The Importance of Work Experience
This is kind of a chicken and egg thing, but a new survey from Accountemps says that over 90 percent of employers are claiming that prior work experience in a related field is either very important or somewhat important when considering which candidate to hire. This survey is geared toward getting the attention of college students, many of whom are, um, about to look for their first job.
The lesson that college (and, for that matter, high school) students are to take from this is that somehow they're supposed to get some work experience in their chosen field before they actually apply for a job in their chosen field. I know how crazy that sounds to many people, but the trick is to get creative. And that's where the grown-ups can help. If you know of a student with a hankering to get into your profession, lend a hand. Summer work and formal internships are great, but there's only so much of that work available. Think of special projects you can dole out to students. Bring in a panel of college students and get their input on a number of issues. Even giving students a chance to shadow you or someone at your workplace can provide resume fodder.
Perry is a CPA and a former senior tax accountant with Big Four firm Deloitte. She maintains a small tax practice, she is a personal finance instructor, and the author of thirty books, including Surviving Financial Downsizing: A Practical Guide to Living Well on Less Income (Adams Media); QuickBooks on Demand (Que); Excel 2007 Macros Made Easy (McGraw Hill); The Complete Idiot's Guide to Doing Your Income Taxes (Alpha/MacMillan); and, most recently, Mint.com for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons). In addition, she is a former columnist for the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News daily newspapers.
Perry is a nationally recognized speaker who advises public accountants on using Internet tools to improve their accounting practices. She also taught a college-level introductory accounting class and was on staff at the Indiana CPA Society as a computer applications instructor. For five years, she was a contributing editor for Accounting Today magazine before taking over the helm at AccountingWEB.
Perry is a graduate of Indiana University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She returned to school to study accounting at Illinois State University, passed the CPA exam (in one sitting!), and worked for Deloitte in the Chicago tax department.
Gail has been named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor magazine and the American Society of Women Accountants.