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Career Counselor 
by Accountemps

ACCOUNTEMPS is a specialized temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps provides support throughout an accounting department. Headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, Accountemps and has more than 360 offices in North America, Europe and Australia. Accountemps' Career Counselor column, a SmartPros staple for over three years, is refreshed monthly.


 Cut the Clutter: How to Stay Organized and Focused While Searching for a Job
When you're unemployed, you can't afford to make the job-search process more difficult by being disorganized or unfocused.
Teleconferencing 101
Teleconferencing technology has been around for years, but this alternative to in-person meetings continues to grow in popularity as the workforce becomes more geographically dispersed and companies recognize the significant dollar and productivity savings that can be achieved using this approach instead of investing in plane tickets.
There's no two ways about it: Dealing with a job loss is a formidable challenge. The following are steps you can take to recover from the shock and launch a successful job search.
Your early days at a new job can be exhilarating, but they can also be overwhelming. Trying to keep track of countless new people, policies and priorities is a mentally taxing proposition. Here are some tips to help you get off on the right foot.
Common Resume Errors to Avoid
Creating a compelling resume takes time and care. Far too often, hurried job seekers hurt themselves by making costly -- but easily avoidable -- missteps.
How to Weather a Workplace Transition
The economic downturn forced organizations of all sizes to reexamine their operations. Business priorities and goals shifted -- and continue to shift -- at many companies, sometimes dramatically. Consequently, managers need employees who are highly adaptable.
The Great Recession put pressure not only on top management at companies struggling to survive but also on employees further down the line. These are the people businesses depended on -- and still depend on -- to take up the slack and keep the organization on track.
As social media site Twitter has gained in popularity, it has become a great resource for building professional visibility and credibility.
“There just aren’t enough hours in the day!” You’re not unusual if you frequently find yourself having this thought or vocalizing it.
How to Stand Out In a Group Interview
Upon learning that they’ve landed a job interview, most people envision — and prepare for — a one-on-one meeting with a hiring manager. While this traditional interview format remains the most common, be aware that there are other types of interviews you might encounter.
Given the plethora of applications that employers are receiving today, many hiring managers are using phone interviews to narrow the pool of candidates. Since your chances of scoring an in-person interview can be based on how well you perform on a preliminary phone screening, it pays to know a little about them in case you’re called.
While job creation has remained sluggish in the aftermath of the Great Recession, there are some bright spots in the employment world. The temporary staffing industry is one of them.
Negotiation Tips for Recent Graduates
Even in today’s challenging economy, there may be room to do some negotiating on a job offer. But discussing compensation with a hiring manager can be tricky. If you’re a recent graduate who’s never negotiated with an employer before, it can help to know the places others before you have tripped up. 
Profile Power: The Importance of Having a Professional Bio
Networking sites have put a spotlight on the value of a well-written profile. In the past, professional biographies were typically only needed by executives or conference speakers. But today, job seekers and professionals at all levels post them on LinkedIn and Facebook as a vehicle for self-promotion.

The Job Search: Salary Negotiation Know-How
Negotiating salary for a new position can be challenging even when the economy is booming, but these discussions are especially tricky today as businesses try to rebound from an unprecedented recession.

How to Follow Up on Your Resume
There's no question the job market is highly competitive right now. Not only are many people looking for positions, but hiring managers commonly say the application materials they receive come from unqualified individuals.
Overcoming Mistakes Made During the Recession
The recession has put managers to the test in ways they likely had not experienced in the past. Often, choices were made to reduce costs that weren’t planned out as strategically as they would have been in other times, and companies already are beginning to regret some decisions that were made too quickly.
Spring Cleaning: Time to Get Your Career Back on Track
Even professionals who have kept their jobs during the economic downturn may not be satisfied with where they are in their careers. With companies commonly taking a wait-and-see approach in recent months and more professionals opting to stay in their current positions rather than retiring or seeking other opportunities, it's not surprising that many people have encountered career inertia.

How Cross Training Can Benefit Your Accounting Team
Many accounting departments are operating with leaner teams today, a shift that has placed greater emphasis on each professional's role. If a key player leaves the organization or is out for an extended period, often there aren't staff members able to jump in and help.
The Skills You'll Need in the Year Ahead
A look at Robert Half's 2010 Salary Guide.
New Surveys Offer Key Job-Hunting and Resume Insights
Many professionals overestimate how ready they would be to launch an employment search if they lost their jobs tomorrow, according to a recent survey by Robert Half International.

How to Stay Motivated on the Job Hunt
It’s not unusual today for an employment search to take much longer than expected. When this happens, enthusiasm can begin to wane.

How to Stay Mentally Engaged During an Extended Job Search
When you’re in the midst of a lengthy job search, staying productive and mentally stimulated over the long haul is the name of the game.
Message Mishaps: Avoiding Embarrassing E-mail Errors at Work
Accidents happen. Particularly when e-mailing.
If you’ve ever hit “send” only to realize moments later that you made a terrible mistake, you’re in good company.
The road to a successful career is frequently paved with disappointments, delays and detours. Whether it’s a job loss, a missed promotion or a poor performance review, everyone faces setbacks during the course of his or her professional life.
If you're attempting to relaunch your accounting and finance career after an extended absence, it's likely you're finding today's job market especially challenging.
"Finding a job is a job" is an old saying that's never been more accurate than it is today. If you are in the midst of what has become, by previous standards, an extended employment search, you've likely experienced moments of frustration and dismay.
Tackling Tough Interview Questions
A job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re unprepared for questions designed to test your critical-thinking and communication skills.
 Job-Hunting Tactics for the Overqualified
There are certain labels in life that seem completely unfair and counterintuitive. One such term is “overqualified.”
What to do if you are offered more money to stay at your current company.
Strategies for Overcoming Job-Search Frustration
Current economic conditions mean that, now more than ever, the job-hunting process requires perseverance and a positive outlook.

How to Recession-Proof Your Resume
With more accounting and finance job candidates vying for fewer and fewer open positions, it’s critical that your resume packs a punch.

The Layoff Survivor's Action Plan
Layoffs don’t just impact the people who’ve been let go; those who’ve kept their jobs are also affected. If the recession has forced your company to eliminate positions, you’re likely shouldering more work and worrying that you’ll be the next one to receive a pink slip.
Recession Recommendations: Tactics for Keeping Your Job in Tough Times
During an economic downturn, it’s all the more important for accounting and finance professionals to take steps to increase their value and visibility at work.

How to Build and Nurture Your Network
The most successful accounting and finance professionals can attest to the prominent role networking has played in making their career goals a reality.

The Well-Rounded Networker
Knowing how to cultivate a deep professional network is an invaluable skill for any accounting and finance professional. After all, the more relationships you establish, the greater your chances of finding out about job openings and other information that can help you advance your career.

How to Reach Your Career Goals in 2009
If you’ve resolved to further your career in 2009, start the year off right by conducting a thorough and honest assessment of where you are now and where you want to be in 12 months.

Six Workplace Challenges You Need to Master to Survive a Recession
Even if you have not been personally affected by a job loss, the steady stream of bad economic news has made many professionals fearful about the prospect of a layoff. If you’ve been able to keep your position thus far, you may still notice some unsettling changes in the work environment. Here are six challenges that you’re likely to encounter and some suggestions for managing through them.

What You Need to Succeed: Report Highlights Today's Top Skills and Credentials
Here's some welcome news: Highly skilled accounting and finance professionals are needed in any economic environment, according to the newly released 2009 Salary Guide from Robert Half International.

Workplace Pals: The Benefits and Potential Pitfalls of Having Friends at Work
Do you join members of your accounting and finance team for outings after work? Do you meet up with a colleague to chat over cappuccinos every Friday morning? In addition to being fun, these social activities can pay dividends on the job, according to an Accountemps survey.

Who Has "The EDGE"? Job Market Survey of Employers and Employees Released
Today's tough economy is presenting challenges to employers and employees alike, according to the recently released 2008 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report by Robert Half International and

Robert Half Salary Guide Predicts Continued Competition for Top Accounting Professionals in 2009
Despite an uncertain economy and a more competitive job market in many industries, there is ongoing demand for highly qualified accounting and finance professionals, according to the 2009 Salary Guide from Robert Half International.

Off to a Good Start: Making an Early Mark at Your New Job
The first few weeks on a new job are often incredibly exciting, but challenging. You're surrounded by new people, new rules, a new working environment -- new everything. Following are four savvy tips for getting off on the right foot with your new manager and fellow accounting and finance professionals:

Job Interviews: Leave Goofy at the Door
Most accounting and finance professionals know that the best way to stand out in an employment interview is to prepare, project enthusiasm and provide thoughtful answers. Gaining positive attention is one thing, but some interviewees attract attention for all the wrong reasons.

Your Post-Graduation Action Plan
Just as graduating from college required hard work and commitment, so does landing your first "real world" job. Following are three key job-search suggestions for the Class of 2008.

Job Interview Do's and Don'ts
The job interview is your opportunity to show a company that you're a uniquely qualified, skilled and well-spoken accounting and finance professional. Unfortunately, not all candidates shine in face-to-face meetings with hiring managers.

Landing Your First Job
Looking for and landing your first professional position is an exciting but sometimes unnerving experience. There are so many directions to consider, it can be difficult knowing how to take the right first steps.

On-the-Job Idols
While personal ambition and talent are necessary to accomplish career goals, few professionals who have achieved success have done so on their own. Receiving help along the way from a trusted advisor is often essential, especially when you are starting a new career.

Confidence Key to Standing Out in the Workplace
In the business world, how important is a good dose of confidence? The short answer is "very," if you're someone who wants to get ahead.

The Benefit of Taking Calculated Risks
As you embark upon a career in the finance arena, be sure to exercise creative thinking when approaching any assignment or project.

Fair Weather Ahead for Accounting and Finance Professionals
Despite cooling trends and heavy rains this winter, the job market remains unseasonably warm for many accounting and finance professionals. With the right degrees and accreditations, the most skilled practitioners will continue to see opportunities.

Good News for Graduates: Hiring Outlook Remains Strong in 2008
The demand for accounting and finance professionals is expected to remain high in 2008. According to the 2008 Salary Guide from Robert Half International, this is due in part to efforts by public accounting and consulting firms as well as private industry to expand their menu of financial services.

It's a Small World After All: Global Employment Trends All Point in Same Direction
Financial organizations across the globe are feeling the squeeze of a tight hiring environment, according to Robert Half International's Global Financial Employment Monitor.

Finance Professionals Still on Employers' Most Wanted List
Considering the expectations that hiring managers will place on tomorrow's finance professionals, improving soft skills such as your analytical abilities will become mission critical.

Survey: Strong Compensation Required to Attract and Retain Top Talent
If you've been wavering on whether or not to ask for that raise or, if you are a job seeker, negotiate a higher offer, take into consideration that today's tight labor market has made it more difficult for employers to recruit and retain the talented professionals they need.

Analytical Skills Key for Future Accountants
Considering the expectations that hiring managers will place on tomorrow's finance professionals, improving soft skills such as your analytical abilities will become mission critical.

New Skills for a Brave New World of Finance
Hiring managers expect accounting applicants to have technical competency, but it's the subtle, softer skills that can really set you apart from the rest.

Mind Your Manners and Your Career
In today's fast-paced work environment, it's not unusual for people to overlook workplace etiquette and protocol. However, being courteous to coworkers can go a long way toward building important relationships and paving the road to a successful career.

Sizing Up Your Resume
If you're updating your resume and you've been advised to limit it to one page, you may want to reconsider this advice.

Reduce Job Search Stress by Working With a Recruiter
A well-chosen professional can extend your network and market your skills to prospective employers far more quickly and effectively than you could on your own.

Top Five Mistakes When Starting a New Job
To quickly become a valued member of an organization, you need to not only work hard at mastering your new responsibilities, but pay attention to your professionalism, attitude and enthusiasm on the job.

Responding to Common Interview Questions Effectively
While no one can say for certain what a prospective employer may ask, following are queries that come up frequently, and tips on how to respond.

Gain an Edge in Your Job Search by Following Up on Resumes
Following up with employers after sending your resume is not considered overreaching or unwelcome behavior.

Factors to Consider in Evaluating a Job Offer
You've just received the exciting news of your first accounting job offer. How do you decide whether it's the right fit for you?

Ill-Advised Interview Tactics
While your skills and qualifications play a significant role in landing a job, your performance in the interview also is critical to getting your foot in the door at a new employer. Here is a list of some of the most common interview mistakes to avoid.

Your First Day on a New Job
Landing that initial accounting position is a major achievement, but your knowledge and credentials will mean little if you don't begin immediately learning how to fit in and become a team player in the new environment.

Salary Trends in Accounting and Finance
Graduates and others just getting started in accounting and finance may find they are entering the job market at an ideal time. The demand for many positions has increased, due in large part to business expansion and ongoing compliance requirements. Candidates with the right skills carry a certain amount of weight and may even receive multiple job offers.

The Value of Job Tenure
While carefully planned job transitions can bring new challenges and greater rewards, too much moving around can be detrimental as well. Sticking with a position or company for a significant amount of time may make you a more desirable candidate down the road.

Demand for Accounting and Finance Professionals Remains Strong
There remains strong demand for accounting and finance graduates about to enter the job market. With the right degrees and accreditations, those looking for opportunities in finance and accounting are well positioned for career success.

Good News for Job Seekers: You've Got Leverage
Navigating the job market can be challenging, especially for those just beginning their careers. But a recent survey found some encouraging news for job seekers, who may have more leverage than they might think.

Dressing for Success
Since people tend to form immediate impressions of each other, dressing professionally provides instant credibility and signals to colleagues and clients they're working with someone who takes the new position seriously.

Negotiating Salary and Benefits: Proven Tactics
As a job seeker, it may not be easy to determine just how much power you have with a potential employer. The process shouldn't be a power struggle, however. It's more about striking a balance between what you have to offer a business and what it can do for you.

Four (Other) Things to Look For in Your First Job
Deciding whether to accept a job offer requires a thorough evaluation of what a potential employer is proposing and imagining yourself in the position. Aside from salary and benefits, what else should you look at? Here are some key non-monetary considerations.

Negotiating Perks: Can I Get an Order of Fries With That, Too?
Employers are extending generous employment offers in an effort to recruit and retain today's top candidates, including continuing education and flexible schedules.

How to Negotiate a Competitive Starting Compensation Package
It's in your best interest to negotiate during the job-offer stage, but you should research the marketplace and understand its trends before you put your requirements on the table. Here are some additional tips for negotiating effectively.

The Art of Following up With Hiring Managers
A recent survey confirmed that accountants looking for an edge in the job search process should follow up with prospective employers after submitting a resume. Find out how.

Working With a Multigenerational Workforce
Your accounting department could very well consist of members from each demographic: traditionalists, baby boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. Here are tips on how to  manage your work relationships in a mutligenerational workplace.

Watch for Corporate Culture Cues
As you prepare to accept a job offer, make sure you don't focus exclusively on compensation. While salary and benefits will certainly be key factors in your decision, take as much time assessing the corporate culture of a potential employer to ensure it is a good fit for you.

How to Interact With Diverse Colleagues
Many companies today are building teams that will help expand business on an international scale. As a result, the need for accounting professionals to work effectively with diverse groups is becoming increasingly important.

Looking for a New Job but Lack Experience? Try an Internship
If you're approaching graduation and are finding it difficult to land a position due to your lack of "real world" experience, consider participating in an internship program before embarking on a search for a full-time job. The bottom line is employers value professional experience. That may seem like bad news, but the good news is it's not too late to get started.

Go Clubbing: Join Professional Organizations Early in Your Career
As you start your accounting career, you may feel you're too busy concentrating on the present to worry about your future. But one of the best things you can do for your career is join a professional association, which can have lasting benefits.

Watch for Corporate Culture Cues
As you prepare to accept a job offer, make sure you don't focus exclusively on compensation. While salary and benefits will certainly be key factors in your decision, take as much time assessing the corporate culture of a potential employer to ensure it is a good fit for you.

How to Interact With Diverse Colleagues
Many companies today are building teams that will help expand business on an international scale. As a result, the need for accounting professionals to work effectively with diverse groups is becoming increasingly important.

Standing Out in Your Company
Positioning yourself for career advancement requires increasing your visibility both inside your organization and in the financial community. In the early stages of your career, it is even more important for you to ensure that your achievements are recognized and your work does not go unnoticed.

From College to Job: Small Fish in a Big Pond?
If you find yourself in a situation where you're uncertain how to kickoff your career, the following insights will help you make a successful transition from "college mode" to "job mode."

Graduating This Summer? Then What?
With summer approaching, many graduating students have one thing on their minds: beginning their careers. If you're about to graduate and are still looking for an opportunity, don't panic: There are a number of steps you can take to jumpstart the process.

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