Every time I meet an accounting student, I ask them why they picked accounting as their major/specialist. The answer is usually one of two: (1) I liked accounting in high school and want to pursue it further, or (2) the job market is pretty secure.
More than often, I hear the latter.
For those of you who have your sights set on working in the accounting field after you graduate, check out the following list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to the recruitment process.
1. Networking – Attend as many networking events as you can and interact with actual accountants. Learn about what the job market is looking for (things you can improve on), what the job is like in reality (learning about accounting and in practice are very different; you won’t know if you fit until you’ve tried it.)
2. Be involved – Remember that when you graduate, there will be another one thousand students with the same degree (and technical skills) graduating with you. So how do you differentiate yourself from others? Being involved is one way of acquiring soft skills which are crucial in the work environment.
3. Resume – Tailor your resume to the job that you’re applying to. Avoid applying to different jobs with the same resume. Make sure to update it with what the recruiter is looking for. There are several tools available at UTM to help you with resume critiquing and mock interviews:
a. Professional Development & Learning Centre
b. Career Centre
c. Accounting firm campus ambassadors
4. Interview – Never go into an interview unprepared. A recruiter can easily differentiate between someone who is prepared and someone who is not. Here are some ways you can practice before the real thing:
a. Have a mock interview with a friend/staff
b. Research the firm/interviewer
c. Prepare meaningful questions for the interview
Most students at UTM first attempt to have an internship/summer job at a firm and end up getting hired. Although no one has the same path of getting recruited, it is important to have the qualities above.