Magazine article The CPA Journal

Looking for a New Job

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Looking for a New Job

Article excerpt

In these days of reengineering and restructuring many highly skilled, competent executives find themselves looking for a new job. If you find yourself in that position, I hope my thinking and firsthand experience can help you. Your library and bookstore have large selections of publications which will help you prepare for a change to a new organization or within your present company. Although every author has an individual approach and many job seekers will find reading several books helpful, a common set of suggestions recur frequently.

Get the Best Deal Leaving If you are being laid off, get the best deal you can on your way out. Company policies vary, and you should fully understand the terms of severance, continuing medical cover age, and assistance with your job hunt. If you think you should be getting a better deal, ask and explain your reasons. Discuss references the company will provide. Tell your family and close friends promptly; their support is important.

Be Forward Looking It is not unusual to feel mistreated and angry at being laid off. Although you can do a lot of preparation for your job hunt, you are not ready to meet with the outside world until you are ready to focus on what you can bring to a new employer.

Inventory Your Skills and Contacts

Make lists of your accomplishments. Volunteer as well as job-related experience are both appropriate. Achievements that can be quantified and explained in a few sentences will be the most effective in getting the attention of prospective employers. This is also a good time to make a list of prior jobs, dates held, and recent salary history. For each job and company, note some basic information about the level of activity such as revenue, expenses, assets, and number of employees.

This is also a good time to begin identifying potential contacts-friends, business colleagues from your current and former employers, executive search professionals, and college classmates all belong on your inventory.

Start on the Mechanics. To communicate with prospective employers you need quality stationery, arrangements for preparing letters, and a place where you can make and receive telephone calls. Personal computers, printers, and telephone answering machines can all play a part in your search.

Target Your Search. Target a manageable list of job activities, types of organizations, and geographical areas. We all have friends and associates who will help but cannot be constructive without some ideas of what you want to do. Think about how you would respond to their ques tions. Why did you select these targets? How are they related? What skills do you have for these positions? Do you have a compensation range in mind?

Prepare a Resume. If you have inventoried your skills, made a list of your previous jobs, and targeted your search, writ ing a first draft of your resume will not be very difficult. Take time to edit your resume carefully. It should look professional, be written with well-constructed sentences, and clearly summarize the information of interest to a prospective employer. There should, of course, be no spelling or typographical errors. The books on this subject describe both a chronological resume and a functional resume. Many authors suggest using a chronological resume unless there is a reason not to, such as several short jobs or a long break in work history. A chronological resume that is able to avoid a possible first impression that there may be a problem is best.

Begin Your Campaign There are basically four sources for finding new jobs:

* Personal introductions or networking,

* Advertisements,

* Employment agencies and executive search firms, and * Letters to companies.

These sources may be combined in many unpredictable ways. A networking meeting may lead to an introduction to a search firm. An answer to an advertisement may lead to an interview that, even if unsuccessful, may provide valuable net working contacts. …

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