How to maximize your chances of getting that first accounting job with no experience?
Working in accounting can be a great career choice. For the right person, an accounting job can be a rewarding opportunity. Accounting is an in-demand profession, and even if you have no experience, you should find a job.
Can you become an accountant without work experience?
You need experience to get an accounting job, but you need a job to get experience. How do you get your foot in the door? Whether you are fresh out of college or looking for a new career in accounting, applying for your first job with no experience can be frustrating. Here are some tips to help you find your first accounting job with no experience:
Understand that finding your first accounting job with no experience can be tough – but it’s possible
Staying positive while looking for your first accounting job with no experience is important. When you look for your first accounting job, you will find a job posting requiring years of accounting experience that you don’t have. So, it’s critical not to get frustrated. Instead, keep staying positive and motivated as you continue with your job search. Remember, there are accounting jobs you can get with no experience. You just have to stick with the process.
Look for accounting internships and apprenticeships
Are you struggling to find an accounting job without experience? Before you can get a permanent position, you may need to secure an internship or apprenticeship to gain accounting experience. A short internship can help you earn a wage while acquiring first-hand accounting experience. It can also help you build a network of contacts that may lead to a permanent accounting job in the future.
An internship could differentiate your resume from other applicants when applying for an accounting job with no experience. Many large companies run formal internship programs. Check their websites to see what type of internships are available. You should also apply to smaller companies.
An internship may last a few weeks or several months. There is a lot of competition to get internships. Expect a competitive application process to land an internship with larger organizations.
Show your soft skills
For those who want to find an accounting job with no experience, it’s important to emphasize soft skills. Soft skills may not be accounting-related, but they are important for success on the job.
Make sure to list at least some of the following valuable soft skills on your resume:
- Strong attention to detail with a high level of accuracy
- Excellent numerical and data management skills
- Exceptional organizational skills
- Ability to focus on multiple projects with competing priorities
- Problem-solving skills to quickly identify business challenges and articulate solutions
- Interpersonal skills
- A team player who takes responsibility
- Willingness and ability to learn quickly
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Ability to work well independently
If you are applying for an accounting job with no work experience at all, think about other ways you might have demonstrated some soft skills. Think about any school-work, extracurricular, or volunteer experience you have for examples of these skills. List such experience on your resume to show soft skills.
Do a little background research into the accounting field to find out which soft skills are most sought after in candidates. Make sure to list the soft skills and work experience that demonstrate those specific soft skills.
Make up for your lack of accounting experience with networking
Building relationships, especially when searching for an accounting job with no experience, is a convenient way to get hired. Networking allows you to take advantage of school, personal and business connections. Your network can do more for your career than any resume. Your connections help you reach far beyond your capabilities.
Companies want to hire the best accountant for the job. Therefore, there is pressure on those in charge of the hiring process to find someone who has the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the position. When you are referred to a company through your network, the employer is more likely to trust you.
A resume-based job interview is a lot more difficult than one that includes a story about how you got referred to the company. Due to your network, there is a level of trust between the employer and you that wouldn’t be there.
Networking can also give you early access to accounting job opportunities. And sometimes, your network could help you find a job that hasn’t been advertised yet. For example, an accounting position may not be listed publicly but is shared through networking or internally. Make sure to notify your network that you are looking for an accounting job, so they can let you know when they hear about an opportunity.
If you want to find an accounting job with no experience, your network can help you make it a reality. Your friends and family form a powerful job search network both online and offline. Make sure to notify them that you are pursuing a career in accounting.
Accounting job search networking tips:
- Make a list of people in your network. Even if you don’t think that you know a lot of people who can help you, you know more people than you think. The good news is that you only need one referral to get an accounting job. Start making a list by listing your family and friends. Include all of your social media contacts. If you are a part of a sports club, list those names too. You’ll be surprised how easily the list grows over one hundred names.
- Reach out to your network. Once you have the list of names in your network, it’s time to reach out and let everyone know that you are looking for an accounting job. Don’t advertise that you don’t have experience in accounting. Only focus on the fact that you are looking for a job in accounting, and you would appreciate any leads. Don’t assume that only accountants can help. People in your network, regardless of where they work, might be able to help you.
- Make multiple contacts. It’s not enough to send one email or one message. People get busy, and they may not even read your first message. Therefore, it’s critical to make multiple contacts asking for leads or an introduction to help you get an accounting job. If someone responds, “I’m sorry I cannot help you,” you shouldn’t bother them anymore. But if you don’t hear from someone, you should continue to reach out.
- Keep following up. You may get some positive responses about job opportunities. If you don’t hear more information in a week, follow up to find out more. Ask if you can contact someone else to get more information. Always be respectful when you follow up. Understand that people are busy and don’t always have time to get back to you right away.
Even if you don’t have accounting experience, apply for jobs that require some experience
If you are a recent college graduate, you may not have any experience at all. Even though most accounting jobs require several years of experience, you should still apply. Employers in a crunch are willing to overlook the lack of experience. If you do an excellent job with your resume and interview well, you may get a job offer with no experience.
If you want to find an accounting job, you can’t give up
It helps to submit a lot of applications. Unfortunately, most people submit too few resumes, and they pay the price. Perseverance is a critical job search skill. Keep submitting your resume, and you will be rewarded.
Learn valuable skills while applying for your accounting job
Another way to get some work experience in accounting is to work for a smaller salary. Work for less money doesn’t sound exceptionally motivating but will help you build experience. Finally, one way to get some experience is to freelance a few hours a week. Freelancing allows you to learn and get hands-on training.
You could also blog on accounting topics. Learning and writing about accounting topics should help you make a good impression as a job applicant. Employers want to see passion.
Take job-specific accounting classes, attend industry workshops, get accounting certificates. If you show potential employers that you are motivated to learn, you can differentiate yourself from other job applicants.
Even the application process is a learning experience. Determine what you can learn from each resume submission. Learn from every interaction with hiring managers. Reflecting on these experiences can help you get your accounting job. Learning will help you build confidence. As you apply for jobs, keep your accounting skills current. Practice the most important skills to help you during your job interview.
How can I get accounting experience before my first job?
You can get valuable job skills while you are still in college. With the experience you gain, you can make your resume stand out from the crowd. You can gain accounting experience even before you get your first job in a few different ways:
- Attend conference or webinars
- Apply for an internship
- Take part in an independent study project
- Shadow professionals
Take the job even if it isn’t your dream accounting job
If you are looking for an accounting job without experience, you need to be flexible. You cannot become a lead accountant without experience. When starting, consider entry-level accounting roles. Many top accountants started in entry-level jobs and moved up. An entry-level job is an excellent opportunity to get your feet through the door. It gives you a chance to learn and get paid at the same time.
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