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What Accounting and Finance Professionals are Looking for in New Hires

Finally finished your accounting or finance degree? Ready to jump into the workforce? Well, before you start submitting resumes, you should take a look at the landscape and understand what firms are looking for in new hires.

You’ve chosen an excellent field. In the U.S., accountants right out of college typically earn close to $59,000, compared to just over $55,000 for the average college graduate. Meanwhile, accountants, in general, made close to $80,000 a year on average, meaning you should see your pay scale up over time.

However, you also face a competitive market. Data show that the number of business graduates in the workforce climbs at a pace of 2.5% per year. As such, you’ll need to grab employers’ attention to land a great first job.

Given these factors, it’s important to maximize your chances by understanding the market. Here are some traits accounting and finance professionals are looking for in new hires:

What Accounting and Finance Professionals Want in Tomorrow’s Employees

Fundamental Qualifications

Everything starts with the basics. You won’t get hired if you can’t fulfill the fundamental requirements for a position. Whatever your other selling points, you’ll need the appropriate education and background to get through the first cut in any hiring process.

For you, this means researching the type of jobs you want. Look at the hard skills employers are searching for and make sure you meet these standards. (If not, take steps to achieve those qualifications.)

In addition, let your current list of abilities direct your job search. It’s good to stretch yourself and attempt to push your accounting and finance career forward. However, getting too ambitious will only waste your time. Target positions that fit your resume and push your professional development from there.

Transferrable Skills

While a mastery of accounting and finance gets you into the competition for most positions, you’ll still need to complement these with a robust list of other abilities. Employers want to see what else new hires can bring to the table. That means emphasizing the non-finance parts of your skill set.

Here are some of the key traits outside of basic qualifications that employers value when they look at accounting and finance hires:

  • Tech Savvy: Finance tasks generally require interfacing with technology. The ability to learn and use various software applications will give you a leg up over the competition.
  • Collaboration and Communication Skills: You need to be able to contribute to projects that involve multiple stakeholders, from customers to other parts of your company. As such, employers will want to see an ability to work effectively on a team that includes non-finance collaborators.
  • Leadership and Innovation: Are you able to push the company forward? Employers don’t just want you to fill a role. They want you to show improvement and innovation over time.

Cultural Fit

Companies aren’t just looking for someone to fill a certain job. Rather, they want an individual who can fit into their organization. A strong connection with the corporate culture drives success at any employer.

As such, be prepared to show your ability to adapt to the firm’s values and vision. Flexibility, openness, teamwork — qualities like these will make you an attractive candidate.

Meanwhile, another aspect of culture comes in the form of morality. Accounting and financial professionals are often put in positions of extreme trust. Your employer needs to know they can count on you to manage money in an honest, secure fashion. As such, ethics becomes a key concern as companies look to fill key jobs.

Finding the perfect accounting and finance job involves a lot of consideration. You need to bring a wide variety of abilities to the table. As such, a strong recruiting partner, like Elby Professional Services, will direct you to the perfect roles to begin your career.

Looking to See What Accounting or Finance Has to Offer You?

Contact Elby today to find your next professional opportunity in accounting or finance.

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