Survey Shows Work Experience in College Critical to Future Job Prospects
in Accounting and Finance
TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - College students take note: Pursuing
relevant work experience now is pivotal to landing a job later,
according to a new survey from Accountemps. Eighty-eight per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said it is important for
students to gain work experience in the field during their college
years if they are hoping to compete for entry-level accounting and
finance positions upon graduation.
The Canadian survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and
largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance
and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent
research firm and is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a
stratified random sample of Canadian companies.
CFOs were asked, "How important is it for entry-level accounting and finance professionals
to have gained work experience in the field while in college?" Their responses:
Not at all important
"Accounting and finance professionals who are skilled -- and experienced
-- are in high demand," said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian district
president of Accountemps. "Job seekers looking to land their first job
can't rely solely on good grades, as professional work experience has
become increasingly important for entry-level applicants in a
competitive hiring environment."
Accountemps offers six tips to college students on gaining industry
experience -- and making the most of those opportunities:
Seek internships. In addition to connecting with your college's career centre, research
employers of interest, and tap mentors and professors for internship
leads. Scour the big-name job boards, but also check niche career
websites geared specifically toward accounting professionals or
Think beyond the dollar signs. While paid internships are no doubt appealing, don't let money drive
your search. Look for opportunities that will provide maximum exposure
to a range of projects, experiences and connections.
Be a volunteer. Many organizations -- from nonprofits to industry associations -- need
helping hands. Consider, for example, reaching out to community
programs in your area that offer free income tax assistance to the
needy or elderly. Seek volunteer opportunities that will give you a
chance to strengthen skills most likely to boost your marketability.
Explore all your options. Temporary assignments enable you to gain real-world experience, get your foot in the door and
demonstrate your potential. Some interim accounting and finance
assignments lead to full-time job offers. Connect with a staffing firm
in your area to learn more.
Take opportunities seriously. Don't view yourself as "just an intern," "volunteer" or "temp." Treat
each opportunity like a real job by adopting the mindset of a full-time
employee. Closely observe how staff members interact and adapt your
work style and behavior accordingly.
Stay in touch. After an internship or temporary assignment wraps up, be sure to write
thank-you notes to anyone who helped or mentored you. Then, keep in
close contact for the remainder of your schooling to better your odds
of securing job leads, recommendations or even an employment offer.
Accountemps is the world's first and largest specialized staffing
service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping
professionals. The company has more than 345 offices worldwide and
offers online job search services at accountemps.com. Follow Robert Half on Twitter at twitter.com/RobertHalf_CAN, and gain insights on the latest financial hiring and salary trends at www.roberthalf.ca/salarycentre.
Image with caption: "Accountemps survey shows work experience in college is critical to future job prospects in accounting and finance. (CNW Group/Accountemps)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140219_C5246_PHOTO_EN_36838.jpg
For further information:
Contact: Naz Araghian
416.350.2330 ext. 62132