One question that’s often on my Accounting candidate’s minds is: “How can I make myself more marketable?”.

As we all know, there’s no cookie cutter answer here. However, there is a pattern of the most commonly requested skills my clients ask for. Here they are!

1. Local Accounting Experience

Let’s face it, Australia is a melting pot and a very attractive choice for aspiring or professional accountants to relocate to. The realisation many face after they have arrived is they are getting turned down for roles over candidate with local experience. How do you get experience if nobody will give you the chance to get it?

Have you considered volunteering or interning? Many Non-Profits, Associations and Memberships are more than willing to take in someone with accounting experience overseas to help build their local experience. Agree to work part time, or weekends if applicable so you can continue working elsewhere bringing in a pay check while you build your resume’s local experience.

2. Accounting Qualifications

Whether it’s a CA, CPA, or CIMA, a qualification is highly regarded and shows another level of dedication to your accounting and finance career.

3. Big Four Trained

Coming from a Big Four typically gives the impression that you are highly disciplined, the cream of the crop and someone who has been trained amongst the best.

4. Payroll Experience

Many payroll departments are being moved offshore, leaving a gap locally during the process and even after not having the local help if there are system implementations, or other projects that may come up.

5. Commercial Analysts

Those with strong Excel experience creating financial models with a financial or management accounting background, coupled with analytical skills are highly regarded for these roles.

6. People Skills

The truth is it doesn’t matter if you’re in a back-office function in accounting/finance, hiring managers want to hire likeable people who are optimistic and can carry a conversation. This doesn’t mean you must be an extrovert, but simply said a smile and an effort to engage with your teammates goes a long way even in the roles that don’t require a lot of interaction. Teamwork is always a part of your job, which means communication skills and a friendly disposition are essential anywhere you go.

Even if you simply goal yourself to have one out of the six most demand accounting skills, you are that much further ahead than many of your peers. Why not focus the second half of 2017 to achieve one or more of these and reward yourself with a brighter financial accounting opportunity!