This post is quite distinct from most of the others on this blog. Instead of focusing on accountants in practice, what follows is intended to help those accountants looking to develop their career. I am often asked for my advice in this connection so have gathered here some of my top tips and links.
1 – It is quite natural to find the options ahead quite daunting. Your next choice need not define who you are or what you will do for the rest of your career. Those days are long gone, even for qualified accountants. Consider your answer to these questions:
- What type of work have you most enjoyed to date?
- In what sort of environment have you enjoyed working?
- What are your strengths? and
- What talents, skills and experience do you have to offer an employer?
2 – Search online for specialist recruitment consultancies that offer help and advice to accountants like you. Do not rely on email or on submitting your CV online before you have actually spoken to someone with relevant expertise. Talk to 2 or 3 recruitment consultants to find one you can trust and who isn’t simply after a commission for placing you in a job quickly. You don’t have to pay for this advice. The consultancies get paid a commission by your new employer. Good consultants will give you independent advice as they know that you will return to them as and when you want to change jobs in the future – and you will recommend them to friends and colleagues.
3 – Register on LinkedIn and complete your profile there so that it is attractive to prospective recruiters and anyone looking there for someone like you. Once registered you can then use LinkedIn to connect with past colleagues and business contacts. In due course you can then seek their advice and help to find your next role. These previous posts contain more tips on this topic:
- LinkedIn for accountants (part three)
- If you’re not on Facebook you need to be on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn for accountants – why you need a profile there
- How accountants can use Linkedin groups
4 – Cut your CV down to 2 pages. Remember the key point is that a CV is not about getting a job. It’s about getting an interview. It needs to describe you as a person, not simply what you’ve achieved at work. And 2 pages is all it needs to be. In practice you will also want to tailor it to each role you go for.
5 – Think about your friends and other people you know who could introduce you to the sort of new employer you’d like to work with. Then talk to your friends etc and ask their advice about how to secure intros to those people. Have a clear story as to what value you would be to a new employer. By the way, the more specific you can be as to the type of business you are looking to work with, the more you increase the chance of someone being able to effect a suitable introduction.
6 – If, as is likely, you are on facebook, make sure that your profile and activity there work FOR you rather than AGAINST you. Here are nine career related tips re accountants’ use of facebook
7 – Keep in mind that whatever you want from your next job is upto you. But you need to recognise that the only people ever likely to recruit you will be focused on what they want and on what you can do for them. Your online profiles and your CV need to make this clear and you need to be ready to explain this during job interviews too.