In an ideal world, you’ll leave school with a brand new certificate under your belt and a prompt, shiny new job offer waiting for you right after graduation. In reality, things might be more of a hunt – but finding a match in a competitive job market can be much more attainable with the right perspective on your continuing education, and what it can bring to the table.
Realizing there’s more to your certificate than you might think is the first step to opening new doors. When it comes to the accounting field for example, continuing education is highly valued by recruiters; in a highly dynamic, wide-open field where you can work in nearly any industry, it shows you’re committed to staying on top of best practices, training, and new trends. Plus, many of the courses in the Certificate in Accounting – Finance are recognized as prerequisite courses for entry into the CPA Professional Education Program, which means a certificate will help you on your way to designation.
A certificate from a reputable institution is appealing on paper, but how do you turn your valuable time as a student into meaningful work? Read on to learn how you can leverage your certificate – whether you’ve recently completed it or it’s still a work in progress – into new opportunities for work, connection, and experience.
Stay In Touch with Peers
Upon graduating, and even throughout your time as a student, your professional network can be a doorway to new opportunities and even support in the job hunt. For starters, LinkedIn is an easy tool for connecting with alumni from school, joining groups related to your field, and maintaining relationships with other professionals in the industry of your choice. The more connections you make, the larger your web of support and information. Your peers are a great resource as personal references – for example, someone you worked together with closely on a school project can attest to your commitment, shared goals, and how much of a hard worker you are. Staying in touch with your classmates after completing your certificate keeps you “in the know” to new connections, insights into the industry, and more.
While many universities and courses have pivoted to online learning, there are still options out there for you to connect with your classmates, from student groups and digital study sessions to discussion boards. Get better acquainted with the other students around you and watch your network of support, encouragement, and opportunity expand.
Connect with Guest Speakers and Instructors
Guidance, expertise, and even influence in the field – your instructors are here for you for a reason. Developing relationships with instructors is a way to open doors in the industry you’re pursuing – they’re a wealth of resources, connections, and genuine encouragement and support – and they could even be open to using their own network to plug you in. Depending on where you might be applying, they might be able to connect you to a past employee, a hiring manager, or a mentor. Just like your peers, a personal or professional connection you’ve gained in school can always attest to the value you bring to a potential workplace.
Looking for another way to network? Make connections with guest speakers after class. If their expertise and speaking points were up your alley, a chat with them over a virtual coffee is another way to gain further insight into what they have to share. If you feel too shy for that, an easy win is connecting with them over LinkedIn expressing how much you liked their talk. It can’t be stressed enough how beneficial a personal connection can help you down the road to meaningful employment, especially if they’re an expert in their field who was specially selected to share their knowledge with you. If you’re taking courses or registered in the Certificate of Accounting – Finance, you’ll be notified when CPA-led networking events are taking place, which is another way to leverage your time as a student into finding out about new opportunities for internships, placements, and professional development.
Use Your Learning
When it comes to our Certificate in Accounting – Finance, many graduates have found they have work opportunities before they finish. It could be entry level, but throughout the certificate you’ll steadily gain the experience needed to hold relevant positions in the field like bookkeeper, or clerk. The flexibility of each course means you can start looking for work while you’re on the road to completing your certificate, giving you the ability to apply your learning to real life job situations you’ll be encountering in the day to day.
With accredited courses and expert instructors who work in the industry, you can be sure that you’ll be equipped with the right skills and know-how to make it in your career. The hands-on learning and sharpened technical and professional skills you’ll gain are always in demand and can be leveraged in your job hunt. Even if your certificate is still in progress, showcasing your continuing education on your resume is a draw to potential recruiters or hiring managers. Another tip? Don’t forget about work you’ve done in class, and other overlapping achievements that match your ideal job – they’re worth highlighting.
In short, your certificate and your experience as a student are much more useful than you might think. Every tool in your kit is valuable – and each part of your time in school, even in a virtual setting, can be an opportunity to use what you know, and who you know, into making new career moves, forging your way into a new industry, or receiving the promotion you’ve been eyeing. Play to your strengths and interests, and make your certificate into something more than the sum of its parts.