If you're graduating college soon and have your sights set on finding a job as an auditor, take heart. Because auditing services are so critical to businesses, career prospects are often bright for auditors. But that doesn't mean you can neglect the basics of how to find a job.
Most auditor jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Increasingly, though, public accounting firms prefer to hire applicants who have a master's degree, either in accounting or in business administration, with a concentration in accounting. Earning the certified public accountant (CPA) designation is also a requirement for most auditor roles, although many employers hire accounting graduates while they're still pursuing the credential and often pay the costs of obtaining it.
Besides ensuring you're on track to gain the educational and professional credentials you'll need as an auditor, here are some tips for how to find a job:
Pursue internships while in college
Most public accounting firms offer internships for accounting majors, and taking advantage of these opportunities will make it easier to find a job once you graduate. Working as an intern may even help you secure an offer before you graduate.
You can learn about internship opportunities, as well as tips on how to find a job, through your school's career center and via college accounting groups. Also reach out to public accounting firms. Many of the largest firms, in particular, actively publicize their internship opportunities on their websites. You can also follow them through social media and email newsletters.
Build your resume
A well-rounded resume will give you an edge in finding the best jobs with top employers. Besides maintaining a high grade point average, build your resume by participating in campus organizations, taking on leadership roles and performing community service-oriented activities. These types of extracurricular efforts will enhance your marketability and provide you with valuable experiences.
Become a member
Stay abreast of trends in the accounting industry through membership in groups such as the AICPA's Student Affiliate and your region's CPA society. Not only will these memberships help you stay informed about matters affecting your future profession, but they'll also give you the chance to meet practicing CPAs who may be able to help you find a job. Another good resource for trends and salary information is Robert Half's annual Salary Guide for accounting and finance professionals.
Start networking in college, both online and in person. Establish a professional presence on Twitter and LinkedIn. Join online professional groups to keep up with trends and topical issues, and be sure to connect with your targeted employers online. Many of them offer career resources about how to find a job in the accounting field. They also post notices about employment opportunities.
Don't neglect in-person networking. Focus on building strong relationships with influential professors, academic advisers, alumni and fellow students you admire. These connections can be instrumental in helping you find a job, as well as possibly guiding your career for years to come.
Although would-be auditors generally face a welcoming job market, having in-demand credentials alone won't guarantee success in landing a desirable position. To find the largest number of opportunities – and potentially the best ones – make sure you also pay attention to the fundamental aspects of how to find a job.