Soft Skills Hiring Managers Look for in Accounting Candidates
Whether you’re just starting out in the accounting world or you’re looking to change positions to broaden your horizons, there are some skills hiring managers will want to see on your resume or hear about in your interview.
After all, accounting isn’t just about numbers, complex math and markets. It’s about working with clients, communicating clearly with them in an understandable way, and navigating stressful situations with poise and composure.
When writing your next resume, or preparing for an interview, keep these skills in mind, along with examples of how you demonstrate them.
How well can you listen to clients when they’re explaining a situation or trying to ask a question? Can you write a detailed report on a short deadline? Can you break complex issues down in an easy-to-understand way? Can you write a concise and clear email? Being a good writer, listener and editor is incredibly important for the accounting field, especially in customer-facing positions.
When you look at a spreadsheet dense with numbers and statistics, what do you see? Are you lost in the boxes, or can you find the bigger story? Being able to analyze data in front of you, see its value in the bigger picture, and express plainly what’s going on is of critical importance.
Are you comfortable and confident with online tools and technology that can help provide research and critical data? There’s some incredible software out there that can make data clear very quickly, if you know how to find and use it.
The need to work on your own and as part of a team, and be as efficient and productive in either setting is very important. It shows your flexibility and range, that you can get along and work well with others, but also that you’re confident enough to manage projects on your own. Your confidence also will help demonstrate that you’re able to lead a team, should the opportunity arise, which could lead to promotions and career advancement down the road.
The power of persuasion
This might be a little more challenging to discuss during an interview, but if you’ve been in a situation where you’ve had to win people over to your way of doing something, or change someone’s mind on how a project should be completed, this will be of great interest to a potential employer. Being able to change someone’s mind without overly aggressive force is a great skill to have. Can you build consensus, after taking into consideration the opinions and suggestions of other team members, and move a project forward from an impasse without angering or isolating the team?
It’s not enough to be a brilliantly skilled accountant. Hiring managers want to see someone well-rounded in skills that will help keep the team, and the office, moving at a quick pace.
Ready for your next accounting and finance opportunity?
When you’re ready to look for a new accounting and finance job, start your search by looking at IFG’s job database and see which top firms are looking for someone just like you. Need a little more advice on where to start and what skills you should highlight? Contact IFG Global today for the first step toward a bright future.