The importance of work-based placements for your accountancy career
Once you have finished all of your training and are ready to head into the world of work, there is no better way than taking part in work-based placements to get your accountancy career off to a good start.
As the job market continues to get tougher, as a trainee you need to be ready to illustrate to potential employers that you are enthusiastic about wanting a career in accountancy and that this has led you in the direction of taking part in practical work experience.
Strengthen your CV
As far as your CV is concerned, showing work experience on it will stand you in good stead with recruiters who are looking for a suitable candidate to fill a slot. When the competition is tough and the choice is between someone with work experience or without, you will find yourself ahead of the rest. Taking part in a work-based placement will also provide you with plenty of invaluable experience when it comes to putting the skills that you have learned in the classroom into practice in the real world.
Excel at interview
By equipping yourself with an all-round set of skills you will find yourself far more commercially valuable, acquiring proficiency in such things as communication, team-based talents and flexibility. Your academic record may be superb but by balancing it alongside soft skills you will be more able to find roles in areas that are frequently in high demand. You will also find yourself far more confident when it comes to interview as you will have real-world knowledge of the job and will come across more personable and communicative. Employers will be impressed if you are able to prove to them that you have knowledge and skill when it comes to using modern accounting software such as Xero, as well as the more traditional packages as Sage and QuickBooks. The more versatile you are, the higher your chances of success when it comes to securing a role; it is no good being an expert at number crunching if you are not going to bring added value to any business.
With industry experience differentiating you from the pack, securing any kind of work-based experience with an accountancy practice or finance department will stand you in good stead. From your point of view, you will also get a feel for the job and find out before you commit which area of accounting you are most at home with.
Where to look
When seeking out work experience, put out lots of feelers in different directions; network with other professionals, look at company websites, attend recruitment fairs and don’t be shy about making contact with suitable companies in your area. Most of them will really appreciate being contacted by someone who is keen and shows themselves to be proactive. Rather than sending a blanket email, which can be a little impersonal, pick up the phone and make a call or even knock on the door and show your face. If the placement is unpaid, most employers will be only too happy to consider providing you with a slot in their office.
And don’t be too fussy; any work experience is better than none so if it means starting at the bottom, go for it. Also keep in mind that approximately 70% of employers who take on students for work experience are likely to take them on board as a permanent member of staff and 60% of them say that they provide work experience placements in the hope of finding a great employee.
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch today, access further information and get yourself headed in the right direction towards a great career in accounting. Falcon are the team to have by your side when building a successful accounting career.