How to differentiate yourself in the accountancy job market?

November 10th 2023 | Posted by phil scott

If you are an accountant looking for your next career move, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd.

An accounting education can you greater career paths to choose from but how do you distinguish yourself from other applicants in a market?

The job market can be competitive, so it’s key to stand out at every stage of the process – from the first time an employer sees your CV to the detailed discussions of a final interview.  You need to be distinctive and sell yourself as the ideal candidate for that role.

How can you differentiate yourself in the recruitment process?   

1. Position your profile

Even before an interview process is started, employers can look online to get a first impression.  So it’s very important to make sure your virtual profile sets yourself apart from your peers.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile packs a punch – keep it up to date, highlight your biggest achievements, include recommendations and push your ‘wow factor’ in your personal headline and statement.

If your LinkedIn profile expertly presents your specific accountancy experience and knowledge, you’ll be showing how you can deliver in the role, even before an interview!

2. Craft your CV

Always keep your CV fresh and make sure it portrays you in the best light possible at this particular stage in your career.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once a CV is written it is done.  It’s a presentation of the best of your achievements and abilities and should be continually reviewed to showcase what makes you stand out right here, right now.

Simple points to remember to make your CV work hard for you are:

• Personal profile: make sure your statement about your core skills and abilities reflects your current career position and importantly, demonstrates what the employer is looking for in this particular role.  Avoid being too generic and take the time to prove what you can offer that makes you the perfect match for this job.

• Job summaries:  review your most recent job summaries and make sure you’re highlighting the most relevant achievements and responsibilities.  Pick out the key areas that will clearly demonstrate what makes you the most suitable person for the role you’re applying for.  It could be that each job you’re going for means making some changes to this part of your CV to make sure that nothing is missed.

• Key achievements, skills and knowledge:  Don’t hide these important statements amongst general CV facts.  Pull them out and make them visible!  Courses, certificates, specific accomplishments and projects delivered need to be pushed to the forefront of your CV so that you can stand out from those around you.

3. Excel in the interview

At every stage in the interview process, standing out from your competitors means positioning yourself as THE BEST solution for their accountancy recruitment need.

It’s much more than simply demonstrating the correct skills set or background experience.  It involves packaging up all of these assets and showcasing why they are best held within you and how your unique character will bring them to life for their company.

There are many essential steps to take to differentiate yourself during interviews:

Create your USPs for this specific role

Before the interview, take the time to understand in depth the individual attributes and skills needed to achieve in the role you’re going for.

With this in mind, make a short list of evidence of how you have delivered in these areas or how you have the skills ready and waiting to excel in those responsibilities.

In this way, you’re putting together your own unique selling points – what it is about your individual experience that makes you the best candidate for the job.

Make sure you’ve prepared crucial example scenarios to tell in the interview that showcase your specific skills and the impact you can make.

Research the company and promote your fit

It goes without saying that researching the company before an interview is essential to understand who they are, what they do, what they’ve achieved and how they differentiate themselves in their own market.

But don’t forget to work on the next stage – promoting how you can fit into this environment and what you can offer them that will help them achieve their company goals.

Pull out examples from your own experience and achievements to demonstrate the impact you could make in a way that can’t be ignored.

Ask the right questions

Before an interview, prepare some questions to ask that will make you stand out.

Try and move away from generic questions about the business and the role and ask particular questions that show you’ve thought about the future direction of the company and the specific evolution of the role.

These type of questions will show a more in-depth understanding of the opportunity and how you, in particular, can make an impact.

If you are an accountant looking for your next career move, register your search criteria with us now.