A degree from university represents the peak of your academic efforts — something you’ve been working towards since you were around five years old. However, it also represents a new beginning. As you head into the professional ranks with your accounting degree, do you have what it takes to land the perfect first job?
Sometimes this initial career foray requires significant effort. One study showed that it takes the average university graduate between three and six months to get hired. Meanwhile, many of these employees end up unhappy with the job market. More than half (53%) of university graduates are unemployed or underemployed.
An accounting degree can protect you from much of this trauma. The unemployment rate for accountants tends to be extremely low, letting you take advantage of a tight labor market.
Still, you should take steps to smooth your transition into your professional career. With that in mind, here are a few tips for university graduates looking to land their first accounting job:
How to Land Your First Accounting Jobs as a University Graduate
Think about Your Long-Term Plan
If you’re just out of school, a steady paycheck probably seems like an excellent goal in itself. As such, you’re likely tempted to jump at any opportunity. However, don’t become short-sighted as you weigh your initial options.
Your first job out of college puts you on a path. It’s a step in a particular direction. Make sure you’re headed towards your longer-term goals.
Before accepting any positions, think about your five-year and ten-year visions. They might change over time. But as you start, it’s good to have a point of reference.
Use Your Network
Most jobs come through connections. Some figures suggest that a many 85% of positions come through a contact. As such, your first step should be reaching out to people you know and seeing what advice they can give. Hopefully, these conversations will point to specific opportunities as well.
As you start out your finance and accounting career, you might not have a very robust network. Don’t worry. That’s to be expected. However, you might have more contacts than you think. Here are a few directions to consider:
- Former employers
- People you’ve interned for
Build Out Your Resume
Let’s face it: you’re unlikely to land your dream job just out of school. Your early career will involve paying dues and expanding your skills. Still, your initial assignments will also set the stage for future success.
To develop your finance and accounting career, it’s crucial to build out your work history and improve your resume. Your first job provides a great opportunity to gain experience. As such, you should look at potential jobs in that light.
With that in mind, here are some tips as you consider your first accounting job:
- Get started where you can: While you should choose the best opportunity available, don’t get too picky. Grab jobs where you can and build from there.
- Consider part-time/contract work: Contract accounting positions offer an excellent chance to build your resume. You can quickly add line items to your work history.
- Stay flexible: Remain open to possibilities. Your first job might not resemble what you expect. Keep a broad view and remain reactive to the market.
Turn to a Staffing Agency
Finding your first accounting job can be tricky. Why not let an expert guide you? A strong recruiter, like Elby Professional Services, can steer you to the perfect place to start your career.
Contact Elby today to learn more.