll show potential employers that you're a fan of their company and allow them to get to know aspects of your personality not reflected in your resume and cover letter.
Connect with your current contacts
Be open-minded and take a multipronged approach when asking for help. Turn to coworkers, former professors and friends or family members. Even contacts who don't work in the accounting and finance profession could be valuable because they may know someone who does. Something as simple as sending a short email with your resume can encourage others to keep you in mind the next time they hear of a job opening. (Just don't use "Please help me find a job!" as your subject line. Something more tactful will probably generate a better response.)
Find a mentor
Mentors are great sources of professional advice, information and moral support. Look to pair with a more experienced professional in the industry by thinking about individuals you know through professional associations. If you're currently employed and looking for greener pastures, you might be able to take advantage of mentorship programs through your company – just don't let on that you're searching for a new job.
There are multiple benefits to finding a mentor. Even if the person is unable to clue you in to potential openings, you'll have the makings of a strong, long-term relationship with a respected industry leader. A mentor can also connect you with others in the field and help you polish your resume and cover letter.
Work with a recruiter
It's also a good idea to build a relationship with a financial recruitment firm so that you'll have a team of staffing experts who have thorough knowledge of your skills and can match you with the opportunity that fits you best. Whether it's your first time working with them or your fifth, you'll have a consistent resource to reach out to and say, "Help me find a job!"
Join professional organizations
Joining professional organizations can also help you find a job. Organizations such as the American Payroll Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants are great resources for meeting other people in your industry and getting access to positions that may not be posted publicly. Many organizations have local chapters where you can make contacts and find specific information about opportunities in your city.
Ultimately, the key is to be bold. Be upfront and unafraid to say to others, "Help me find a job!" Whether you decide to email former coworkers, make acquaintances online or use the expertise of a recruiter, your professional network is full of unique opportunities.