The bottom

I've been in accountancy two years and about to embark on level four of AAT. For several reasons I want to find a job closer to home but don't know the best way to get myself out there.

I suppose I'm asking what is the least offensive way to ask for a job? Very few jobs are posted on companies website, agencies seem like too much hassle for small practices, accountants are likely to be guarded by administrators who only let a few people speak to them and sending CVs out to all the practices around here seems inpersonal.

Does anyone have any advice or comments? Perhaps this does sound a bit whingy but I'd like to get a fresh perspective on job hunting at the bottom end of accountancy...

Comments
John Stokdyk's picture

Welcome back to the marketplace

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

The first piece of advice I'd suggest is keep your confidence levels up. You should have valuable skills to offer and in spite of the difficult circumstances, you'd be surprised how often firms come up against skills shortages. The important thing is to target the ones where you'd like to work, and make sure they're aware of your availability if something comes up.

Coach Carol has been alerted about your post and I'm looking forward to seeing what advice she comes up with.

In the mean time, here are a few useful pointers I picked up from our article, 14 habits of successful job hunters:

1. Network among your own contacts for company and industry information, job leads and additional contact names. Your initial list of contacts should include friends, former colleagues and bosses, your company’s auditors and other business contacts such as bankers, lawyers, etc.

2. Write to companies that are not currently recruiting, but don’t write to the company chairman or the personnel department – instead write to the person who is likely to be your direct line boss if you were to join the organisation. Always write to a named individual and send a letter marked ‘personal’ as opposed to ‘private and confidential’. The content of the letter should emphasise the benefits and relevance of your experience to the potential employer and not your needs or requirements. Follow up every letter by telephone.

3. Focus your job search: Don’t just write to any company, investigate those which are experiencing growth, or where your experience will be of particular relevance...

There are a lot more articles like this if you follow the job hunting link. Good luck!

theaccountantscoach's picture

Some more ideas

theaccountantscoach | | Permalink

I would echo all the points in John's post and here are a few more things to think about.

  • Get really clear on what you want and what you can offer an employer.  Any old job closer to home is not enough.  Do a personal swot and figure out your core experience, strengths and interests.  You can then more effectively target your job search and better articulate your personal USP (unique selling point).
  • Used well, social and professional networking can be very effective.  Consider facebook, linkedin and talent.me for starters. Don't just build up your network in volume (although this is important). Make sure you take an active role - join groups, enter discussions, raise questions - get yourself out there. 
  • Don't write off the agency route - you may be surprised at the opportunities in your local area
  • And finally, I've recently come across the rather novel idea of making a personal flyer, selling yourself to prospective employers.  You could hand deliver, post or email and it certainly would be a way for you to stand out from the crowd.  Not for the faint-heated this one - if you do this, make sure you use a marketing-perspective and think of your attributes from an employer's perspective ie describe your features in a way that would benefit the employer (aka 'What's in it for me')

Good luck - and do keep us posted on how you get on!

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