Job Search Tips For Accounting and Finance Professionals Looking to Advance Their Careers

Accountants and financial professionals will benefit from faster-than-average growth within their industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median pay for financial and accounting professionals is well above the national average median pay, and there are career opportunities across a variety of different sectors including accounting or financial firms; private businesses and government organizations.

To have a rich and rewarding career as an accountant or as any type of financial professional, it is important to understand how best to advance your career. There are proven tips and time-tested techniques that you can implement in order to move up the career ladder and to get hired by top companies looking for accountants and financial professionals. For workers within these industries who are looking to advance their careers, consider these job search tips:

Utilize industry-specific job boards.

In addition to using websites that post jobs across all different industries, and in addition to working with staffing professionals who know of key opportunities in your field, you should also consider using industry-specific job boards such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Job Finder. If there is a particular accounting firm or financial services business that you are especially interested in working for, you can also visit their website directly in order to determine if there are job listings, or you could contact the company to find out how they post about positions.

Perfect your networking skills:

Obviously, you want to build as many relationships as possible with other financial professionals. Your network should begin by forming bonds with peers in accounting or financial education courses. With each job you have and each professional event you attend, your network should grow larger.  If you are interested in opportunities at a particular company, you can also try to make a direct connection. Research people with the company who you can contact and give them a reason to want to talk to you, such as commenting on a speech they gave and suggesting a follow-up discussion.  There are also networking groups, such as Finance Industry Professionals Worldwide on LinkedIn. Consider joining these groups so that you will be able to meet more people in your field.

Develop your specialization:

If there is a particular type of accounting work or financial work that you enjoy more than other tasks, focus on building a career around it. The tasks completed by accounting professionals and financial professionals are myriad and varied and it is not possible to be an expert on every individual issue. However, you can make a name for yourself and become well-known as the go-to expert on a particular issue, if you dedicate yourself to learning as much as you can about how this subset of accounting or financial services work.

Create a great resume:

You want your resume to be comprehensive, up-to-date, and sure to catch the eye of a hiring manager. To make sure your resume is an asset that helps you to move forward in the interview process, focusing on highlighting the specific skills and abilities a perspective employer is looking for. Tailor your resume to the job description so you capture the hiring managers attention right away, thus prompting the hiring manager to want to learn more about all you have to offer.

Obtain certifications:

Many financial professionals and accountants will take continuing education courses or other classes to earn certification or designation as a particular type of financial service provider.  If you obtain certifications appropriate to your specific position, such as completing the Series 7 exam for registered representatives, you can open up more career doors for yourself. Even if a particular job you're considering doesn't require you to have taken and passed exams, it still is beneficial to have these certifications on your resume because they provide hard proof that you are intelligent and a hard worker.