Difficulty entering profession

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Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York

82 months ago

I have been attempting to enter the accounting profession, at the clerical level for several years now. I have an Accounting Certificate (46 credits, GPA 4.0). This represents a year or more of full time college level attendance, but is just shy of an Associates degree. I have actually completed all the accounting requirements for that degree and just lack 15 or so elective credits. I already have two years clerical experience, although not in an accounting related area, and four seasons tax preparation experience.

I have been told to stay away from the staffing agencies as they only want people who can instantly sit down and begin work without any training. That is not true entry level.
Meanwhile, both the New York State and the Federal Departments of Labor define accounting clerk/accounts payable/ accounts receivable clerk as requiring ONLY moderate on the job training. This situation frustrates me no end. I have prepared at considerable expense for a profession without a definable entry point according to the local staffing agencies, including Robert Half, which I have contacted.

I have discussed this with a career counselor at my alma mater and she informs me that I must start at a lower level and “work my way into” accounting, perhaps starting as an administrative assistant. And, yes, there seems to be a trend to include accounting clerk type work with administrative duties.

Now here’s the Catch 22, I am 60 years old, male, and on a fixed and limited pension. There seems to me, to be age a gender related barriers erected towards entry into the accounting profession.

Has anybody had any similar experiences?

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Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York

82 months ago

Exact quote from employer advertising on a college website for an accounts payable clerk:

This position will also be responsible for some administrative duties including office supplies, kitchen supplies, and coordinating building maintenance.

This position will be the primary backup for our switchboard operator and be able to answer questions about our organization and provide callers with phone numbers, addresses, directions and other information.

Do they want a professional or a secretary?

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Dee in Lanham, Maryland

82 months ago

I'm in the same boat. I left my job a few years ago to return to school full time. I just turned 30...so I don't think it has anything to do with your age. I'm 6 credit away from my Bachelor degree. I can't find any entry level accounting clerk, accounts payable, or even junior accountants. All these jobs call for at least 1-2 years experience and most employers don't want to train. I feel like returning to school was a total waste of time. After this semester, I'm going to hair school.

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Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York

82 months ago

So where do new accounting clerks come from? Can anybody tell me the path by which they became an accounting clerk? It seems to me right now that both recruiters for community colleges and goverment employees who assist job seekers are behaving unethically, by misrepresenting or concealing the entry route into this profession.

At my age, whem most people are contemplating what to do in retirement, its way to late to start over. And no, I will not become a Wal-Mart greeter or go to hair school.

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Tracie in Long Beach, California

82 months ago

It does not matter what age or sex a person is, we all start at the same place, the bottom and work our way up through the ranks.
Traditionally to start in an accounting clerical position you need to be open to start as a file clerk, or general office opening, sorting, and stamping mail, etc. and show a willingness to learn on the job, and a commitment to stay with a company. That is how I, and several of my friends started in this field. I have since worked in cash flow, payables, receivables, collections, payroll, and as a timekeeper. I have over 13 years experience as a subcontracts payables specialist for homebuilders, and commercial builders. It took 23 years for me to get to where I am today and attain the level of expertise and respect I command, I am now 47 years old.
I would really consider working through a temporary agency, as long as you pass their tests they will put you to work.

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Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York

82 months ago

If you had read entirely through my comments you would have known that I have been applying to temp agencies for several years. I come in for an interview discuss my resume, PASS THE TESTS, am told that I am well qualified and that they will contact me and then NOTHING.

I am prefectly willing to work my way up even tho this news comes rather late in the game for a 60 yo male. Essentially I think that my alma mater, Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY, has and continues to defraud me on this matter. I was not told EVER that an Accounting Certificate is a worthless piece of paper unless you already have a foothold in the field. Ditto for Department of Labor and its literature on the field. Nevertheless, Hudson Valley was glad to take my tuition money and I am still paying off the student loans.

I spent two years sorting and stamping mail and doing front end processing for Bank of America's Libris operation. Is that enough for you? I am perfectly willing to learn on the job as I have done in several other position, but I have been told that temp agencies want you able to start being productive the first day with minimal training. I do show loyalty to the companies that I work for, but get little loyalty from them.

I do notice that you are female like all who report success in the field. Frankly, and pardon me for bring rude, I feel that it is hens like you and your friends who would rather hire a bright young 20 something female than a 60 yo male who "does not fit the culture" that are the source of the problem. Yes, it is age discrimination, but try and get anyone interested. Apparently when you have gray hair jobs become few and far between.

I remember when engineering was an all male profession. That was wrong and that wrong was corrected out of the same legislation the prohibits age discrimination. But us seniors don't get the same media play as feminists do.

Sorry to be frank, but I am just telling it like it is.

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Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York

82 months ago

Tracie,

If you will give me your email address, I will send you my resume. I am willing to start as a general clerk and work my way up. You can reach me at my email address: jcrespin1947@yahoo.com

Thank you for your attention

Jack

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Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York

81 months ago

Thanks for your support. I did get a temporary job doing tax preparation his season. Even here my employer is looking for people who have little or no expetise, but are willing to work for rock bottom wages. When the season starts we will be paid close to minimum wage plus about $5 out of a $150 return fee. It just goes on in a very Dickensian mode.

Meanwhile Congress is playing games with the tax code delaying the start of the season. What we have here is a dark omedy of errors.

Pray for this ountry.

Thanks for your wishes.

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Jeanne

81 months ago

screwed over by a printer and lost my business had to shut down..... I am 57 and have been doing various work since 2005 and can't seem to get anything to stick with me because I am out of my field....trying to keep a roof over my head....I still have the passion and desire to get back up on the horse and want to be in publication design. However....when I send my resume and get out there and interview....I BOMB!! because others think I'll take there accounts away...or I get this look like I'm not a blonde bimbo with an IQ of her bottled hair color....even though I look ten years younger???? I get turned down....still trying ...and good luck to you at age 60....I don't know what else to say.....

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Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York

81 months ago

Legal Profesional

In my tax class there are two older guys like myself plus several woman who are of average to high intelligence, but who don't realize that they need or will need professional credentials to get by, without relying on the guy to take care of them. In today's world of outsourcing where someone with only a high school education stands at a distinct disadvantage financially, often and sadly, the woman has to carry the burden. What was so wrong with the nuclear family with the husband, even a blue collar husband, making an adequate salary?

I apologize for my long-windedness, but I am dancing around some politically incorrect opinions to say that my tax class IS the underclass and its not their fault or mine that we are where we are.

Jeanne

Its sadly true that for a woman, even in these days of "liberation" looks and charm still often count.

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Shan in Dayton, Ohio

81 months ago

I would love to get in the accounts payable/or AR profession. How does one get their foot in the door?

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angryaccountant in Winston Salem, North Carolina

76 months ago

I don't care what anyone says. women have the upperhand in interviews. I earned an accounting degree in 05. I am 51 now. I have yet to secure permanent employment. I have only had long term temp work. In a couple of places I worked, the whole damn accounting dept was 99% female...only a few males included myself...yet, I see this stupid "We support a diverse workforce" banner hanging over the wall near my desk.

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sunnyphall in Sebastian, Florida

74 months ago

Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York said: So where do new accounting clerks come from? Can anybody tell me the path by which they became an accounting clerk? It seems to me right now that both recruiters for community colleges and goverment employees who assist job seekers are behaving unethically, by misrepresenting or concealing the entry route into this profession.

At my age, whem most people are contemplating what to do in retirement, its way to late to start over. And no, I will not become a Wal-Mart greeter or go to hair school.

I am with you I want to know where all the jobs are and that were promised that where out there when you have a degree. Everyone says well you need to work at wal-mart I worked there and they treet there employees like crape and only $6.00 an hour with no hours why did I go back to school and get an degree to end back up at Wal-Mart. Why cant I get a job I just don't understand can someone tell me how to get a job that I worked so hard in getting a degree in?

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sunnyphall in Sebastian, Florida

74 months ago

Tracie in Long Beach, California said: It does not matter what age or sex a person is, we all start at the same place, the bottom and work our way up through the ranks.
Traditionally to start in an accounting clerical position you need to be open to start as a file clerk, or general office opening, sorting, and stamping mail, etc. and show a willingness to learn on the job, and a commitment to stay with a company. That is how I, and several of my friends started in this field. I have since worked in cash flow, payables, receivables, collections, payroll, and as a timekeeper. I have over 13 years experience as a subcontracts payables specialist for homebuilders, and commercial builders. It took 23 years for me to get to where I am today and attain the level of expertise and respect I command, I am now 47 years old.
I would really consider working through a temporary agency, as long as you pass their tests they will put you to work.

Than why can't I get a job like that. I have even went to a tempory service and no response. I have worked for over 23 years from the botom and finally was able to get the position of accounts payable clerk and boom in 2 1/2 years later it was gone I no longer had a job and now I can't even get someone to put me to work. I have a well rounded experience, with knowledge and want to work and so far nothing. I even went back to school and have an associate degree and now working on my bachelor degree and still nothing. What do you do than?

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sunnyphall in Sebastian, Florida

74 months ago

sunnyphall in Sebastian, Florida said: Than why can't I get a job like that. I have even went to a tempory service and no response. I have worked for over 23 years from the botom and finally was able to get the position of accounts payable clerk and boom in 2 1/2 years later it was gone I no longer had a job and now I can't even get someone to put me to work. I have a well rounded experience, with knowledge and want to work and so far nothing. I even went back to school and have an associate degree and now working on my bachelor degree and still nothing. What do you do than?

Hey I am a 42 year female and I agree on the comment that everyone looking for younger female that have a slim trim body because that is what I was replaced with myself. She was young and I helped trained her she wore low cut shirts with mini skirts and before I knew it she had my job. I am a plump 42 year old and all my hard work for the company did not mean anything. As I look for jobes day in and day out that is what I am against everytime I turn around I don't seem to have the look. I always get told that I have the experience, the knowledge, they like my resume and yet when I call back the job been fullfilled. So there is something wrong because if I have the experience than why have I been out of a job for 7 months now with nothing in the works and fixing loose everything I own?

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sunnyphall in Sebastian, Florida

74 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: I should have thought about tax preparation before for you! I have a long-time friend who took the H & R Block training course some years ago. He didn't finish college nor did he study accounting, but gained a lot of management experience over the years. He completed the course. Block then asked him to teach it. He told me recently the IRS credentialed him to represent clients in tax matters.

Something to consider, anyway. Good luck with your efforts. Neither that Republican in the White House nor Congress realizes that by not enforcing the ADEA it is creating a vast underclass of older people that cannot find jobs and will increasingly look to government for help.

I am a H&R Block associate that started this year. It only part time which is 4 months out of the year and you get about maybe 20 hours a week with low pay. So good part time job but a person needs a full time job to go along with it to make ends meet for the rest of the year.

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sunnyphall in Sebastian, Florida

74 months ago

Linda in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire said: Yup. It's hard. These commets are a great help (some of them anyway)in giving me ways to "offer myself" to an employer. How exactly, though would one reveal in an interview that you just want full-time employment with family health insurance benefits, and that to do this are more than willing to accept the entry level position that you've applied for? I've been a stay-at-home mom for just over 8 years doing odd work for $ which really helped our household out over the years. A/P and payroll was my area of expertise with over 20 years of experience in the accounting field. I've downplayed my resume just to avoid the manager fearfull of an overachiever taking their job...it got me two interviews already. Read what the ad wants, I think anyway, and plug the specific requests into your resume. Seems to be working. Good luck!

Tell me how to get past the interview and actually land the job though. I have some interview and that is where I bomb it seems what do you do to actually land the job you know you can do?

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sunnyphall in Sebastian, Florida

74 months ago

angryaccountant in Winston Salem, North Carolina said: I don't care what anyone says. women have the upperhand in interviews. I earned an accounting degree in 05. I am 51 now. I have yet to secure permanent employment. I have only had long term temp work. In a couple of places I worked, the whole damn accounting dept was 99% female...only a few males included myself...yet, I see this stupid "We support a diverse workforce" banner hanging over the wall near my desk.

If that was the case than why can't I get a simple accounts payable job that I know I am qualified for? I am a 42 year old women that can't even land one job at this point. I even went to bear store and nothing. So tell me how to get a job?

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sunnyphall in Trinity, Alabama

74 months ago

I am a 42 year old lady that has lost there job of 16 years as of January. I have been putting in application, sending resume several times a week. I am a accounts payable clerk that been looking to keep that field with very little response. I have started to look for just anything just to get a job. I been feeling like I have some kind of disease becasue even simple bear stores will not put me to work. All my life I have started from the bottom and tried to work my self up - I was told I need a degree went back to college and received my associates degree. Now I am being told to get an bachelor degree in accounting working on that now. But when I get done will they request a mater degree? Where does it end. I have experience, a degree and still no one willing to put me to work what is wrong with me? They are starting to check credit well I hate to tell employers that a person credit is not how they work. I have slow credit now due to the fact I have been out of work for 7 months. My husband is working but it took both our incomes to make end meet. I think a person credit should be outlaw to employers because in the first place it is no of their business and second that is not how to base a person performance. They say if you have slow or bad credit you will tend to steel I hate to tell them I been working since I was 16 years old and most of the people that stole were the ones that had money just wanted to steele just because. Also if you have bad credit the employers say if the person cannot handle their on finaces than how will they managed the company again they do not know the person situation at all-they could have been out of work for awhile or something came up like medical or something so credit has nothing to do with a person performance. I just don't know where to turn anymore I am a hard worker that has a lot of knowledge and experience to offer I need a job where does a person go to get a job?

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Bitter in Schenectady, New York

74 months ago

Be careful what you say. Don't give your true identity in this blog! What you say on the internet, and specifically on this blog, is being monitored. The younger generation has been brainwashed to to favor suppression of personal expression and to swallow employer rationales of their bad, anti-boomer, anti-middle class behavior.

Of course the younger generation is rewarded for their conformity with all the good jobs.

If anyone comes out and says that, well they worked for Barack Obama, well congrats, but come out to the polls in November. I'll be watching you Gen Xer's, Y's and millenials. This will probably be you last chance to preserve our democracy!

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Susan in Los Angeles, California

72 months ago

I am signing up with temp agencies for an Accounts Payable job. So far I have signed up with 5 agencies within the last two weeks. If nothing comes up, I will find more agencies to sign up with. I recommend that you put a job wanted ad in the Resumes section of CraigsList. Put down your skills and experience. Say that you will send your resume to those who request. That way, you have control of who sees your resume and personal info. I get a few responses each week going that way. Haven't found a perm job yet. Also, how about applying for a teller job in a bank? Also, list your skills on Monster.Com. I did get an interview from them at a good job which I didn't get. Accounting skills are needed at car dealerships in their accounting depts. (I will check into that myself.) Best wishes.

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Lor in Belle Plaine, Minnesota

72 months ago

I have worked in accounting for over 8 years with no degree and I am doing pretty good. In A/P, accuracy is important and moving from the bottom ("botom" sp: bottom)is not that copmplicated. You need to prove yourself. I started at $8.50/hr and now I'm WELL beyond that :o) I have recently began seeking new employment with a shorter commute. Not having a degree has not stopped me from applying for jobs requiring degrees. I have has several interviews but live in a small rural communtity that limits me. I would rather have a shorter commute than make big bucks right now because I have school age children. I don't want to spend an hour to and from work everyday. Don't give up. The right job will come along!

sunnyphall in Sebastian, Florida said: Than why can't I get a job like that. I have even went to a tempory service and no response. I have worked for over 23 years from the botom and finally was able to get the position of accounts payable clerk and boom in 2 1/2 years later it was gone I no longer had a job and now I can't even get someone to put me to work. I have a well rounded experience, with knowledge and want to work and so far nothing. I even went back to school and have an associate degree and now working on my bachelor degree and still nothing. What do you do than?

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Lor in Belle Plaine, Minnesota

72 months ago

I know ... I have typos too but It's 2am. I'm not judging you!

Lor in Belle Plaine, Minnesota said: I have worked in accounting for over 8 years with no degree and I am doing pretty good. In A/P, accuracy is important and moving from the bottom ("botom" sp: bottom)is not that copmplicated. You need to prove yourself. I started at $8.50/hr and now I'm WELL beyond that :o) I have recently began seeking new employment with a shorter commute. Not having a degree has not stopped me from applying for jobs requiring degrees. I have has several interviews but live in a small rural communtity that limits me. I would rather have a shorter commute than make big bucks right now because I have school age children. I don't want to spend an hour to and from work everyday. Don't give up. The right job will come along!

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Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York

72 months ago

I did put an ad on craigslist last week. So far no replies, but wish me luck! I have applied to several temp agencies with almost no action after the screening interview, even though I always score well on the tests.

One temp agency has treated me fairly well, but I mean that in a relative way. They did send me to one interview for an A/P position. However, I did notice, that of the three people that interviewed me, all were young and female. That is a definite trend that I have noticed. Their atitude was, first, I don't have experience (well, duh!) and secondly, my recent job record consisted of temporary and seasonal jobs so they felt that I would not stay in the job as long as required. I did answer their concers well, but still no job.

Right now, they are sending me on rather menial jobs where I have to stand on my feet all day long. I am still grateful for that because at least it allows me to survive. But, it does nothing to punch up my resume.

I have to go now. After all my parents did to provide me with an education, its a pity.

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Susan in Los Angeles, California

71 months ago

Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York said: I did put an ad on craigslist last week. So far no replies, but wish me luck! I have applied to several temp agencies with almost no action after the screening interview, even though I always score well on the tests.

One temp agency has treated me fairly well, but I mean that in a relative way. They did send me to one interview for an A/P position. However, I did notice, that of the three people that interviewed me, all were young and female. That is a definite trend that I have noticed. Their atitude was, first, I don't have experience (well, duh!) and secondly, my recent job record consisted of temporary and seasonal jobs so they felt that I would not stay in the job as long as required. I did answer their concers well, but still no job.

Right now, they are sending me on rather menial jobs where I have to stand on my feet all day long. I am still grateful for that because at least it allows me to survive. But, it does nothing to punch up my resume.

I have to go now. After all my parents did to provide me with an education, its a pity.

Don't just put one ad on Craigslist. I would say twice a week, or at least once a week, repost your ad. Thanks.

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je in Powder Springs, Georgia

70 months ago

Dee in Lanham, Maryland said: I'm in the same boat. I left my job a few years ago to return to school full time. I just turned 30...so I don't think it has anything to do with your age. I'm 6 credit away from my Bachelor degree. I can't find any entry level accounting clerk, accounts payable, or even junior accountants. All these jobs call for at least 1-2 years experience and most employers don't want to train. I feel like returning to school was a total waste of time. After this semester, I'm going to hair school.

Dee in Lanham, Maryland.......I am responding to you almost 11 months later. I hope that you have since then obtained your college degree. It is a very precious commodity. Please cherish it. As a result of today's brutal ecomony, anyone with out a college degree is not welcomed in Corporate America. This is society's way of weeding out the competition. Usually employers only want 1-2 years of experience. Start applying for administrative positions which have A/R, A/P or payroll responsibilities. Then start applying for higher level positions. Also, consider becoming a "Certified" Bookkeeper. You could freelance or start your own business. But cheer up, you already possess a job seeker's greatest asset.....a college degree. Use it to your advantage!

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Jack Crespin

70 months ago

I don't get it. Maybe that is because of my age. You need a degree for a job, but accounting work is lumped with what used to be called a secretary's job? I am not belittling secretarial or administrative work, but it seems to require a different skill set than accounting. And, yes, administrative professionals are paid less than accountants or accounting clerks. Ahh.. I get it, they'll do an accounting grads job, but more cheaply!!!

Employers now want it both ways. Degreed people who will work for "warm body" pay. Vote Obama and maybe we can begin to put an end to the republican corporate plutocracy!

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Y Sterling in Marin County, California

69 months ago

Psssst! Want to know where 66% of the employment market is and where only 10% of the job searchers go to? Go to your local employment agency job search class and find out! This isn't a solicitation, but I sure wish I had taken the EDD classes sooner! The employment department has nice employment self-improvement classes for free and the jobs are out there! By the way, if you have the same resume' from 2 years ago, there's a change in its style. See if you can take a class and get an employment counselor to help, if needed. I hope this helps!

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twinkletoes in Hillsboro, Oregon

68 months ago

I have over 20 years of Accounting experience, but I lost out on a new job at the company that I was laid off from several months ago due to a software update that eliminated all the hand coding that was 90 percent of my job.

The new job was at the Corporate office, but was almost identical to many of the previous tasks I'd been doing.

When I asked why I wasn't selected, I was told the recruiter picked those with Accounting certificates and degrees, over me who had direct experience within the company and 20 years experience overall.

This is just a really bad economy. I, however, am finding that the employer is picking those with degrees and certificates over those with 20 years experience.

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Teresa_1 in Belleville, Wisconsin

65 months ago

I am writing in response to several of the comments that have been posted thus far. I am a 51 year old female. I am not as slim & trim as I once was. I have had 4 children (the youngest 2 are twins). I have been working since I was 12 years old. I have worked in stores, nursing homes, factories, distribution warehouses, and offices on and off throughout my teenage and adult years. I finally went back to college and in May 2008 obtained an Associates in Applied Science Degree in the Accounting field. I too have been having a difficult time finding a job. I'm sure the majority of it has to do with the current financial state of our country's economy. In addition, over the past 15 years, companies have been downsizing and are now looking for "multi-functional" workers to fill the voids left. What 3 people did before is what 1 person does now. That explains why Entry Level accounting is lumped in with "secretarial/receptionist" duties. I agree that Credit Report checks should not be allowed to be used because they don't truly state what type of worker the candidate is. Unfortunately in the wake of Enron and many of these big corporate embezzlements, added to the fact that past employers are forbidden to say what type of worker the candidate is. (They can only confirm that the person worked for them and for how long). This has caused potential employers to look elsewhere for information. Being careful of what you say is extremely important. It is more than just a safety measure on a personal level. It's also wise advice on a professional level because potential employers can and do monitor weblogs and in some cases, rule out potential candidates based on their web profiles and comments. What you put out on the intranet could cause you to not get the job you applied for with that company that you'd always wanted to work for. I'd heard about Craigs List before, but it was mostly in reference to purchasing some sort of tangible goods. That was good advice and I will do that

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Teresa_1 in Belleville, Wisconsin

65 months ago

I will put a "Work Wanted" add on Craigs List. For those who feel they've been passed over by candidates who have the degree, I feel for you. It's tough enough to land a job these days with no experience, but to lose out because you don't have the proper "document" that seems a bit harsher after you've invested a number of years with a company. That truly is "Company Disloyalty" but there isn't much you can do about it. Sometimes the companies are being scrutinized because they don't have X amount of workers from X amount of groups (known as Affirmative Action). Unfortunately, you are still in a small % group because from my experience (in my case) I and many of my college co-graduates have been passed over for entry level accounting / office positions in favor of those with years of experience. Someone suggested becoming a Professional Bookkeeper and doing freelance work. I checked into that but am unable to afford the additional cost right now. Like many, I have student loans to pay back, a daughter who is attending a University full time that I have Parent Plus loans to pay off for, in addition to trying to survive from week-to-week with mortgage, insurance, house bills, etc., all of which I can't pay for without a job. Like many of you have stated, I to am willing to start at the bottom and work up, but at 51, I don't have a lot of years to work up. I have been signed with 3 different hiring agencies. One agency sent me on a few "temporary" jobs, but none of them were permanent positions. Once you're sent to an employer as a "temp" you can apply to a position with the company you're working for, but there is so much red tape involved with hiring you on as their employee that they don't bother. If you have applied for a job with a company and the agency finds out that the company is looking for a temp employee, the agency can't send you to work for that company then. So there are ups and downs with temp agencies.

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Teresa_1 in Belleville, Wisconsin

65 months ago

I worked as a temp for a company that I just loved and learned (after being sent there as a temp) of their need for a full-time employee. I wanted the position very much but unfortunately didn't get it due to a couple of reasons. 1.)I had been sent as a temp and the red tape involved with buying my contract out from the agency would have taken too much time to complete. 2.)The company had already begun their interview process and since I was a temp, I could not be considered for the interviews. Temp agencies or "Hiring Agencies" are known as "Head-Hunters" and are hired by companies that choose not to use resources to recruit potential employees. Instead they use the agencies to screen the candidates out for them. From my own experience through the agencies I've used to find jobs for me, most of the companies that I was sent to were actually seeking someone with more experience than I had to offer. I received respectable grades in all of my accounting classes (A's, AB's, B's in almost all of them; 1 BC and 2 C's were my worst grades). Having the knowledge is good, but not having the experience hurts when companies are looking for 4+ years experience. I have noticed most of the postings in my area are looking for a Bachelor's Degree plus 3-4 years experience. To me, that would not be an entry level position, but I may be wrong. It would be entry level for the college student who just graduated with a Bachelor's Degree, I guess. Speaking of starting at the bottom, I applied for a Library Assistant position (now reading through the job description and required duties, I was qualified for the position). Although the qualifications required 2 yeas of higher education (which I have), this is a position that a high school kid could do. I wasn't even considered for an interview. Go figure on that one.

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Teresa_1 in Belleville, Wisconsin

65 months ago

Another thing I have noticed is a flaw in the required information on Job Applications. It is illegal to ask your age on a Job Application, however, most employers require that you have at least a minimum of a high school diploma. The Job Application asks where you attended High School, did you receive a Diploma or Certificate, and what year did you obtain it. Well, it doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that if someone graduated high school in 1976 that makes them approximately in the age rage of 49 to 52 years old. I think if you are over 25 years old you should not have to fill that section out. I pick 25 because due to graduate classes, most students are attending college from approximately age 18 through age 25. I believe that once you obtain a higher education degree, the High School Diploma should no longer make a difference and is irrelevant to the job position. I realize that my postings took a few times to get everything said, but hope that I have been able to give some positive attitude to our negative situations. Where do we all go from here? I have no idea but am keeping faith that the right position for all of us will come along soon. We all deserve a good paying job, regardless. I deserve one because I've invested my time and money into obtaining an academic education. Those who do not have the degree, but have the "field" or "O-J-T" experience deserve a job as well. They've also invested time into "learning" their trade. Take Care. Good Luck to everyone in their individual job searches.

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Brian in Dracut, Massachusetts

64 months ago

Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York said: So where do new accounting clerks come from? Can anybody tell me the path by which they became an accounting clerk? It seems to me right now that both recruiters for community colleges and goverment employees who assist job seekers are behaving unethically, by misrepresenting or concealing the entry route into this profession.

At my age, whem most people are contemplating what to do in retirement, its way to late to start over. And no, I will not become a Wal-Mart greeter or go to hair school.

I have been an Accounts Receivable Clerk for over a year but I started in the business administration field as a Billing Rep in a Call Center. I was there
for three years and then got a Data Entry Clerk position in the warehouse office at my current employer. After four months I was promoted to the Accounting Department and I couldn't be happier. I have an Associate's Degree, but in Human Services.

I think what helped me leave Customer Service and get into the Accounting field was that I had a few years of basic accounting/billing expirience and the Controller appreciated that I already knew the their computer database really well. I think you need a combination of either education and expirience, although some companies still prefer expirience like mine.

My company offers tuition reimbursement so I would like to go back to college and transfer my credits towards a Business Administration degree at some point in the near future.

Good luck, don't give up...it took seven years after I got my degree to find something in a completely different field that made me really happy.

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Terrified in Lake Forest, Illinois

56 months ago

I am a 52 year old woman who cannot find a job. I don't think it is because you are male. I worked with male accounting clerks in the early 1980s. It isn't a hard job for people who want to do it. Age discrimination in this country is literally killing many of us. I am looking for an entry-level position because I stayed home with my children. I have a bachelors degree in Accounting, but actually found work as a programmer/analyst in the 1980s. Going back to school to update skills in a slightly different area, web development and MS Office, etc., etc., did not help me either. It is sad. Why on earth would we not fit in with younger people. I go to school with them! That has had its' share of discrimination, also. I can't even seem to get a job doing inventory. The most basic jobs are not accessible because I am overqualified, or "that is a career track position (as if I don't want one)". Sheesh! I hope they all enjoy paying higher taxes for welfare for me and my three children. I wonder where we can go to live in the car? Why did I get the bachelor's degree and return to school later? I sure hope you have luck soon. I do not feel nearly as old as everyone seems to be telling me I am.

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Terrified in Lake Forest, Illinois

56 months ago

That is wrong. I worked with quite a few people without degrees, or degrees that were not in IT or Accounting, who were just good at what they did.

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Terri in Wisconsin in Lodi, Wisconsin

56 months ago

angryaccountant in Winston Salem, North Carolina said: I don't care what anyone says. women have the upperhand in interviews. I earned an accounting degree in 05. I am 51 now. I have yet to secure permanent employment. I have only had long term temp work. In a couple of places I worked, the whole damn accounting dept was 99% female...only a few males included myself...yet, I see this stupid "We support a diverse workforce" banner hanging over the wall near my desk.

I am a 51 year old female. Back in 2004, I checked and researched to see what the requirements were for an "entry level" position in the accounting field as an Accounting Clerk I. At that time, employers were requireing either A.) An Associates Degree in an Accounting Program through a reputable education institute -- OR -- 1 to 3 years of on-the-job experience. I didn't have the experience so I figured my best course would be to obtain the degree -- which I did in May 2008.

However, I have been searching for an entry level job in accounting (and am willing to do anything because I have over 20 years of data entry and office experience as well), but I have been unsuccessful with securing any job in the field.

I signed up with several different temp agencies, took their tests for accounting, bookkeeping, and clerical and passed them all -- but still nothing. And it is true --- Temp agencies need someone who is experienced enough that they can sit down and do the work without any training because that is what the clients of the temp agencies want.

I believe that that difficulty many of us are facing with finding that "dream" job has been caused by the recent events of the financial state that our country has found itself in.

As I said -- prior to 2008, the requirement was an Associates Degree in Accounting -- OR -- 1-3 years of experience. Now, employers are requiring a minimum of a Bachelors Degree in Accounting -- AND -- 2 to 4 years of experience in the field.

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gradpsalm in Stone Mountain, Georgia

55 months ago

i am 26 years old pursuing a master's degree because i did not experience the growth i desired at my former company. i've read your comments and my heart goes out to you. what is most disheartening is that the requirements for these jobs have increased, making it even more difficult to enter these fields; one spends the time going after the degree and it remains fruitless.

i have encountered a lot of the same issues - qualified but not 'highly qualified' (not enough experience), and being 'over qualified' for other positions. yes, it is a catch 22. however there are a few remedies that i recommend to you.

one is the website WorkForce50.com that aids with senior placement.

seniorliving.about.com/od/workandcareers/a/seniorjobbank.htm

another option is relocating. i've known people to pick up and move to other states with more job opportunities - staying with family and friends until things work out. one case was someone who moved to MD and landed a job paying upwards of $60,000 annually. understood, it may not be that easy, especially for those with children and an established life in their communities/etc. some might even say, 'why pick up and move when there is no guaranteed prospect?' a simple remedy would be to use a local address of someone you know in that state for your resume, and leave off 'present' when listing out your current job.

a final suggestion is to change careers. i know a lot of people that went towards social work and teaching and financial advising and consultant and etc. if your technical skills are not strong, then make your people skills work for you!

good luck!

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jen in Smyrna, Georgia

55 months ago

This is so true. In the past, you only had to have a few years of office experience in order to break into accounting. Many of the people who don't have accounting degrees got into accounting by doing AP or AR in an secretarial capacity.

As a result of hard work, they were able to move into legit accounting positions. However, now the people with the Accounting degrees are "dumbing down" their resumes just to get AP and AR jobs. You can't get an AP or AR job anymore because the Accountants with the degrees are fighting to get them.

At the beginning of the recession, you would see employers asking for experience or 2 year degrees for accounting assistant positions. Now, you are seeing employers asking for 4 year degrees for A/P and A/R positions...and only paying about $12/hr, if that much.

In addition, I think that getting any type of certification like a Professional Bookkeeper certification may be a waste at this point. These employers want full 4 year degrees from brick and mortar colleges. Yes, there are many employers that still frown upon online degrees. Employers have literally become so full of themselves.

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Accounting graduate in Newnan, Georgia

55 months ago

I earned a Bachelors in Accounting in May 2009. I physically dropped off my resume to about 100 CPA firms. This produced 1 interview. Several months later, I contacted the same 100 CPA firms via telephone. No interviews as a result. I have also applied for 100+ minimum wage positions (pizza delivery, labor, etc.) with not one interview. If you have a job and/or a steady source of income, be very thankful. I feel that we are witnessing the downfall of the American middle class.

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Terrified in Lake Forest, Illinois

55 months ago

I am so sorry to hear about the difficulty you are having. I had no idea it was so bad for new graduates. I will keep you in my thoughts.

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jen in Powder Springs, Georgia

55 months ago

Accounting graduate in Newnan, Georgia:

Which university did you attend? If you have an online degree, employers in the Atlanta area are very critical of those degrees for some reason.

Did you try some of the smaller companies within the Atlanta area? Cpa firms are harder to get into than regular companies, even when you have an accounting degree.

Do you already have any experience in the accounting field such as A/R, A/P or an Accounting Assistant? Due to the recession, many employers are requiring both a degree and more than two years of work experience.

Are you sure that your resume is up to par? When there are so many applicants applying for a few jobs, I have seen interviewers rule out applicants for things as simple as having the wrong texture or color of resume paper. Or, the wrong font.

Have you interviewed with Chase Accounting, Robert Half , Accountants One or any of the other accounting recruiting firms in the Atlanta area?

I am not saying that you are guilty of doing any of the above things. I am just brainstorming because I HATE when someone has a degree and still can't get a job. That just really ruffles my feathers to no end.

I am really very sorry for your current situation. I wish you tons of luck in the future. Keep plugging away.

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Natalie in New Westminster, British Columbia

54 months ago

Jack Crespin in Schenectady, New York said: I have been attempting to enter the accounting profession, at the clerical level for several years now. I have an Accounting Certificate (46 credits, GPA 4.0). This represents a year or more of full time college level attendance, but is just shy of an Associates degree. I have actually completed all the accounting requirements for that degree and just lack 15 or so elective credits. I already have two years clerical experience, although not in an accounting related area, and four seasons tax preparation experience.

I have been told to stay away from the staffing agencies as they only want people who can instantly sit down and begin work without any training. That is not true entry level.
Meanwhile, both the New York State and the Federal Departments of Labor define accounting clerk/accounts payable/ accounts receivable clerk as requiring ONLY moderate on the job training. This situation frustrates me no end. I have prepared at considerable expense for a profession without a definable entry point according to the local staffing agencies, including Robert Half, which I have contacted.

I have discussed this with a career counselor at my alma mater and she informs me that I must start at a lower level and “work my way into” accounting, perhaps starting as an administrative assistant. And, yes, there seems to be a trend to include accounting clerk type work with administrative duties.

Now here’s the Catch 22, I am 60 years old, male, and on a fixed and limited pension. There seems to me, to be age a gender related barriers erected towards entry into the accounting profession.

Has anybody had any similar experiences?

I wish I would not say it but it was waste of time and money which you spent getting that useless degree. Colleges are making money or salary for themself ( bloated administration) and the government doesn't care about it.

Good luck to you.

P.S. You are not alone

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Unemployed in Newnan, Georgia

54 months ago

jen in Powder Springs, Georgia said: Accounting graduate in Newnan, Georgia:

Which university did you attend? If you have an online degree, employers in the Atlanta area are very critical of those degrees for some reason.

Did you try some of the smaller companies within the Atlanta area? Cpa firms are harder to get into than regular companies, even when you have an accounting degree.

Do you already have any experience in the accounting field such as A/R, A/P or an Accounting Assistant? Due to the recession, many employers are requiring both a degree and more than two years of work experience.

Are you sure that your resume is up to par? When there are so many applicants applying for a few jobs, I have seen interviewers rule out applicants for things as simple as having the wrong texture or color of resume paper. Or, the wrong font.

Have you interviewed with Chase Accounting, Robert Half , Accountants One or any of the other accounting recruiting firms in the Atlanta area?

I am not saying that you are guilty of doing any of the above things. I am just brainstorming because I HATE when someone has a degree and still can't get a job. That just really ruffles my feathers to no end.

I am really very sorry for your current situation. I wish you tons of luck in the future. Keep plugging away.

Thanks for the advice. "Been there, done that". ALL of the staffing firms in ATL who specialize in accounting told me that they recieve 0-1 requests for entry-level accountants in their entire career. Graduated from a large university, cold-called small, medium, and large sized firms. Based on my conversation with some of the CPAs that I cold-called, even the 2 year experience requirement won't gain any advantage in this economic climate.

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Unemployed in Newnan, Georgia

54 months ago

jen in Powder Springs, Georgia said: Accounting graduate in Newnan, Georgia:

Which university did you attend? If you have an online degree, employers in the Atlanta area are very critical of those degrees for some reason.

Did you try some of the smaller companies within the Atlanta area? Cpa firms are harder to get into than regular companies, even when you have an accounting degree.

Do you already have any experience in the accounting field such as A/R, A/P or an Accounting Assistant? Due to the recession, many employers are requiring both a degree and more than two years of work experience.

Are you sure that your resume is up to par? When there are so many applicants applying for a few jobs, I have seen interviewers rule out applicants for things as simple as having the wrong texture or color of resume paper. Or, the wrong font.

Have you interviewed with Chase Accounting, Robert Half , Accountants One or any of the other accounting recruiting firms in the Atlanta area?

I am not saying that you are guilty of doing any of the above things. I am just brainstorming because I HATE when someone has a degree and still can't get a job. That just really ruffles my feathers to no end.

I am really very sorry for your current situation. I wish you tons of luck in the future. Keep plugging away.

Thanks for the advice. "Been there, done that". ALL of the staffing firms in ATL who specialize in accounting told me that they have recieved only 0-1 requests for entry-level accountants in their entire career. Graduated from a large university, cold-called small, medium, and large sized firms. Based on my conversation with some of the CPAs that I cold-called, even the 2 year experience requirement won't gain any advantage in this economic climate.

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jen in Marietta, Georgia

54 months ago

I am so sorry to hear that. I was hoping that with your degree you would have had better luck. You did everything right. It's not your fault.

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princessoGod43 in Clinton Township, Michigan

53 months ago

Everyone I am from Michigan and I was blessed to hear of a school in maryland only....that was the problem for me for a while but i am going to go there in towson maryland and attend this school ...i went to the orientation and it is a awsome school...it is for cpa's as well as beginners they teach you all the now software and you have intense hands on training...it is not a college but a technical school ...it is acredited and is recommended by the board of education of maryland for anyone who wants to seriously enter the field of bookkeeping and accounting...so take a chance go see about this school ...it is to be paid back in one two or three years 890 dollars that is it...i was at walsh in michigan and i am going here for the six weeks of training and then go back to college for my degree....so many employers ask for training, or experience....this may seem like a fluk to you but believe me i thought the same until i called and then took the trip from michigan to maryland to find out about it...you can do it too...there were many recruites from outside looking for this schools students...they accept all ages..God Bless just wanted to be helpful!

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linda_1 in Aurora

53 months ago

I don't have a degree in Accounting but have many years experience in accounts payable and still cannot find a job. It's not just the recession, employers now want industry experience and you need to know the software they use. My son has an accounting degree but no experience and he can't find even temp work

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Teresa_1 in Belleville, Wisconsin in Oregon, Wisconsin

53 months ago

linda_1 in Aurora said: I don't have a degree in Accounting but have many years experience in accounts payable and still cannot find a job. It's not just the recession, employers now want industry experience and you need to know the software they use. My son has an accounting degree but no experience and he can't find even temp work

I know what you mean. I am in the same predicament. I have the education but not the experience and am not able to get a job even at the bottom. I have a "Technical Degree" known as an Associates in Applied Science Degree for Accounting. I keep looking, but am beginning to become discouraged. I have been unemployed and searching for a position since May 2008. Seems the market in the "Greater Madison Metropolitan Area" is pretty well saturated right now. Securing a position with any company (and in any field -- Admin, Industrial, Manufacturing, etc.) are all becoming more and more difficult to accomplish.

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Teresa_1 in Belleville, Wisconsin

53 months ago

Teresa_1 in Belleville, Wisconsin in Oregon, Wisconsin said: I know what you mean. I am in the same predicament. I have the education but not the experience and am not able to get a job even at the bottom. I have a "Technical Degree" known as an Associates in Applied Science Degree for Accounting. I keep looking, but am beginning to become discouraged. I have been unemployed and searching for a position since May 2008. Seems the market in the "Greater Madison Metropolitan Area" is pretty well saturated right now. Securing a position with any company (and in any field -- Admin, Industrial, Manufacturing, etc.) are all becoming more and more difficult to accomplish.

I don't live in Oregon though. Not sure why that didn't change.

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