Advice for landing an Accounting Job as a New Grad with No Experience

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Comments (9)

Fenrir in Los Angeles, California

25 months ago

I've had my resume reviewed by 3 career advisers already, and my cover letter by one. I have a Master's in Accounting from a reputable school and for the past month I've only been able to land 3 interviews - 2 of which never called back and one I just had a few days ago so its too soon to say - despite sending out 100+ applications, even to out of state accounting firms.

Websites I use: Roberhalf(useless), Appleone(more useless), Monster(somewhat useful), careerbuilder (most useless), Linkedin (somewhat useful), Indeed (somewhat useful), and Accounting firm websites for CA and other states.

So any ideas that could help me improve my job search?

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Jury 14 in Hartford, Connecticut

25 months ago

Go out into the world and look and see if there are any opportunities there. Apply directly at company websites that interest you.

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Boston in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

25 months ago

In my job search, i found most jobs through indeed. I've gotten interviews on craigslist but you have to wade through scams sometimes. Temp agencies can be generally useless and a waste of time especially when you have no experience but I did get some jobs from them so they are worth a try. I had some luck with Account temps but I would not rely on them solely during my job hunt.
I've found this blog to be helpful with tips for your cover letter and resume. Askamanager.com
Good luck to you.

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MICk20z3 in Orland Park, Illinois

20 months ago

I've had some success in landing some interviews through job postings on Indeed. I have a Bachelor's in Accounting from a relatively small Catholic Private School, graduated in December 2014. My advice is to try private accounting. I was able to interview with 2 Fortune 150 Companies, and a smaller company all within a 1-2 month period. I know it is tough, but you just have to be persistent on your search. I had no prior accounting experience.
It is key to nail the interview, once you are given the opportunity. I was offered a Financial Reporting Accountant Position from a Fortune 100 company. I first interviewed on December 30, and then was immediately called the next day for another interview on December 31. On January 2nd, I was offered a full time permanent position.
Good luck on your search!

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vicki06 in Joseph, Oregon

19 months ago

I had a successful entry into accounting that just sky rocketed and I started long before I ever received a degree. I have observed that a few key elements seem to be vital to securing a good job with a good job environment. First, you have to have experience of some kind, your education is only half of what you need and second try and find a specialized accounting "nitch" (i.e., specialized management reports, keeping on top of the software the company uses, specialize in a specific industry is another good one. Just having a degree may get you in the door as a bank teller to gain experience but you really need the experience to make you stand out. As with engineering degrees and many other degrees you are just another graduate (not that that was necessarily easy but too many disreputable on-line schools or even still some left over correspondance schools set the bar too low and anyone could get through. Having a high GPA from a well known and respected school can help you get into an "intern" program". Going back to school and picking up some computer classes in accounting can help more than you would think. Just a 2 yr school can give you the added "side-line" expertise you will find attracts more interviews. If you really want to be CEO someday, you are going to need an MBA and that experience. And showing that you are very interested in a position is a good thing at the point you are at. You have to appeal to a Human Resources person and the type of person you would be working with. Get the experience with some usable software courses and it can mean the difference between getting a job faster and higher paying within 5 years and still floating around the general accounting circuit. The jobs are there, there are just more specific these days.

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confused student in Lisle, Illinois

4 months ago

MICk20z3 in Orland Park, Illinois said: I've had some success in landing some interviews through job postings on Indeed. I have a Bachelor's in Accounting from a relatively small Catholic Private School, graduated in December 2014. My advice is to try private accounting. I was able to interview with 2 Fortune 150 Companies, and a smaller company all within a 1-2 month period. I know it is tough, but you just have to be persistent on your search. I had no prior accounting experience.
It is key to nail the interview, once you are given the opportunity. I was offered a Financial Reporting Accountant Position from a Fortune 100 company. I first interviewed on December 30, and then was immediately called the next day for another interview on December 31. On January 2nd, I was offered a full time permanent position.
Good luck on your search!

I had a question: I have a a bachelor's degree in Social Science and wanted to go in Accounting. Do you think if I get a Master's degree in Accounting I will find a job easily? Or should I do a second bachelor's degree in Accounting?
Also, do they check your credit history before giving a job?

Thanks!

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vicki06 in Joseph, Oregon

4 months ago

Unfortunately these days they do/can check your credit score. I know I was shocked when the corporation I worked for started putting it into the "resume files" I reviewed for job candidates. Their defense when I asked "why?" was that it showed if the applicant was responsible. Having said that, I don't think it holds much water because it doesn't begin to say "why". If you have no credit, a short credit history, etc. it doesn't matter at all. What they are looking at is if you make payments in a timely manner. If you have a bankruptcy or stacks of medical bills, don't sweat it, those are the 2 areas that they know they can't understand why and if they ask, you are under absolutely no obligation to answer. The chances of your credit score or FICO score having much weight is minimal. The chances of them asking are even more minimal, but the bottom answer is "yes".

As to your first question, transferring to accounting from a Social Science degree I have less knowledge as I got my education back in the late 70's & 80's at UCLA, USC & CSULB (all in S. CA). Things have changed a lot. An MBA with additional accounting courses to get and strengthen your accounting skills & knowledge seems like a good objective that may actually get you further. You will have to play "catch-up" in the whole field of accounting, but you can do it at the same time you go after an MBA. If you didn't take any economics, statistics or business classes, it would be incredibly difficult to "jump in" at an upper division level, so the 2nd bachelor's degree probably is a better answer. You have your GE out of the way so the requirements for adding a second bachelor's would probably be fairly solid, heavy upper division classes. I would certainly inquire at a few Universities and see how they can combine what you have with where you want to go and see what they have to offer. Good luck!

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ljm15 in Rockford, Illinois

4 months ago

Many of the questions and comments above ring true in our area Rock Island, not Rockford as this system likes to constantly pull. I have been out a year and my degrees BS in Education, MS in Education, BB in Accounting have netted me little to nothing. The temp agencies listed above, I agree, pretty much worthless. The fact that I am an older worker adds to the difficulty of finding a good job. The universities paint a much prettier picture to get you to take classes, but I would say this, yes, work PT in some accounting field bank teller, whatever, get an internship, no matter how old you are because that is how you get into a company and MS vs. MBA, I would say MBA, and begin the licensing process as well.

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vicki06 in Joseph, Oregon

4 months ago

One small comment, I have pulled resumes off of Monster.com and usajobs.org and have just looked for good resumes/candidates without even bothering to post a job anywhere. It keeps any company/corp. from being overwhelmed with resumes, if someone is in immediate need of an employee they don't waste time broadcasting on their own and legally it gives an employer more latitude in looking for a candidate without anyone crying discrimination. Indeed does catch most of usajobs, but not Monster.

This "accounting field" isn't easy to break into at any level right now and if you are young and want a career job, you need experience, how you get that "experience" can be from wide and varied sources. Internships are a much bigger thing and depend on where you live, what University you went to, where you actually want to go with your career, what your GPA was, causes you may have been involved with and any volunteer work or part time jobs while in school or during any breaks.

I don't really approve of many internship programs if they don't pay decently. It turns into "slave labor" and a sadly competitive spirit that can make a good person into someone they don't want to be. Remember that "team work" and getting along with people is still really an important factor, don't get lost inside yourself and feel you are fighting off everyone else. It can also turn a potential candidate that they may want to groom for a management position into a waste case because they don't play nicely with the other kids in the sandbox.

As for slightly older grads or field transfer grads (say approx 35-40) you usually will find that you have had some experience, even if it is just working with someone on a personal basis to help sort out a problem, or filling in for someone who was sick for awhile. Your experience in any field prior will be helpful, don't discount it or assume that it wasn't in the business field.

Smile, keep your spirits up, be positive and have faith in yourself!

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