People looking for newly qualified accountant jobs who have recently qualified after years of training, swotting and exams may be tempted to sit back and take it easy, perhaps believing that all they have to do now is gain a little more practical experience and then wait for the lucrative job offers to start rolling in. They should not be tempted, however, because this is precisely the time when they should be thinking about their long-term career objectives and what further qualifications will be required in order to achieve them.

This article will try to provide tips for newly qualified accountants on what to do next, what to avoid and how a reputable recruitment agency can help.

Choosing the right first post-qualification accounting job.

There are hundreds of newly qualified accountant jobs advertised every day on the internet, so many that it can be tempting to take a cursory glance over what is on offer and apply for the ones offering the highest salaries and best perks. Within a matter of days, it is possible to have attended an interview, been offered a job and be sitting in a plush office with a nice shiny new company car parked outside. How could it possibly get any better?

But think about the future. What if in five years the office is unchanged, the same model of car is still parked outside, that once generous salary has hardly increased and there is no prospect of promotion?

It is essential when looking at job vacancies and attending interviews to look below the surface and try to evaluate what the long-term opportunities are. Is ongoing training available and is there a career ladder to be climbed, or is this a dead-end job that will prevent the individual from maximising his or her potential? More qualifications mean better job prospects and higher earnings, so ongoing training should always be a key consideration.

What to avoid.

There are a number of pitfalls to be avoided.

  • If possible, do not change jobs within the first few years. Having two or three employers within the space of four or five years of qualifying can look bad on a CV.
  • Do not be attracted by an offer of a fantastic starting salary as it may disguise the fact that the job offers no prospects.
  • Working abroad may sound attractive, but there can be huge cultural issues to contend with, not to mention potential language difficulties and complying with the accounting qualification requirements of the host country.
  • Register with a recruitment agency. The best recruitment agencies do more than simply publish a list of vacancies on their websites and forward applications and CVs received from candidates.

By registering with a reputable recruitment agency, newly qualified accountants can discuss their long-term career objectives with a professional who will offer advice on which jobs to apply for and how to go about putting together the perfect CV. The agency will match individual candidates to suitable vacancies and often discuss their details with prospective employers before arranging an interview.

Because they have so much information to hand, recruitment agencies are able to reduce the number of candidates put forward for an interview to a minimum, which saves the client company time and money. What is more, the individual benefits because he or she is only invited to interviews with companies that closely fit their career profile.