Passing CIMA is part of it and it will increase your chances of landing a great job. But you need to do your homework first and target your dream job. Here are 10 Tips to get ready for your job search in accounting and business.
I've decided to write today about a different topic. My overall goal is to help you lead a better, more satisfying life. Passing CIMA is part of it and it will increase your chances of landing a great job. But you need to do your homework first and target your dream job.
I believe you have passed some exams and need to find a job before you can complete your CIMA professional training. Here are 10 Tips to get ready for your job search in accounting and business.
A lot of recruiters today look to LinkedIn and social media for recruiting. The exact channels they look for are different from country to country. In some, recruiters and potential employers use LinkedIn, but others, such as in Germany, may use alternative sites, Facebook and others. So you need to be ready. Our tips for job seekers include paying attention to social media profiles, your Curriculum Vitae (CV), Cover Letter and much more.
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1. Get Yourself a LinkedIn Profile!
Immediately complete your LinkedIn profile if you don't have one. This is important because the moment someone searches for your name, if you don't have a LinkedIn profile, it will be your Facebook and other social media profiles that pop up in the search results. Most of us do not want that, do we?
A good LinkedIn profile should:
- Have a professional looking photo. Not one with pets, kids, friends, funny expressions or sexy poses. DON'T ever leave it blank.
- Be complete all areas in the profile. Add all types of jobs you have performed. Helped in your family business? Worked as an unpaid intern somewhere? For accounting jobs, all this can prove to be valuable experiences. They tell your employer that you are willing to work, and ready for the workplace.
- Include all certifications you have obtained. Get some, if you feel that would add value.
- Include items such as your volunteer work. Tutored poor kids? Helped at the church, temple or mosque? Worked in a club or society? These are all good things to add to your resume on LinkedIn.
- Invite your professional contacts to link with you, especially people whose profiles add value to you in a professional setting.
- Ask for recommendations from those who know about your professional aspirations and work ethic.
2. Polish up your resume.
The best type of resume may change from country to country. So look out for what employers in your country are looking for. Talk to your friends employed in large accounting firms and the business sector.
Include a professional photo, if needed.
Tailor your resume separately for accounting jobs and for jobs in the business sector, such as in management trainee positions.
Below you can find some examples I have found on the internet. The first one is a bit... over the top... We are applying for an accounting job, not really a graphic designer. But this is just to show you that the CV doesn't have to be "boring". There are plenty of people applying for job, even for the perfect job for you. I had a chat recently with few recruiter from Switzerland and they told me that sometimes when they put a job ad on LinkedIn, within the first day they can get even up to 200 applications. And Switzerland has a very low unemployment rate... This is just to illustrate that you need to stand out from the crowd. And adding some colours to your CV and professional-looking photo could do just that.
I have just received an email from Glassdoor. The included there a blog post they wrote on 21 words never to be included in your resume. Give it a read, some interesting facts are exposed. Apparently I also have some mistakes on my CV ;)
3. Talk to your references and get their permission for inclusion in the resume.
You do not want your references to get a surprise call and be lost at what to say about you. Some may have even forgotten who you are. So always call and talk to them and explain the type of jobs you are looking for and that you'd appreciate a few good words.
And once you get the job, always thank them, whether they got the call or not. This is important because next time you need a referee, you may still need their support.
4. Always tailor your cover letters. Include job title you are applying for.
Your CV and your cover letter are your agents that you are sending to the prospective employer. Make them as good as you can. A positive impression increases your chances of getting a job. A poorly written letter with many errors, wrong phone numbers and dead emails ensure you won't get a job.
A recruiter friend used to tell us she often gets CVs from job seekers titled "For suitable post." How am I to know what is a suitable post for the person”, she'd complain. “If they can't take the time to write a decent cover letter and CV, what makes us think this person will do a good job once we hire them?”
5. Change settings in your Facebook profile
Whatever it is you have been posting, if you are like most job searchers there will be some embarrassing posts over time (like the picture below.... and I was very very very nice here as you are pretty sure that there are some really embarrassing pictures online... We've all heard the story about someone not getting the ob because of some bad publicity online). You don't want all recruiters and potential bosses to see this stuff. Before looking for jobs, change your settings to private, where only friends can see your posts.
6. Be careful what you post on social media
It is your reputation that you are risking each time. We know too many people who have lost jobs because of poor judgement or a few stray words or comments on social media.
We don’t know how many people never got called in for interviews because of something the recruiters found out on social media about them. Don’t fall into this category.
7. Get a couple of business suits or business attire for interviews.
You may be called in for more than one interview.
Dress appropriately. Have a suitable hair style/cut. Don’t wear flashy accessories.
Don’t wear flashy accessories.
Check out photos on the website. That should tell you what to expect.
8. Apply to a lot of places.
A few interviews you get may give you a good workout for polishing your 'interview manners'. You don't want to be nervous and be a novice at interviews in your 'big interview' opportunities. Become a veteran at interviews. After each one, analyse what you could have done better, or differently.
9. Know what to expect and be prepared.
Some employers may have written tests. Others may have psychometric testing and a series of meetings and interviews, group exercises and so on. It depends on your prospective employer and the country too.
10. Prepare for the job interviews.
Good educational qualifications and exam results alone will not get you a job. Interview skills are extremely important. This is why you must prepare.
- Watch your body language and mannerisms. Mock interviews with a video recording can show you how you can avoid mannerisms that stand to your disadvantage.
- Try to get someone to do mock interviews for you. An older, more experienced friend who has gone through many interviews, the better your experience will be.
- Be prepared to answer questions without long pauses, without getting flustered. Learn to keep cool. Teach yourself calming methods.
Have a look at this video:
Good luck with your job search!
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