OSCPA Offers Advice on Finding a Job in Tough Times

Though relatively low in Oklahoma, unemployment has been on the rise. If you are among the thousands of people seeking work, it’s important not to give up hope. While conducting your search, the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants recommends these steps to improve prospects and ensure employers see you as the best person for the job.

Employment professionals advise that networking with a few people who know your skills can be a much more effective job-search technique than sending out stacks of resumes to strangers. Begin by making a list of people who might be able to help you. Be creative in whom you include, listing not only former colleagues or employers but also friends, family members and neighbors who might have great contacts. Send each one a personal note or arrange a meeting. Tell them you are looking for new opportunities and explain exactly what you’re seeking. Ask if they know any companies or professionals you should contact.

The isolation from the workplace can be a tough part of any job loss, and it can also prevent you from finding a new position. Stay in touch with former colleagues or with other contacts in the same field. Socialize with them as often as possible in order to keep current with the marketplace and maintain good spirits. Whether they have a job or are looking themselves, these professionals can be a great sounding board and information source.

When are called for an interview, make sure you’re prepared for it. Use resources in your local library, such as corporate information guides and business publications — as well as the organization’s own Web site –– to learn everything you can about the company.

Once you know what the company’s about, begin to consider how you should best market yourself to this employer. No matter what else is discussed in the interview, your potential employer is seeking answers to a couple of basic questions: Why should I hire you? What’s in it for me? Before heading into the interview, make sure you have thought about the answers to these questions. Be prepared to explain how past experiences fits with this organization and how the company can benefit from having someone with your skills and background on board.

Many people fail to follow their better judgment when they are anxious to find work and, unfortunately, find themselves victims of employment scams. Remember that most legitimate organizations do not require job applicants to pay for a work opportunity or for information about openings. Scammers try to sell unsuspecting job hunters information about federal or postal service jobs, but these agencies never charge application or information fees, according to the Federal Trade Commission. In some cases, a scammer may try to sell you a brochure that supposedly contains job listings or test questions for government exams. The information in these booklets may be incorrect or useless. You can find out legitimate information at www.usajobs.opm.gov, the official job site of the federal government or at www.usa.gov.

If you would like additional information about overcoming a financial crisis, reducing taxable income and other financial topics, don’t miss “Do It Herself: A Journey to Financial Freedom,” the ultimate one-day financial makeover for only $15. Visit www.KnowWhatCounts.org for additional information and registration, or call (800) 522-8261, ext. 3829.

With more than 6,600 members in public practice, industry, government and education, the OSCPA is Oklahoma’s only statewide professional association of s. Since 1918, the organization has continued to provide professional education, conduct quality reviews and promote and maintain high standards of integrity and competence within the accounting profession. Visit www.KnowWhatCounts.org for more financial tips and a free referral and free consultation.

Updated 08-05-2009

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