Work experience still beats out people skills when it comes to getting hired, according to a survey of chief financial officers.

Among 1,400 chief financial officers surveyed, 41 percent said that if two candidates interviewing for an accounting or finance position had similar skills, industry experience is the factor most likely to tip the scales in an applicant's favor, according to a survey by Robert Half International Inc. Thirty-three percent said that candidates with software and technology expertise have an advantage; 15 percent cited certification or an advanced degree; 7 percent said multilingual skills; 3 percent cited international experience; and only 1 percent said that personality or people skills would win out.

"Executives value job candidates who understand the issues and challenges specific to their industries and who can contribute immediately to the company's success," said RHI chairman and chief executive Max Messmer.

"As organizations face mounting pressure to meet corporate governance regulations and ensure the security and integrity of their financial data, technical aptitude becomes particularly important," Messmer added. "Employers seek accounting professionals who are proficient with the latest database applications and enterprise resource planning programs, and also can collaborate with IT staff in implementing upgrades and systems conversions to increase operational efficiencies."

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