According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics accounting job outlook
, employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 11 percent by 2024. Due to business globalization, many companies are experiencing mergers and acquisitions often leading to expansion – requiring accurate financial reporting and guidance. The recent financial crisis also resulted in an increased demand for accounting services. This marks a positive outlook for the accounting industry.
Unlike many other industries, the accounting job market has a very specific recruiting cycle. If you’re considering a career in accounting, it is best to familiarize yourself with this cycle and start preparing beforehand to help you stand out from other applicants. Take these three steps to make sure you’re ready for the upcoming recruiting cycle.
Step 1: Know your accounting firms
You may have heard a lot of talk about the “Big Four,” but do you know who they are? The “Big Four” are the four largest public accounting firms and include Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In 2013, PwC recruited around 20,000 graduates, making them one of the largest graduate recruiters in the world and they anticipated recruiting even more graduates in 2014.
While working for a Big Four or other large national firm will look great on your resume, they typically have more clients and the environment can be extremely fast-paced. Smaller local firms often offer more flexibility and can offer you the opportunity to work on more than one area of accounting, giving you a well-rounded experience.
What can you do to get your foot in the door? Start by taking some time to research each of the four firms and the smaller accounting firms in your area. Get familiar with the different work that they do and some of their largest clients. Think about what types of positions and work interests you. Both types of firms have their advantages and disadvantages, it is important to find out which is the best fit for you.
Step 2: Know the cycle
The accounting recruiting cycle typically runs from August to November. It is common for the Big Four to have completed their second round interviews by the beginning of November and have made offers to applicants around that time – with other firms typically following suit.
If you are just starting your education in accounting, take advantage of the summer leadership programs that are generally posted in the spring.
Step 3: Prepare your resume
Now that you know which type of firm interests you and the recruiting cycle, begin preparing your resume for the position that you are interested in. Have your resume reviewed by your school’s career services, an instructor or a professional resume service before you begin the application process.
Apart from having a solid resume, you should also start to consider if you are interested in taking the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. Though a CPA is not required for a job in the accounting, you may be asked about it during the interview process.
Did you know that according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics research over 70% of all jobs are found through networking? The best way to stand out from other applicants is to constantly network with accounting employers. Attend employer events or job fairs in your community. Use the knowledge you have gained through research to engage recruiters, practice your elevator pitch, and discuss your past experiences. To make the most of networking with employers be sure to always have your resume on hand.
After following these three steps to prepare for the accounting recruiting cycle you are now ready to start your job search. If a career in accounting feels like a good fit for you, visit www.bryantstratton.edu
or call 1.888.447.3528 to learn more about the Accounting degree programs at Bryant & Stratton College.