The task of getting an accounting job without experience is a challenging task that newly graduated people are not ready for. The job market is among the most intense markets you will ever see.
You are not alone, you are competing with thousands of graduates that have been in the market before you and candidates with years of experience.
To make matters worse, employers have create higher standards as to the type of accountant they wish to hire and that makes it difficult for even the best candidates.
But employers cannot be blamed for doing that. In these periods of economic difficulties, the wisest thing business owners can do is to employ a candidate with experience and can be able to prove that they can properly manage their funds. But notwithstanding, you can still gain employment.
Also Read: How Much Do Entry Level Accountants Make?
What Is Accounting Experience?
The accounting industry has a wide range of jobs and specializations. Some accountants specialize in taxes, others keep their focus on bookkeeping and financial analysis. Some may have a specialty in accounts payable or accounts receivable, payroll.
Some may specialize in auditing and forensic accounting or government and nonprofit. This will help to analyze your career goals before you look for experience.
Irrespective of specialization, though, there are a few qualities which every accounting positions have in common. It is important that you are attentive to details and orderly.
Your clients often may not or my be looking to you to give solutions to issues. It is necessary to have a good math and analytical skills to detect issues in client records and give solutions. Communication skills are also necessary in accountancy to give feedback to clients on the next steps.
There are a few general software skills that would assist you, with free or low-cost training available. For example, you may have to learn QuickBooks or Sage 50 Accounting software.
Having demonstrable competence with these programs, as well as a firm basis with Excel and Outlook, can increase your chances of getting hired. Know the various entry-level accountant job description to know what to expect.
How do I get an entry-level accounting job with no work experience?
To get an entry-level accounting job with no experience, you have to work twice as hard as accountants with experience. Oftentimes, we see vacancies for accountant jobs on daily newspapers and websites, but it requires 2-6 years experience and we often rule out ourselves.
Here are a few tips that can help you meet your goals of getting a job as an accountant without experience.
1. Create your own network
In the professional word, a network is one of your greatest assets. As an accountant without experience, it will be difficult to secure a job without your network. There is no rule on when to start networking, hence, you must start creating your network even as an undergraduate.
You need someone to speak on your behalf in that office, someone you can refer to, someone to tell you about vacancies in their offices. Nowadays, companies hire people who are affiliated to one of their staff, so they can have some to hold responsible when things go wrong.
Not that you won't secure a job without networking, you will, but it would be easier if you have people in your network.
2. People hire people.
Learn to market yourself to your network long before going into the job market. Invest your time into building a solid online and offline network. You just have to show off your personality and skills. This point can't be emphasized enough.
3. Secure the right qualification
If you have an accountancy degree with no experience, why not enroll for a professional qualification courses if you can afford it?
There are several qualifications out there that are highly regarded by companies. These qualifications can help you take the first step you need in your career. ACCA, ICAN and CIMA are accountancy professional qualifications that will give you an edge over other candidates, even those with years of experience.
4. Get knowledge on accounting principles and softwares
Update your knowledge on the latest accounting principles, practices and accounting software packages. Some vacancy adverts highlight skills, principles and in most cases, accounting softwares that the company uses for their transactions. You don’t need industrial experience to use them. Get enough training from online courses or available resources.
5. Apply anyways
Some companies may need a candidate with 1–3 years, 2–3 years of experience. I know that you don't fit into that group, just give it a try to apply for the job. You might just be lucky.
Apply for job vacancy adverts requiring this level of experience. Inasmuch as the position is not “Senior”, then it might be entry-level. You will hardly see a job advert requesting for recent graduated candidates.
Therefore, it is advisable to apply for jobs with low entry requirements. Oftentimes, companies hiring candidates with little or no experience will train the candidates in their way of record-keeping.
Don’t rule out yourself from getting the job, that's the duty of the HR manager, just apply and hope you are invited for interview. The worst thing that could happen after you have applied for the job is to be rejected and....., you have absolutely nothing to lose.
6. Apply for a different job
There are jobs that need your skills, which is the skill of an accountancy graduate. For instance, a bank teller position. It is important to include these skills in your résumé before applying for a job.
Apply for jobs as a bookkeeper, accounts receivable and payable clerk or even an accountant assistant. As you gain experience from one job, you can translate that experience into another position until you land a perfect accounting job.
7. Interview skills
All points I have listed above will be worthless if you don't have a good interview skills. If you get lucky enough to secure an interview, don’t let your unpreparedness be the reason you lost the job.
Before you go to the interview, plan as long as possible. You can get valuable resources from the internet on interview skills, how to dress to an interview, and so on. Keep refining your answers and techniques. You can always do more to improve your chances of getting employed.
Volunteering is another way you can secure the job you so much want. Find charity organizations, small businesses that need proper record books and volunteer to work for them for free for a few hours in a week.
This will give you the necessary experience to land bigger jobs. You can start doing this while you are still an undergraduate, but if you are a graduate and have someone who can pay some of your bills, you can still take up volunteering jobs.
Also Read: How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Accountant?
What types of accounting jobs can I get with no experience?
Some examples of entry-level accounting jobs that an accounting degree holder can do without experience include accounting clerk, tax clerk, bookkeeping assistant and many more. These positions come with lower salary than jobs openings for candidates with some years of experience. You can see more five great entry-level accountant jobs
The Competition is strong but you can decide to rise to the occasion. Improve your résumé and cover letters, learn skills like how to use accounting software and Excel sheet to increase your chances of getting a job.
Contact several recruiting agencies and don’t be afraid to accept temporary employment. There might be a company willing to give you a chance and train you even though you don’t the required experience to be employed.
Do you have tips on how to get job in accounting with no experience to share? You can leave a comment and share your thoughts and experiences with readers who need it.