You’ve worked incredible hard, made many sacrifices and have finally earned your CMA designation. It seems like the hardest part is over…
But then you begin to struggle with finding a job.
Job hunting is no treat and has become incredibly difficult for new graduates because the competition is so fierce. If only you knew what employers were looking for so you could tailor your resume and efforts.
Well good news — we know what employers are looking for in a CMA employee. Take some time to really evaluate your own skill set so you can highlight your professional assets on paper.
What Kind of Technical Skills do you Possess?
Technical skills refer to knowledge and capabilities you have that would allow you to perform specialized tasks. As a newly minted CMA you likely have all the knowledge fresh in your brain, but you will also need to have other technical skills such as:
- Computer literacy for bookkeeping or data entry tasks
- Experience preparing budgets or financial reports and statements
- Leadership abilities such as being able to supervise staff and evaluate their performance
Look back on all of your previous work experience and draw from that even if the experience doesn’t come from management accounting related work.
Do you Have the Right Soft Skills?
Soft skills essentially refer to your personality and ability to work with others in a group setting harmoniously. You would be surprised to learn how many individuals are fantastic by themselves, but completely unable to function as part of a productive team.
CMA employers want their future employees to have the soft skills required to communicate effectively with coworkers and clients alike. In particular, they would be looking for candidates who have a high regard for confidentiality and discretion, as well as the ability to problem solve without supervision
Are you Computer Literate?
In this technological day in age, you would be hard pressed to find someone who couldn’t handle a computer, but it’s important to mention that this is a critical skill set. As a new employee you will likely be trained on company-specific software, but demonstrating proficiency in the basics (Microsoft Office, Excel, etc) is crucial.
If you have additional training or experience with software like Quickbooks to an Enterprise Resource Planning system such as Oracle be sure to list these on your resume.
What Does Your Record Look Like?
Due to the sensitive nature of the CMA position, you must have a squeaky clean background.
Thanks to the internet, you are also going to want to take a look at all of your social profiles and make sure that they represent the image you want your future employers to see. It’s no secret that employers are utilizing these social platforms to get a behind-the-scenes look at candidates, so make sure yours will pass the inspection — no nudity, beer chugging, smoking or worse should be found in your photo albums.
Do You Have Any Additional Qualifications?
Obviously becoming a CMA was a great choice for advancing your career, but if you have any additional qualifications it can also help you find your dream job and climb the corporate ladder.
In addition to your CMA designation, if you hold your CPA, CFA, MBA or something similar, this can give you a leg up on the competition and really make you stand out amongst the other candidates.
The Bottom Line
Earning your CMA certification is just step one in landing your dream career. With so much competition you really need to sell yourself on your resume in order to stand out. Don’t be shy in sharing your experiences, achievements and qualifications.
Also, don’t forget how far a positive attitude can go. Showing an employer how interested and dedicated you are to this profession can help tilt the scales in your favor.