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Enquiry on job hunting strategy
posted on Sunday, 04 September 2011 23:42

Dear Career Doctor,

I am in mid-40s. I am currently out of job and feel desperate. I hold accounting, investment and business qualifications.

To save membership fees, I have given up a number of qualifications after I lost my job.

My experiences were more than ten years in accounting and planning, and two years in fund management. I was up to CFO level. I have been out of job for 2 years.

My job hunting progress was not smooth, I have not found a job after sending hundreds of applications.

Should I re-instate those qualifications given up which could cost me membership fee of around HK$15000 per year? Especially, I am thinking of applying for training job (I do not have any full time training experience) because commercial job is difficult to find at my age.

Or, should I just state in my resume that I had those qualifications before? 
Say, xxxxx in Year 20xx - 20xx,... instead of reinstate those qualifications and pay the membership fees.

Voluntary work in professional organization and statutory body, education institute... Should I state this in the resume? Would this be a minus or a plus for me if I disclose it?

Publications in various professional bodies' journals or magazines, should I state this in the job hunting process? Would this be good or bad to disclose this?

Should I look for accounting or fund management job? If I look for accounting job, should I look for senior post, middle level post or junior post? I wonder which level should I look for because I worry that employer of senior post may not employ me because I am out of the job market for 2 years, and middle level or junior posts may not employ me because of my experience and old age. I have this worry especially after getting no job after sending out hundreds of applications.

My specialty is in planning and management reporting for accounting job. 
Should I apply job with relevant requirements on my experience only or look for whatever accounting job available?

Or, should I look for a fund management junior post job which I have two year experience as the requirements for junior post are not so stringent, or I am too old for it?

Thanks for your help in advance.

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Stan Ho - Career Doctor's picture
Stan Ho - Career Doctor  
Posted Thursday, 19 April 2012 11:45 PM

Dear ryuen

You are welcome. Please keep me posted on your job search status and let me know if you have any other questions....

Anonymous's picture
Posted Friday, 06 January 2012 10:35 PM

Thanks for your suggestion.

My past remuneration is in the range of HK$50-60k. I was the CFO of local private company.


Stan Ho - Career Doctor's picture
Stan Ho - Career Doctor  
Posted Friday, 11 November 2011 07:22 PM

Dear ryuen

Thanks for your questions. You have raised many questions but I will focus on answering the main ones:

Job search methods

You mentioned that “…I have not found a job after sending hundreds of applications”. You are in your mid-40s, and should have at least 20-years of work experience. With that experience, the jobs you are targeting should not be at the junior level. Positions requiring candidates with 15- to 20-year experience are more likely to filled either by referrals or executive headhunters, rather than sending applications to the advertised jobs.

So I would suggest you go through your business card box or phone directory, and initiate contacts with your professional and business friends to see if they can help refer your CV for any relevant opportunities in their companies. You should also talk to the headhunters focusing on senior level positions to register your CV in their candidate databases.

Re-instating the professional qualifications?

Unlike CFA or FRM which are not necessarily a must for research analyst or risk management jobs, professional qualifications are quite important for your job search in the accounting field. There is absolutely no reason you should discontinue such membership. Even if you are in financial difficulties, you should at least re-instate those memberships (e.g. CPA) which are more crucial for the accounting jobs.

What jobs to look for?

You are now in your mid-40s. So you should be more practical in your job search. In other words, ask yourself what skills and credentials you have, and then focus on your job search primarily on positions looking for those skills and credentials. Based on the limited information you have provided, you should focus on the accounting job function and be very flexible about the industry you will apply for. Do not even think about applying for junior level jobs because, as you have correctly pointed out, you are too old for those.

I am glad that you mention about training, as teaching (or training) is really one of the areas you can seriously consider. You can try applying for a teaching job in accounting at the community colleges of the HK universities, as well as the part-time teacher or training jobs in the industry associations like the Hong Kong Securities Institute. Teaching will allow you to utilize your skill sets and knowledge in another meaningful way (earning money and sharing experience), and establish contacts with the students or attendees who could refer you to other opportunities in the future.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Wednesday, 28 September 2011 06:05 PM

So, could you mind give a hint for the range of your past remuneration? Worked in some MNC as CFO or local private companies only?

Anonymous's picture
Winnie Ngan
Posted Wednesday, 28 September 2011 02:30 PM

Have you ever try to get a job interview from your past connection in Accounting. As I believe, your CV will be neglected by HR immediately as they don't require people with more than 15 years experience. Alternatively, you may try to talk to consultant in Employment agencies & give you a better suggestion.

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