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Advice for New Grads with No Prior Experience

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By Frank J. Conde, MBA

Lead Senior Partner, GSP International ­ Search Firm specializing in the accounting and finance professions.

Congratulations! As a new accounting graduate, you’ve just spent the last four plus years of your life studying, enduring and persevering to accomplish something that at times seemed unattainable. It’s now time to make the transition from the academic world to the real world. You’re now faced with your next daunting task ­ trying to find a job with little or no experience. How does one go about it and where does one start? I’ve compiled a few simple steps that will help the new grad in getting their profile in the hands of the right people.

1. Make sure your resume is in shape.
Your resume is by far your most critical marketing tool. Make sure that it is clearly and concisely written, and that it reflects the following:
  • Contact Information: Name, address, phone number and e-mail address
  • Objective: What position are you seeking
  • Education: School name, year and month of graduation, degree earned and GPA (if 3.0 or greater)
  • Computer Skills
  • Languages: Foreign language proficiency (if any)
  • Co-op/Internship: Company name, title, dates of employment, list your duties using the bullet format. Start each bullet with a verb (Prepares, Develops, Maintains)

2. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!! Expose your skills and qualities as much as possible.

Personal networking will account for a great deal of your job search success.
Utilize the following sources to learn about job openings:

  • Personal Contacts: Family, friends and business acquaintances.
  • Answer Classified Ads: Local newspapers, accounting journals and trade magazines.
  • Internet Job Search: There are several websites geared specifically for job searching. Here are a few examples:

www.monster.com
www.monstertrak.com
www.jobdirect.com
www.hotjobs.com
www.collegegrad.com

  • College Career Centers: These offices help their students and alumni find jobs. They are free of charge ­ take full advantage of them.
  • Professional Recruiting Firms: Utilize a quality firm that specializes in the accounting and finance professions. These firms will help you with resume preparation, provide you with interview tips, save you valuable time and put you in touch with their quality client companies for an interview.
  • Attend Job Fairs: These events are specifically designed to gather numerous hiring companies under one roof. They are typically run by universities or are advertised in the classified section of your local newspaper.

The more of the sources above that you use in looking for a new job, the more likely it is that you’ll find one. Best of luck and remember…finding your first professional position can frequently be the most difficult of all.