Whether you’re a new accountant or a seasoned professional, working with an accounting recruiter gives you access to a variety of open positions. Accounting recruiters are hired by companies to access your accounting skills, as well as complete a background check, verify your credentials, and conduct a preliminary interview to make sure you're a good candidate for the job. If you don’t impress the recruiter, you won’t have a chance to interview with a company employee, so it’s important that you know what accounting recruiters are looking for in job candidates.
In May, the ManpowerGroup released its eighth annual Talent Shortage Survey, which indicated that accounting and finance jobs were some of the hardest jobs to fill, because applicants are lacking the soft skills needed to do the job. When you apply for a position with a recruiter, your accounting resume makes your first impression. Your accounting resume should highlight your accounting skills, as well as your soft skills, and include a cover letter that proves you have excellent communication skills. If you can, use the recruiter’s name when you address your cover letter instead of writing “Dear Sir/Madam.” Also, use your cover letter to explain to the recruiter why you would be a good fit for the company while also highlighting your strengths. In addition, don’t leave voicemail messages for your recruiter without leaving your full name and contact number, limit the amount of times you follow up via email, and make sure you are professional and courteous at every point of contact.
According to Jeff Thompson, the president and CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), companies are looking for accountants that can wear a variety of hats but finding employees with the accounting skills needed to fill one strategic role. While companies need employees who possess the accounting skills needed to do audits and make sure the company is always complaint with federal and state regulations, companies also need accountants to know how to prepare budgets and forecasts and have the ability work with the information technologies department on enterprise resource planning.
The popularity of cloud-hosted software, smartphones, and tablets has also begun to affect the accounting industry. People are constantly connected, so recruiters are looking for accountants with versatile accounting skills who also understand how to use new technology to service clients. This is extremely important for accountants who are looking for positions in accounting firms that service small businesses, because small-business owners often need access to their financial information more frequently.
The fact is accounting jobs are available, and accounting recruiters can help you find a job that you enjoy. However, you have to impress the recruiter by highlighting your soft skills and by showing that you have a decent grasp on technology and the accounting skills that the company needs.
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