So many employers want to see some form of work experience on your CV when you’re applying for jobs. Whilst a Saturday job in the local supermarket certainly helps develop skills for dealing with difficult customers, experience in the industry you’re considering can carry a lot more weight.
In fact, many accountants start their professional lives with a stint of work experience in some capacity, but it’s not all about standing out to potential employers. Work experience is also a great way to:
Get a feel for the industry in general.
Understand what an accounting role requires from you, and the responsibilities it involves
Expand your contacts and start building up your network in the field.
Demonstrate interest and skills to potential employers.
Start building up your CV and practical experience.
But how exactly do you go about sourcing work experience opportunities in the accounting sector? There are several ways to go about it, whether with an internship, placement, or shadowing.
Reach out to firms you’d like to work for
Make a list of some accounting firms you aspire to work for, and get in touch with them directly. You can either send an email to the main address on their website, or reach out to the relevant person on LinkedIn if you know who they are. Just remember not to bombard them or overstep when communicating with a professional via personal social media platforms.
Even if there isn’t an immediate opportunity, by contacting the company you’re making yourself known, highlighting your interest, and showing initiative. You never know, it might just put you ahead of the rest when it does come to fulfilling vacancies.
See what is being advertised on LinkedIn
Social media isn’t just a great place to share your favourite memories and brunch photos. It’s also a valuable recruitment resource – including work experience opportunities.
When hunting down internships or placements in the accounting sector, LinkedIn is an excellent place to start. Use the handy search function to see what’s available, either as job listing or on the company’s own LinkedIn page.
Make sure you’ve polished your CV and have your cover letter ready for personalisation so you can jump on any opportunities that do call out to you.
Attend taster events organised by accountancy firms
Some of the larger accountancy firms will organise taster events or insight sessions for newcomers to get a taste of the industry. These are like tailor-made networking opportunities, and the perfect chance to get your face in front of the right people by introducing yourself to potential employers.
Taking part in events, sessions, and workshops like these is a great way to not only get your foot in the door but also to stay ahead of the competition. When the firms come to interview work experience candidates, you’ll likely be at a competitive advantage as they’ve already been able to vet you prior to the process.
Right, now all that’s left for you to do is go out there and show the accounting world what you’re made of. Best of luck!
Article by The Accountancy Partnership