What's the best way to find a job after college?
One of the most effective ways to explore careers and gather advice is by talking to people who have been there, done that—a.k.a. networking. If you are looking for an internship or job, networking often proves to be the #1 way to find employment in a challenging job market. I often hear students say, “But I don’t have a network.” Wrong, every student has an existing network of family and friends, current or former classmates, and their family and friends. Simply staying in touch with the folks you’ve had a good relationship with in the past means you already have a network that can support you in the years to come.
LinkedIn is one of my favorite networking and job search tools. If you don’t already have an account with an up-to-date profile, you should. Then you can search for alumni by employer, industry, and location. View their profiles to get a sense of possible career paths and gather ideas for prospective employers. If you want to “connect” with people, you should always include a personalized message introducing yourself and explaining why you are reaching out. There are thousands of LinkedIn groups where people share job postings and other career-related information as well, and they can serve as a forum for asking professionals questions about Accounting. Joining the alumni group for your university is a great first step. LinkedIn’s “Find Alumni” tool provides a helpful visual of alumni careers, employers, and professional skills from a searchable list of thousands of colleges and universities. And the “Field of Study Explorer” is a powerful resource for finding connections between majors and careers. It offers an overview of job titles and employers of LinkedIn members for any given academic major.
Good Luck Taliah
2. Follow those people on LI that are of interest to you.
3. Make a list of potential jobs you might be interested in and a pro/con list of each one. Do some online research about each. Add notes to that matrix.
4. Talk to your parents or your parent's friends about their jobs.
5. Attend online career fairs.
6. Ask you student counselor for ideas.
7. Take an online class in an area you think you might be interested in and see if it is a good fit.
8. Find an internship.
I suggest you check with your career guidance center at your school. Many of them are connected to companies looking to recruit new graduates and can give you good advice based on what you are interested in. A lot of audit companies especially the Big 4 firms i.e. PWC/EY/KPMG/Deloitte have open evenings for graduates where you get a chance to talk to people in the firms and then decide if its a place you want to apply to work in. If you are looking for a career in accounting i do recommend looking at joining an accounting firm - whether its a large or small one as this will give you great exposure to working with different types of clients and great training which will provide you with a great variety of engagements and provide good career opportunities in the future.
Best of luck,
Great question. I think the best way to find a job after graduation is to try and get some internship experience while you're still in college. Whether that is at small, medium, or larger sized firm that way you are able to network and create connections with professionals who can maybe point you in the right direction in terms of opportunities out there or that they might know of at that time. You noted wanting to work at an accounting firm for a few years following graduation, I think it's also important to determine which field of accounting you would like to work in whether that be auditing, tax, or advisory as well as if you'd like to work in the public or private sector.
From my own personal experience, I interned with a medium sized regional firm the summer of my junior year of college in auditing and accounting related work. I then interned with that same medium sized firm again during tax season in my senior year of college to expose myself to other areas of accounting. Following those two internships, I interned with a much larger accounting firm the summer of my senior year and prior to my MBA studies. What I'm getting at is to try and expose yourself to different fields of accounting as well as different size firms so that you can get a better idea of the different accounting jobs out there, but also which work is most appealing to you. The experiences that you obtain from internship opportunities will provide you with a good foundation when it comes down to looking for jobs following graduation. Attending college fairs and actively engaging on LinkedIn will also help as well.
I think the old adage, "it's not what you know, but who you know" goes a long ways when applied to job hunting. That's why networking is so important! As mentioned above, LinkedIn is a great source. You can search for firms that interest you (whether you're thinking Big 4, mid-tier, or private) and connect with individuals that work there.
Don't hesitate to reach out to recruiters or ask to set up time to chat with individuals to learn more about what they do, how they like their firm's culture, etc.
That way, when you apply, you have more insight into the nuances of the firm and have already connected with some of the professionals there! There are also great college/university resources at there, so make sure to check in at your school to see when firm's are interviewing and what related job requisites are.
Also, I strongly recommend researching companies that employ people in your field and apply directly to those organizations, even if they do not have current openings. This is an often overlooked way of landing a job. When you contact the company, tell they why you'd like to work there in your cover letter. Your initiative and interest in what the do will be attractive to decision-makers.
Good luck Taliah. I hope you find a job that you love going to each day.
My recommendation is to be involved in a professional organization such as, SWE, NSBE, SHPE, etc , that'll help you learn what it takes to become a professional & how you can prepare now while you're taking classes.
Finding an internship(s) or co-ops will give you a head start to anyone that graduates with the same degree but didn't have any previous work experience. If you can find summer jobs in the field you're pursuing you'll be a sought after candidate & might end up getting a full-time offer before you even grab that diploma.