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Finance and Accounting Professionals: Standing Out in a Crowded Field

Finance and Accounting Professionals: Standing Out in a Crowded Field

With the economic recovery seemingly in full gear across the U.S. as positive labor reports and stock market figures continue to be released, finance and

With the economic recovery seemingly in full gear across the U.S. as positive labor reports and stock market figures continue to be released, finance and accounting professionals are also beginning to see new job opportunities opening up.

While major financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America announced deep job cuts in the period immediately following the recession, many of these firms are beginning to once again add positions in various locations throughout the country.

As a result, now is the time for finance and accounting professionals to polish their resumes and work hard to create an effective online brand, as these are two of the most critical strategies for landing a job in the sector.

According to a recent FINS article, in order to get past the initial round of resume reviews for increasingly competitive corporate finance positions, job seekers in this field need to demonstrate a skill set that includes abilities outside of the finance realm.

Specifically, this means people seeking finance and accounting positions - particularly those in management - should ensure that their resume speaks to various job functions, according to Lawrence Gorski, the senior vice president of human resources for commercial and retail banking institution F.N.B Corporation.

"Experience in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, industry regulation, sales and new business development have all become important components of a corporate banking resume," Gorski told FINS.

Laura Smith-Proulx, the founder of resume writing firm An Expert Resume, added that rather than solely focusing on the details of one's specific skill set, it is important to incorporate these bullet points into the overall company perspective.

"Strategic relationships of long-term influence, high-profile projects that help the bank cut operational costs, or initiatives that have been announced to company outsiders are all situations that require explanation," she said, noting than an extra line about how each of these impacted the business as a whole is important.

Other resume writing strategies that finance and accounting professionals should employ include emphasizing a knowledge of compliance and regulations, demonstrating soft skills from communication abilities to volunteer work and highlighting any relevant technological knowledge, according to the news source.

In today's job search, it is also critical for prospective finance and accounting professionals to separate themselves from the pack of strong candidates by creating an effective online brand. Jonathan Milligan, an executive career coach, wrote in a recent CPA Career Coach blog that building a LinkedIn profile with the appropriate keywords can be a good start.

"More recruiters are using Linkedin to search for candidates for open positions than the major job board databases combined," Milligan said. "You do not even have to be actively searching for a job to benefit from having your presence on Linkedin. It is a must have tool for building your personal brand."

Other ways to ensure that an effective online brand is being maintained include participating in blogs and forums related to the finance and accounting sector and even creating one's own blog, which can truly jump-start the brand creation process, according to Milligan.

With resume tailoring and online brands playing a critical role in the job search for finance and accounting professionals, one aspect that should not be overlooked is work experience. A recent Accountemps survey found that 91 percent of chief financial officers said it is important for these prospective employees to gain practical experience during their college years, according to a release.