Accounting Job Search Tips

The problem with accounting job searches is that the entire profession of accountancy gets mixed in the search results. There are very large numbers of these jobs on the major job boards, and it's essential to refine your search as much as possible.

Internet Job Searches

Accountancy job ads are plentiful, too much so for easy searching online. The difficulties are finding not only the right ads but, in some cases, sufficiently informative ads to give a good idea of the position.

Some ads are actually confusing, including basic administrative tasks, like bank reconciliation, with duties that are strictly for accountants, like auditing, SEC reporting and tax compliance.

The simplest approach to finding accountancy jobs online is to work by very straightforward criteria for your searches. In some cases, you can exclude terms from your search, which cuts down the numbers of unwanted ads considerably. 

Use specific terms:

  • Operational accountancy terms, like "financial analysis" and "loan servicing," can help find your specialties and preferred types of work.
  • Qualifications can be used as search criteria.
  • Company names often provide good job leads.
  • Locations automatically reduce search results.
  • The search term "401k" is useful if you're looking for work in that area.

Search conditions:

  • Salary ranges can usefully form part of search conditions.
  • Remember to check part-time and project jobs on search criteria. These can be excellent jobs, leading to more work.
  • Dates are useful for avoiding ads that could be weeks old. Many sites have ads that show only the month of posting, sometimes with no other way of dating them.

Do not use:

  • Broad terms like "tax accountant" and "cost accountant," which can produce literally pages of results.
  • Simple accountancy terms, like "ledger" or "accounts payable," which will find junior and senior jobs in large numbers.

Other Types of Job Searches

Cold Canvassing

Major accountancy firms are the only real option for accountants to cold canvass for work.  Unlike other professions, accountancy isn't usually an area for cold canvassing in the general employment market. Accountancy jobs within most organizations are usually filled quickly.

However, the major firms can be particularly useful contacts, especially for senior accountants. If you're an expert in their area of accountancy with a good career track in their lines of major services, it's worth investigating possible openings.

(Note: If you're at entry level, they also have excellent trainee-ships and internships that should not be missed. These programs are good material for getting early career jobs.)

Networking

The stock in trade of accountancy is business and professional contacts, and for job searching, these networks can be absolutely invaluable. Networking can be like having ten people doing your job search for you. They will be aware of what are suitable jobs for you and, in some cases, will be able to get you into direct contact with employers.

Recruiters

Because accountancy is a major employer, many recruiters handle accountant positions and will be able to find work for you. The real issues are job quality and the efficiency of the recruiters. Some will have large numbers of people on their books. It's advisable to seek advice from your professional colleagues about which are the best, most reliable recruiters.