Glenn Bass, CPA, Director of Recruiting, Security & Investigative Placement Consultants, LLC
Landing a new job can be a daunting task in any industry. The anti-fraud industry, whether forensic accounting, investigations or compliance, is no exception. While the industry is booming and opportunities are available, the competition remains fierce. The good news is that there are ways to make yourself a stronger candidate and rise above your competition.
Here are seven things to consider as you prepare to explore new job opportunities:
- Diversify your education. Well-educated candidates have an advantage over the competition. These days a bachelor’s is a “must have” and a master’s is a strong “nice to have.” Think about certifications as a differentiator. The CFE credential is the leading certification in the anti-fraud industry and will add value as your career progresses.
- Focus on transferable skills. Become an expert at detailing your transferable skills to a potential employer. How are your leadership skills? Your ability to organize efficiently? Can you analyze situations and communicate your findings? How about time management? Exceptional communicator? Be sure to have specific examples of these transferable skills to highlight during interviews.
- Create the perfect résumé. No one is perfect, but you can have a perfect résumé. Anything less than perfection and you risk being ruled out immediately. Perfect means free of grammatical errors and inconsistent formatting. It also means a résumé that puts your experience in the best possible light. Have a colleague or friend review it for you, or invest in your career search by hiring a professional résumé writer.
- Networking, more networking and you guessed it, even more networking. Many of us underestimate the power of the network, but it is how more than 80 percent of job opportunities come about. Incorporate social networking into your strategy, and remember that networking works both ways. To strengthen your network ties further, reach out even when you don’t need someone’s help or support. That’s what colleagues, not just networkers, do.
- Clean up your online presence. Google yourself to see what information any potential employer is viewing since it is almost certain they are doing just that. Pictures, videos, blog and Twitter content have all cost candidates potential jobs. Appear professional across all social media, and spiff up your LinkedIn profile to enhance your appeal to potential employers.
- Get published. There is no better way to demonstrate expertise in a discipline than to write an article for an industry publication. It shows that you are engaged, knowledgeable and invested in your profession. It will give you an advantage over others who haven’t put in the effort to get published.
- Understand where you want to go. The anti-fraud industry covers many areas so it’s important that your career search has a focus. Self-evaluation is critical. Do you want to do forensic accounting, investigations or compliance? Public sector or private sector? A shotgun approach is bound to lead to frustration. The right focus and direction will help you reach your career goals and help you stand out in the interview process.
With some preparation, savvy execution and tenacity you can get a leg up on the competition as you explore the job market in the anti-fraud industry. Good luck!