New tools available for job seekers


Robert Half International has released two new tools for those seeking work in this tight job market: online salary calculators in specialized fields and the 2010 Salary Guide.
Job seekers looking for average starting salaries in the accounting and finance fields can use the calculators to determine the salary range for specific job titles and locations, see what the position pays in neighboring cities, and search for job openings.  Robert Half also offers salary calculators for jobs in information technology, law, administration, and marketing.
The recession has pushed millions of people out of work. In fact, USA Today reports that 9.1 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits in September 2009 — more than double the number from the year prior. And according to a Michigan State University survey on recruiting trends, college graduates had 40 percent fewer job prospects in 2009 than in 2008, and for this year, jobs will drop nearly another 1 percent, reported.
Competition for jobs is fierce, although there are some bright spots — such as the demand for tax accountants — according to Robert Half's annual salary guide. Robert Half, which has researched salary information and hiring trends since 1950, says positions with the best prospects are tax accountant, compliance director, credit manager/supervisor, and senior financial analyst.
"Businesses seek financial professionals who can help manage costs and enhance profitability. Companies also value personnel who possess deep technical expertise, are excellent communicators, and collaborate effectively with colleagues across multiple departments," the company said.
Some hiring is taking place at smaller accounting firms, Robert Half reports. "With lower overhead costs than their larger counterparts, these organizations often are able to build business by offering attractive pricing structures to budget-conscious clients." Clients are seeking help saving money through better tax management, driving demand for tax accounting services.
Employers are looking for candidates with professional credentials, such as the CPA accreditation, broad accounting experience, expertise in technology and financial reporting requirements.
Compensation will remain relatively flat in 2010 for accounting and finance jobs, with an average increase of .5 percent.

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