Friday, March 2, 2012

5 Tips for Building a Personal Brand After Earning an Online Accounting Degree

Whether you are considering enrolling in an accounting program online or about to graduate it's never too early to start thinking about creating your personal brand. Creating a personal website or developing an elevator speech may seem like strategies for those in creative industries, but the ability to showcase strengths is a critical skill for all professionals, including those studying accounting online. If you want to build a strong career, consider these tips.
Add Up Your Strengths: All accountants like numbers, but there's probably something even more specific you enjoyed about your online accounting classes. Do you love assisting in the budgeting process? Get so excited about tax law that April 15 feels like a holiday? Can't get enough of watching the stock market ebb and flow? Well, those are small traits that make you stand out from a crowd. A successful job search depends on you assessing your strong points and being able to explain them. If I asked you right now, "So, what do you do?" would you have an interesting, 30-second response? If not, read on.
Prepare your Quick Pitch: We've all been there. A potential boss, new client or professional acquaintance asks you what you do. And, they aren't talking about your knitting hobby! This is the time to have an elevator pitch ready; a short blurb that you can memorize and say on demand. It should be about five sentences long. This is your chance to tell your story, like how you started in your online accounting training and what drew you to the field. Weave in key facts like your current employer and your future career dreams for a perfect pitch.
Beef Up your LinkedIn Profile: The key ingredient to making a perfect LinkedIn profile is lots of information. LinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals. This is a way for you to share your elevator pitch in an online format, while connecting with people you know, and people you hope to meet. You should detail your current job and what you do, your work history and where you went to school. Don't miss out on the chance to include your personal interests, areas of expertise and ask former and current coworkers for recommendations. Your LinkedIn profile can talk you up before you ever meet a potential employer.
Go Back Online: Thanks to your online classes for accounting, you're probably comfortable on the world wide web. Use that to your advantage! While LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can introduce you briefly to potential employers or clients, a website can extend the conversation. It could be as simple as a blog where you share insight into the world of accounting. The Internet enables you to form a community around a particular interest. Online forums are an easy way to make connections and build up your expertise. It could even be a site where you advertise your services - giving you an opportunity to do taxes or financial analyzing on the side or even one day to open your own firm.
Meet your Fellow Accountants: Joining a professional group can put your foot in the door to many opportunities. Organizations range from general accounting networks to enthusiasts about whatever type of accounting you like. This can be your chance to practice your elevator speech outside of a job interview and meet new professional connections. Keeping in touch with your fellow online accounting school graduates can also loop you in to current open positions and the top companies in your industry.

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