You’ve surpassed several key milestones in your accounting career: You graduated from school, landed your first job, earned your masters, and reached senior status. You’re now back on the market again, and this time you’re searching for a position that will allow you to make the most of your hard-earned skills and experience.
In order to impress employers at the junior level, your task was fairly straightforward: you just had to prove that you were a skilled accountant and a hard worker and the job was yours. But at this point in your career, you’ll have to make a more complex case in order to stand out and convince employers to trust you with a higher level of responsibility. And to do this, you’ll have to make the following two points very clear. Use concrete examples to prove your readiness, and after you’ve made these arguments in your resume and cover letter, prepare to discuss them again in your interview.
You Know How to Manage and Lead
Accounting skill sets and management skill sets are not the same. In other words, the best accountant on the team is not necessarily the most effective leader. But in this field—as in almost every other professional occupation, to some degree—employees can only rise so far up the ladder before they need to start taking responsibility for the contributions of other people.
If you’ve reached this point and you’re ready to accept the challenges of leadership, you’ll need to make this clear. And you won’t get your message across if you focus on your technical skill sets alone. Address your social savvy, problem solving skill, conflict management and business development experience in order to set yourself apart.
You’re Not Just an Accountant Anymore: You’re an Asset to the Company
If you’re still selling yourself by talking about how well you follow orders and support the needs of your direct supervisor, you’ll need to take different approach at this point. At the senior level, you’re no longer here to manage your own inbox and then call it a day. At this point, the health and success of the entire company has entered into your field of responsibility, and bringing you onboard will be the smartest move your employers will ever make. When you see a positive change that needs to be made, you’ll make it. When you see a way forward for the entire organization, you’ll drive the enterprise in that direction. You won’t just wait for instructions: You know what needs to happen, and you’re ready to put the process in motion. Again, use concrete examples to make this clear.
For more on how to make your case at the senior level, reach out to the financial staffing experts at Cordia.