Starting a job search?
How Important Is Preparation?
Some experts say searching for your next job is a full time job in itself. That's a slight exaggeration, but not far off the mark. Most things in life worth doing require time and effort. If you want to do this right, you have to commit. If you half-ass your job search, one of three things happens:
- You don't find a new job (say hello to another busy season!)
- You take what you can get - You don't have options, so you accept a bottom of the barrel job that doesn't match your skills, goals, or needs (low salary, long commute, horrible boss)
- You might get lucky and stumble into your dream job. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut in a broken clock twice a day (or something like that). But do you really want to leave one of the most important decisions in your career up to chance?
Ready to commit to doing this right? Great, here's what you need to do first.
Take Ownership of Your Career
Congratulations, you've survived this long following the career plan someone else laid out for you. You've kept at it, all the way from Accounting 101, to your internship, to full time at the Big 4. And the most difficult career decision you've faced was "Audit or Tax."
Your career path inside the Big 4 is all laid out for you. It's a logical progression through the ranks based on a mix of tenure and performance. It's easy because it's familiar and you know what comes next each step of the way. That all changes the minute you decide to leave and create your own career path.
Suddenly, you have almost infinite options. Small company or Fortune 50? Jump to corporate accounting or try and move to FP&A? Move to a local public accounting firm, or start your own? It's all up to you now. And that's equal parts terrifying and wonderful.
There's one thing you need to understand above all else: From now on, you're in control of your own career. Bob the CPA
You get to decide what jobs to take, what city to live in, and the type of work that makes you happy and fulfilled. The training wheels are off. It's going to take effort to learn to ride on your own. You'll make some mistakes along the way. And maybe fall down a time or two. But in the end, if you actively take control of your destiny, you'll not only be more successful, but happier too.
Being in control starts with being prepared. Now, let's take a look at a few quick & simple ways you can start getting ready to find a better job.
Accounting Resume Basics
The best candidate doesn’t always get the job. Sorry.
As accountants we hate to admit how important marketing is. We want to believe that doing a great job is all that matters. But if you can’t sell yourself, being the best doesn’t matter. Your resume is the most powerful way to sell yourself in a job search. Use it to present the best version of yourself.
Everything in your resume should be 100% true. But that doesn’t mean you have to include everything you’ve ever done. Your first instinct is to cram as much info as you can into your resume. Do this and you’ll overwhelm hiring managers and make it hard to read/understand the important stuff.
The goal of your resume: To get them to invite you for an interview.Bob the CPA
Here’s a few things you need to get right:
- Your resume must be easy to quickly read and understand
- Showcase your unique skills & accomplishments
- Keep it to one page
Want some help getting started? My Accounting Resume Builder Course inside Abacus U walks you through every step of creating the perfect accounting resume.
You can even download my personal resume template. It's a tried and tested resume format that makes writing your resume fast and simple. Click here to learn more >>
LinkedIn Profile Basics
Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is usually the top result when hiring managers Google your name. So it's worth spending a few minutes to make your profile look good.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that's helped me find multiple jobs throughout my career. A fully optimized profile is a valuable asset that you'll use for years to come. So if you have the time, and want to go all out, definitely check out my LinkedIn System for Accountants course inside Abacus U.
If you're just looking to clean up your profile so it looks decent for this job search, here's a few simple tips that you can start using today:
- Fix your profile photo. It's the first thing people look at, and you want to send the right message. Dress in at least business casual, comb your hair, and have a friend take a few shots with your iPhone. Avoid shots with distracting backgrounds or where you can see half of your friend being cropped out. And don't forget to smile!
- Add your Big 4 job in your Work Experience section. Job title and dates are the bare minimum. And why not copy your resume into the description while you're at it?
Just doing those two things won't turn your profile into a recruiter magnet, but they'll make your profile good enough that it won't hurt you when you're applying to jobs. It's easy and it only takes a few minutes.
Part 2: Deciding What You Want (Coming Soon)