Achieving your AAT qualification should mark the start of a whole new chapter in your career.
For many, that will mean launching straight into a new challenge – finding the ideal role.
To help you on your way, this final distance learning challenge suggests how to prepare for your new career. Including insight from our research of 1000 UK employers, to find out what they look during the recruitment process.
Identify your niche
There are job opportunities for finance professionals in a diverse range of industries, so honing in on your chosen niche ahead of time can really pay off when you’re looking to land that dream job.
The best way to do this is by tailoring your skills, experience and understanding the specialism you want to pursue.
How do I decide on a career path?
The answer will vary between individuals. Consider what your interests are, then look for roles where these overlap with that an employer is looking for.
Do you crave consistency and predictability? Maybe working in a finance department is the right call.
Or would you prefer setting your own hours, and working with a variety of clients? Maybe setting up your own business would suit you.
How to write a strong CV
Creating a strong CV will be a vital step towards getting an interview for your dream job. It can often be uncertain how much information you should share, and confusing how to present your experience to an employer.
I can’t condense my life into a page
Develop a strong personal statement explaining what you can do for a new employer.
Structure it to be scannable, easy to follow, and concise. Focus on the substance of what you are good at, and what you have to offer.
Don’t feel you have to follow a particular layout or format, but make your CV search-friendly, ensuring it contains key words and phrases that recruiters are looking for.
Skills but no experience
While experience is very important to an employer, they also want to know what skills you will bring to the table. They want you to learn quickly, and be assured that you are capable.
Employers will look to see what personal attributes you have. Amongst the most important are interpersonal skills – how well you get on with people, how well you present yourself – are you dressed appropriately for the office or any meetings you may have?
How do I show I am capable if I have no work experience?
Create your CV to focus on your skills and strengths, rather than your employment history. Flesh out with examples of how you have put your abilities to work.
Showcase qualities such as enthusiasm and commitment, by talking about how you have participated in running charities, sporting teams or other groups.
Also prove you are employable. Holding down a job in any field will show you an asset, and understand the world of work.
Show employers the best version of you
Employers want a new member of staff who is going to represent an organisation in the best possible light. However, what you reflect to the world via social media can sometimes show the opposite. Your CV and your online profiles might be working against each other.
Will my social media presence preventing me from getting a job?
Almost half of the employers we surveyed look at prospective employees’ social media profile when deciding when to hire them.
69% of those who check social media said they have decided not to hire someone because they didn’t like the look of their social media presence.
So spring clean your social media presence, don’t allow your profile to prevent an employer from hiring.
Prepare before the interview
When an interview is offered, it’s vital that you seize your chance to shine. It’s amazing how few candidates prepare thoroughly.
Being punctual is also crucial. If you are late for the interview without a good reason, you could spoil your chances of getting the job at the first hurdle.
How can I research and prepare well for an interview?
Prepare thoroughly. Find out who will be interviewing you, and if possible research them on LinkedIn.
Find out about the organisation, its business and the competition. It will come as a welcome surprise when you show your knowledge of the industry.
Think about the interview from the employer’s perspective – what problems, needs or concerns are likely to be uppermost in their mind? Instead of talking about why the role would be good for you, talk about the value you will add to the team.
Talk about your relevant skills, and be ready with examples to illustrate how effective you are.
Resource of the day
Find out more about how to avoid the most common interview mistakes.
David Nunn is Content Manager at AAT.