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Career Counselor
Gain an Edge in Your Job Search by Following Up on Resumes

June 2007 Newcomers to the accounting profession have reason to smile. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field of accounting is expected to increase 18 to 26 percent through the year 2014. However, high demand for accountants is only one factor for success in attaining your first position. In your search for the ideal job, taking the time to learn and implement the latest hiring etiquette can help you secure a job offer.

Take resumes, for example. Following up with employers after sending your resume is not considered overreaching or unwelcome behavior. In fact, 82 percent of executives polled in a survey by Robert Half said applicants should contact hiring managers within two weeks after submitting their materials. Only 5 percent of respondents said job seekers should not contact the company after applying for an opportunity.

Following up a resume submission is an effective way to demonstrate your initiative and enthusiasm. Executives surveyed noted several appropriate ways for job candidates to contact hiring managers. Email ranked highest, selected by 38 percent of those polled. Thirty-three percent preferred to receive a telephone call, and 23 percent stated that receiving a handwritten note was best.

Whichever method you select, consider carefully what to include in the message itself. Be sure to emphasize your knowledge of the company as well as your qualifications. Using this communication as an opportunity to inquire about next steps in the hiring process demonstrates a genuine interest in the position. You should not mention salary or benefits at this point, however.

Whether you're completely new to the job market or making a career transition, timely follow up on your application materials reflects well on you. Applicants willing to take this extra step can gain an edge over less proactive candidates in securing job offers.

ACCOUNTEMPS is a specialized temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps provides support throughout an accounting department. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., Accountemps and has more than 270 offices in North America, Europe and Australia. Accountemps' Career Counselor column, a SmartPros staple for over four years, is refreshed twice a month.

2007 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

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