The Australian job market is on the up and competition for sought after accountancy positions is increasing rapidly. Emma Archer, our qualified accountant consultant, tells us what she looks for in a candidate and how you can stand out from the crowd when job searching.

“The number of candidates coming through the door looking for a new challenge over the past few months has been growing by the day. Likewise, the number of employers coming to us to fill positions is also increasing steadily.

“This means a thriving job market, which is great news for candidates, as it means there are opportunities out there but on the flip-side, the competition to be seen and impress is much tougher.

“On average, for standard qualified accounting roles, we see around 50-100 applications per job post and it’s not unusual to have more than that, so on any given day I could be looking through 200+ CVs. This means that first and foremost you need to ensure that you have a clear and concise resume with good grammar and spelling. I then go on to assess the following qualities of applicants during the initial screening process.”

  • Communication skills
    • As a qualified accountant it is becoming increasingly important to have the ability to translate complex financial information to non-financial stakeholders. Therefore, every candidate must be able to demonstrate their stakeholder management experience, either in their resume or throughout the interview process.
  • Drive
    • Employers look for people with good work ethic and who want to progress in their career. With this in mind, someone who has progressed quickly through an eagerness to learn and gained great results on the way will stand out from the crowd.
  • Strategic thinking
    • With the move in the finance sector toward offshoring transactional tasks in order to focus on more value-add pieces, I look for someone with not only the skills and ability to do the job but also the soft skills that will add value to a business through business partnering and assisting senior leaders with decision making. Someone who is capable of driving strategy for growth and not only telling their employer what they can’t do, but what they can do, will go a long way. A great accountant or CFO must now be able to “predict” their company’s future through complex modelling and scenario analysis to help make strategic, long-term decisions in order to compete and succeed in their industry.