CV recommendations?

datkins91 Registered Posts: 3 New contributor ?
Hey ya'll.

So I've almost completed Level 2 in the AAT qualification; all but the WEAF project and Computerised Accounting, which both will soon be completed in the coming month. It has been suggested that I begin applying to as many positions as I can by my lecturers, so that is what I shall be doing!

I have never worked in accountancy before and am paying for this first level out of my own pocket, which is also partly the reason I wish to hopefully secure a position within accountancy so they may help fund the next level for me starting in September/October. I'm not saying this is going to be easy by any means! But it's my plan so far...

So I was wondering what I should include within my CV in regards to my progression with AAT.. should I just simply state the units which I have passed.. or would it be an idea to print out the 'achievements' on the website.. (not saying it's a good idea, but wondered what you guys thought?)

Also, any other tips and pointers for my CV would be much appreciated!



  • twinks01
    twinks01 Registered Posts: 16 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    You could perhaps include a brief explanation of what kind of things were covered in Level 2, as potential employers might not know and add that you intend to carry on with your studies. Try and think of anything you can add on even if it is small, such as you did a short Sage course or you add up your mum's cash book sometimes or you went to a branch meeting once. Anything thats shows you do more than you need to I suppose, so that you stand out.
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    A CV should show your strengths not just list what you did. I'd advise highlighting the units you enjoyed most and were most successul at. For example, I most enjoyed Unit 5 so I'd probably say somthing like this:

    AAT Intermediate:

    At this stage of the qualification I have studied the preparation of financial statements of sole traders and partnerships using the extended trial balance method, and taking this information through to final accounts. I especially enjoyed the "incomplete records" part of this unit, as I am a natural problem solver and enjoy the methodical approach that this type of work requires.

    My studies at AAT Level 3 have provided me with a good knowledge of Costing Methods and Cash Management. As a confident communicator I also enjoyed the Credit Control unit, and am looking forward to applying these skills in a practical environment.

    Don't take to much time listing the units - because every candidate will have studied exactly the same units as you, so if everyone just lists the units you won't stand out ! Relate what you have learned to your personal qualities and aspirations. - use the opporutnity to sell yourself.
  • Kate989589
    Kate989589 Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    I just got a job (about a month ago) in my first accounts roll. I'm an assistant accountant now for a major UK car manufacturer. I applied for loads of jobs from about midway through Level 2 until I secured this posistion. I only actually got 2 interviews, lots of agencies kept pestering me and still do, but I'm just not keen on agency work.
    My previous roll was a hotel receptionist, so I added the very small amount of accounts work I did there (invoicing, debt chasing) into my job description. When I spoke to one agency she asked me alot of questions about what I can do/understand. I listed things such as puchase ledger, sales ledger, sage, bank rec, petty cash handling etc etc and she sugested I add those to my CV. So I did and low an behold I got the next job I was interview for.

    In the education section, I added AAT but I kept it brief as I have alot of other qualifications and I didnt want to drown my CV. I just made sure I put 'First time passes on all exams' as I saw alot of job descriptions on the Jobsite asking for a candidate with first time passes. I also mention in the cover letter, my enthusiasm and how I also fund my AAT myself. If you want I can email u a copy of my CV and Cover letter so u can get some idea's. Its by no means perfect but it usually secures me an interview. :P
  • Kate989589
    Kate989589 Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    O and I asked my boss when i started, they had over 400 applications, which they narrowed down 140 candidates with relevant experience/qualifications. Which they then shortlisted to 4 interviews, 1 of which didnt show. And i got the job... so theres some tough competition out there.
  • Rink26
    Rink26 Registered Posts: 2
    edited April 2015
    Hey guys

    Smashing advisory material on here! I am in a similar situation as datkins91. Self funded both AAT level 2 (achieved) and 3 which I am completing in June and aiming to progress to level 4 in September. All my assessments were passed first time on both levels. Aged 35 and after 6 years in admin of-which I was made redundant from in 2012; I am really struggling to find employment in accounts so as to set foot in my career ladder. I am currently working via agency as a community support worker but recently came up with a plan to send out speculative CV and cover letter to all my local accounting firms and major firms/stores. I have created a datasource with all research done online to establish HR or practice managers of the firms to obtain names to whom the speculative documents will be addressed. The challege here is; I am uncertain of what to include in order to make myself marketable. Any help would be greatly honoured.
    Cheers :)
  • ariadne
    ariadne Registered Posts: 218
    Have a look on the AAT careers page for CV advice and there's plenty of other advice around. Recruitment agencies may be helpful in improving your CV as they know what their clients are looking for, they often ask you to come in and discuss it or even take some tests to add to your CV - data entry and word for example. Our local council run courses on job seeking which include CV and interview help, have a look at your council's website for adult education or try the local colleges. There are private companies who help with CVs etc but these can be expensive, I've found a couple of them for women specifically, mostly returning to work after children or caring for family, which aren't so bad at £50 for a workshop. AAT also ran a careers fair which probably had such advice available too.

    If you can get any voluntary work it will help, as would a bit of shadowing in local practices - they'd get to know you better than just from the CV and keep you in mind for future vacancies. Same for temping if you can get some work - look at admin with financial bits to boost your CV. You can also get more CV advice from the contacts you make doing this. I was told it might be better to physically go into the firms and hand the CV over personally too, but this is totally nerve wracking.

    I suspect, but hope I'm wrong, that age is a factor and it will be a bit tougher than for school/uni leavers - more so for me having kids and this is obvious from the gap on my CV and can't be left off.
  • Rink26
    Rink26 Registered Posts: 2
    edited April 2015
    Thanks for your poll of ideas Ariadne; all taken on board. I will certainly see if my local agencies will help with tailoring my cv to suit. I was previously put off by one when they said they only consider people with experience. People do change career though, hence my believe in continuing with studies and hopefully I will be successful in finding employment.
    Ps. Just to mention, I went to my local career service and they supported with filling the gaps in employment which is great. However, I still feel it does not reflect how it should be as unknitty highlighted earlier in this forum. It's list based rather than strength or competency based.....
    I also attended an employability training mid-last year voluntarily which was great. Went to 3 interviews but did not get the jobs. Requested feedback and on each of them, I had similar responses; the successful candidate had accounting experience of which did not have accounting experience that the successful candidate had....:(
    I might opt for volunteering as thus how I landed my previous FT admin position which I held for 6 years.
    Your advise is much appreciated.
  • ariadne
    ariadne Registered Posts: 218
    I worry about the agencies being snotty with me too. I found this when I was a student trying to find temp work but they did help once I had a bit of admin experience. As for accounting specific, really try to bring out any little think you did that was finance related, however tenuous. Voluntary work could help - I posted my CV on a few sites a while ago and was called up on the basis of a voluntary role. I wasn't quite ready with childcare. I think temping could be good if you can get some bookkeeping or payroll type work on the side, and temping gives variety in a shorter time. I think location can make a difference unfortunately too. Keep us updated on your progress and share any tips that went well. I'm trying to do some voluntary stuff but would love to approach some practices for work experience, it just sounds scary and difficult but I'm told the college students do this so it should be fine. Good luck.
  • Saeedabdelwahed
    Saeedabdelwahed Registered Posts: 1
    edited January 2017
    Hi every one
    I've finished my level 4 over a year ago but struggling to get a job as all the jobs I've seen needs experience , also any recommendations on how to write a personal statement and cover letter? i'm currently working as warehouse operative
    thank you
  • sandeshbukate
    sandeshbukate Registered Posts: 1
    hi all recently i have come across this blog about resume tips and i found it nice so i would like to share it here Thank you and hope it would help you too.Thank you.
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