SRS Incredibly difficult time in job hunt. Cover Letter?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Nev, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Nev

    Nev OT Supporter

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    I've been out of school for 1.5 years now with an accounting degree. I bartended for a while, and now I'm working in retail management but I'd like to get a job that pertains to my degree. It seems that being out of school this long with no direct experience in the field makes it impossible to get a job.

    I'm having an especially difficult time writing a cover letter for an accounting job when I have no experience and have been out of school so long. Is anyone really good with this stuff that could give me some pointers or put me in the right direction? I keep trying to get it started, but I'm struggling bad and its taking me hours to get anywhere.

    The current job I have is basically eating my soul, and I need to get out ASAP.
     
  2. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    Can't you move into a more regional management or corporate role within the company you are at now or within other retail companies, if not a straight up accounting position with them?

    I know that turnover for retail at all levels where I'm at is high. If you are good other companies pick you off quick and there's always spaces for district managers, corporate, etc...

    I'm your opposite though. I too have an accounting degree but accounting eats at my soul and I love retail at the higher levels. I even like dealing with dickhead customers at the managerial level because I can screw with them. But my time in retail was short lived as I moved onto my own thing. I also love bartending.

    I'll post some samples of cover letters later. I repeat this time and time again but get the 'Expert' series of books. The resumes and cover letters are amazing visually and you can pick and choose the best methods that fit your skills.
     
  3. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Doesn't matter how long you've been out of school -- having no direct experience always makes it impossible to get a job. What you need is to know someone who knows someone who needs an accountant.

    As with anything resume-related, writing a cover letter is a lot easier when you have experience under your belt. Is there anything at all about your current job that you can bullshit about being finance-related? Nothing shows you know your stuff better than when you can tell someone how you use your education to do your job better. Throw in a quick summary about that, use it as an example of why you're the perfect candidate for the job, and tell them you look forward to reviewing their offer letter. Yes, be that assertive about it -- none of this "I hope" or "if you're interested" bullshit.
     
  4. Nev

    Nev OT Supporter

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    Ya, the experience thing kills and its just incredibly frustrating. It leaves me sitting here with no idea what to do. Here's the cover letter I have so far...I plan to list some stuff about how I fit what is needed for the job at this point. If I can figure out how to do that :hs:

    Comments/Critiques welcome.

    "I was excited to see the posting for the open position of Staff Accountant on your company website. Based upon your listed criteria, I am a great fit for this position at XYZ.

    As a current manager in the retail field, I have gained valuable knowledge and experience that will enhance my success as a quality Accountant. This experience combined with my accounting education and skill-set will allow me to be an excellent performer and valuable employee to your company as you can see below:"

    Then will be a list of stuff, then a closing paragraph. I just have no idea :hs:

    I'm literally starting to breakdown about this stuff.
     
  5. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    Do you know anyone who needs an accountant? Friends's companies, or family or family friends etc. Have you tried asking?
     
  6. Nev

    Nev OT Supporter

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    No, and I'm so far out of school, I wouldnt feel comfortable being a sole accountant somewhere. I need to get in some entry level position where I can get a little training and get back on track. I'll even take any position taht is RELATED to any sort of finance/accounting stuff.
     
  7. Nev

    Nev OT Supporter

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    THe hours of retail have honestly changed me as a person. I have no life anymore. The company I'm in now (Abercrombie & Fitch) is just god awful in every way possible.
     
  8. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    That sucks, the possible hours I worked in management were 10-5 M-W,Sat. 10-9T,F, and 12-5 Sun. No more than 40 hours, only 2 late nights a month and a guarantee of 2 days off a week on consecutive days. We had a good setup.

    The district managers were strictly 8-5 M-F as well as most corporate. Accounting might be different leading up to their respective year end. Can you move up to corporate or district management? Maybe at another chain?

    It sucks but have you tried starting at crappy positions like payroll, A/R, A/P? You won't be long in these positions, especially if you have the university already taken out of the equation and only have to do the time and take the professional courses.
     
  9. Nev

    Nev OT Supporter

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    I would kill for those hours. My hours for this week for example are:

    Sunday: 11-8
    Monday: 2-11
    Tuesday: 2-11
    Wednesday: 2-11
    Thursday: off
    Friday: off
    Saturday:2-11

    Take the fact that it takes me 45 mins either way to get to work and they become 11-12 hour days. It also changes every week, but gets no less shitty. To get to a district level, id have to be in the company for 3-4 years and even then it is all politics.
     
  10. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    I know we are getting off topic but while you are searching for accounting positions, look for retail companies that offer thier managers (Store and assistant) the chance at internships at head office for the summers. A lot of stores do this and it's a great way to go the accounting route rather than purchasing or something. I know in Canada places like Le Chateau does this but then as a male you are almost assumed by everyone to be gay. But if that doesn't bother you then it could be a good way into accounting, plus there are really fun people in that industry higher up that will help your social life. Plus the cities they send you to are cool; Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. I imagine that it would be New York, LA, Miami and a few others in the states.
     
  11. Nev

    Nev OT Supporter

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    Retail honestly just does NOTHING for me. I've only been an assistant manager for 8 months, but I honestly dread going to work and basically have anxiety attacks because of how much i hate my job and how much it has ruined all aspects of my social life. I just want anythign right now that will pay $15/hr+ and give me a normal schedule and weekends off. It's honestly that bad and making me depressed.
     
  12. Nev

    Nev OT Supporter

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    Honestly though, without experience in a field, it is damn near impossible to write a cover letter that sounds remotely good. I'm struggling so bad. I've been on this for hours and have like 3 lines and nowhere to go from here on out.
     
  13. seismic

    seismic New Member

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    Instead of thinking about your lack of specific experience being detrimental, think about how your management experience offers skills that other accounting-only type people lack. Experience is always useful, you just need to word it so that they understand what you can bring to the table.

    You have management and teamwork skills that will help you work in a corporate environment. Inventory skills that will help you better handle accounting figures. Stuff like that. :)

    And don't say "I was excited".
     
  14. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    Ok...

    First a suggestion...there is a guy in member services doing resumes and cover letters, he charges but I heard he's great.

    Also, I'm an accountant and the market is really, really tough right now so you really need a great resume and cover letter that focuses on what you bring to a company and your teamwork.
     
  15. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Are you studying for your CPA? If not, you should start ASAP....this will help you land a job.

    Without experience and a CPA, you're going to be on the lowest rung of the ladder. I hope your grades were good in college. If not then you seriously need to work your ass off to pass the CPA in as short of a time as possible. It will be the one thing that can immediately help you land a job.

    Also you should talk to your colleges placement office. They are always willing to help former grads find jobs but you'll likely have to pay for the services now but they should be minimal.
     
  16. Ford4Life

    Ford4Life Guest

    Havng an undergrad accounting degree doesn't qualify you to take the CPA in all cases. It depends on what classes you took, etc. Sometimes you need an MBA in Accounting to meet the requirement.

    You won't be the lowest man on the totem pole without one. In public accounting maybe, but not in private industry. I'm a VP & Controller, and I'm not a CPA. I know plenty of CFO's, they aren't CPA's either.
     
  17. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Good point....the requirements have changed since I got my degree in 94.
    I agree that you can reach any level but starting out? Not likely to land the CFO job with zero work experience. Nothing is impossible however.

    My point was that a CPA would help him land a job quicker than not having one. He's complaining about not having any experience but working towards getting a CPA will provide additional experience.....even if he doesn't qualify to actually sit for the exam right now.
     
  18. Nev

    Nev OT Supporter

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    I honestly do not have the time to work toward a cpa right now.
     
  19. thefuckon

    thefuckon New Member

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    Getting your CPA is very expensive also. Here in NJ it's $250/part and there are 4 parts. Plus no one really passes the exam without some sort of course. The cost for the course is around $2,000. All professors in school told us they would highly recommend taking the CPA preparation course b4 sitting for the exam. They said almost everyone they've seen had to take the course to pass the exam.
     
  20. Godspeed

    Godspeed New Member

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    I agree with Coottie. My sister-in-law is a senior accountant and if the accountants under her at her firm aren't actively working towards their CPA, they are on the chopping block 24/7.

    You need to convey the idea to potential employers that you are still serious about being an accountant. When they look at your resume, they'll that you graduated 1.5 years ago and haven't worked as an accountant and they'll think that you aren't serious about it. Show them that you're still in the accounting game by pursuing a CPA and that will mean a lot. You'll probably have to go back to school to start on the CPA but you may be able to parlay that in some internships or something? Just some ideas...
     
  21. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Have you ever considered working at a bank? :dunno: Its a wildshot but if your good with the numbers then they might hire you.
     
  22. Midgetized

    Midgetized Don't mess with Douche Cat

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    How has it ruined your social life? This is the real world, not college. People spend most of their week working, not going out partying. You are off by 11 and you still get 2 days off a week. You have PLENTY of time for a social life.

    The real problem here is your attitude. You are depressed because you don't have weekends off :rofl: Time to grow up. You have a job and you are making money so you are still better off than a lot of people out there. The job itself probably isn't that bad but you've convinced yourself that it's so bad that you are almost having anxiety attacks. If you realize that your job isn't really as bad as you make it out to be then you'll stop being so miserable about it.
     
  23. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    I would think you could meet a lot of girls working there.
     
  24. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    This is an excellent point.

    Anthony Robins, the motivational speaker, says, "Your focus determines your reality. Change your focus and what you perceive will change accordingly."

    The OP is focusing on how bad everything is instead of focusing on the good.

    Oh and to the OP, you have plenty of time to work on a CPA. Many people work the hours you work and realize that they are stuck until they take some action like getting certified. You don't want to do it...fine...but that's way different than can't. You most certainly can but if you aren't willing to....then I would suggest that you really don't enjoy accounting.
     
  25. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    No lists in your cover letter -- paragraphs only. Explain how working the floor in a retail chain store has given you a real-world understanding for the costs and margins and other accounting BS terms involved with running a business. Try to paint yourself as the lieutenant coming back from the front lines to help plan the next wave of assault on the enemy, who in this case is wasted profit that slips through the cracks when nobody's watching
     

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