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How to Sell Yourself as a Senior Accountant in 2014

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If you’re about to step onto the job market in search of a senior level accounting position, there are a few things you may as well know before you jump into the search with both feet. If you haven’t been on the market for a while, get ready for a few surprises; in 2014, the job search comes with some additional challenges that weren’t part of the equation a decade ago.

And while you’re at it, get ready for some intense competition. Accounting hiring statistics have recovered from the slowdown of the recent recession, but as opportunities returned to the landscape, so did countless candidates who chose this profession for its stability and security in uncertain times. Prepare to go head to head with your fellow applicants in terms of both technical and social skill sets. Here are a few specific tips that can help you land the position you’re looking for.

1. Don’t stop moving.

You may be tempted to pour your heart and soul into each application you submit for each open position, and after all this investment, you may be tempted to wait by the phone for a response from each employer. But don’t do this. Apply, submit your bid, and move on to the next one.

2. Get away from the computer.

Post your profile on Linkedin and let your close professional contacts know you’re searching for work via social media. But once you’ve done this, get up and out the door. Effective networking takes place in real life, not behind the screen. This is especially true for job seekers at the mid-career and senior level.

3. Emphasize leadership, not just technical skills.

Use your resume and cover letter to discuss the accounts and clients you’ve handled and your areas of specific tax preparation or accounts management expertise. But keep the spotlight focused on your management background and leadership skill. At your level, technical expertise may be a given, but you’ll set yourself apart if you can display real team leadership and real evidence that you’ve driven organizational change.

4. Lean heavily on your connections.

At the senior level, there are plenty of accounting job posts published on globally accessible internet job boards. But you’ll have far better odds of landing the kind of job you want if you reach out specifically to previous clients and close personal industry contacts. Your next position will likely come through people who know you, can trust you, and have worked with you in the past.

For more on how to set yourself apart at the senior level, contact the financial staffing and career management experts at Cordia.