By: Christine Richardson
Although accounting jobs are still plentiful, the competition is certainly heating up. How can experienced accountants stand out to employers? For those accountants at the mid-career level, it is important to demonstrate to potential employers that you are relevant. There are many mid-career job seekers who probably have not written resumes for quite some time. Although these job seekers have been loyal, honest and productive employees, are they demonstrating their value on their resumes?
Today’s employers are looking for accountants with broader skills and abilities. Many employers are looking for employees who can provide financial advice and accurately forecast the economy internally, locally, regionally, nationally and globally. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated in the spring 2009 that the accounting and bookkeeping industry is adding new jobs on a monthly basis and is providing opportunities in a bleak job market. So, for the mid-career job seeker, perhaps the key is to demonstrate broader value on the resume, in the cover letter and in the interview.
Employers are seeking accountants with experience in auditing and uncovering internal fraud, cost-cutting measures and the ability to calm investors and customers through transparent language. If job seekers have had these experiences, include them on the resume. Please do not assume that an employer will know this. If job seekers will explain how their experiences, large and small, meet the needs of the employer, the job seekers will have more interviews. Job seekers often shy away from stating accomplishments or tasks on their resumes if these have not been a majority of their jobs or worse yet, not in their job title or description. Employee job descriptions are general in nature and almost always have that last line, “other duties as assigned.” This is permission for job seekers to expand on the duties that perhaps were not everyday but demonstrate the experiences needed for the next position.
Christine Richardson is the Director of Career Services at upstate New York’s Cazenovia College. Ms. Richardson has extensive knowledge in the areas of career counseling and assisting students and alumni with job searches and career development opportunities, including interviewing, resume and cover letter preparation.