Getting an entry-level job in accounting can be tough with intense competition, but it can be done. An entry-level accounting job is also known as a "Junior Accountant" job. Many industries hire entry-level accountants, such as government, regular businesses, CPA firms, and non-profit organisations. There are opportunities out there, but you need to have accounting knowledge either by education or experience.
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The most common way for prospective employees and employers to meet up is on line these days. There are many job sites with accounting jobs, such as monster.com or careerbuilder.com. Besides the big boards, also check out websites of associations and societies in the industry or field you're interested in. Many have free job banks that you don't need to be a member to apply to. You can also post your resume at your local society of CPAs website and others like that.
Network. Get to know people who can hire you or who can help you in your job search. Attend meetings of local accounting societies as a guest or a student. Join organisations that can help you in your career. You may meet accounting managers and controllers who you may use as references in your job search. Check out the Professional Accounting Society of America, where you can join for free. Most CPA Societies offer discounted rates for students or professionals with little experience.
Tell your neighbours and friends that you're looking for an accounting position. You never know who knows who and can land you an entry-level job.
Mind your resume and be professional in interviews. Jobs may be referred to you, but your resume gets you interviews and if you do well in the interview, then you may be offered a job. If you're not getting calls for interviews, maybe you need to redo your resume. If you're not getting offers, then your interviewing skills may need work.
When you interview for an entry-level accounting job, be punctual, organised, give short answers, quantifying those whenever you can. For example, you can say that you processed invoices in a data entry position at a rate of 100 a day with minimum errors. Be specific in your examples. Employers look for accuracy and an eye for detail in entry-level positions.
Consider working as a temp in the accounting department. Once people get to know you, they may offer you a full-time job. And, if not, you're getting experience, and making contacts with people who can help you with references.
Tips and warnings
- Get a degree. An accounting degree, especially at a BA or MA level, is valued in the accounting world. Without a degree you can still get an entry-level accounting job. but it's tougher. Some people get business degrees and that's better than nothing, but if you're serious about an accounting career, get a BA in Accounting.
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