Trying to get work experience (North West/Cheshire/North Wales )

gazwales84 Registered Posts: 3 New contributor 🐸
I am hoping someone can help. I am currently studying AAT Level 4 having already completed Levels 2&3. I am however finding it extremely hard to get some work experience, interviews or ultimately a finance related job.
I am 29 and live in West Cheshire, and Accounting/ Finance is a career change for me having spent about 12 years in the manufacturing industry. I have sent out almost 300 CV's, e-mails or speculative letters and applied for numerous jobs both agency and non-agency, but very rarely get a reply or any feedback.

Any tips would be fantastic.


  • DebbievB
    DebbievB Registered Posts: 3 New contributor 🐸
    I'm going to be in your position in a couple of years. I've just started AAT level 2, I've been applying for jobs even before I started the course. I've signed up to a website called Do it, it's a volunteering website. As I have no experience of even working in an office environment. I'm curently waiting to receive an application form for the cab. Not sure if it'll help, but I have to do something. I've also noticed that alot of admin jobs are also accounts based. So really hoping I can take that route to get where I want to be.
  • Sam22
    Sam22 Registered Posts: 117 🎆 🐘 🎆

    I was in your position too. I started studying AAT whilst employed as a Military Musician so my background couldn't be anymore different. I too found it really difficult to find work experience. I went round to all my local practices with my cv but no where would allow me to do any work experience or even to come and work for FREE a couple of days a week.

    I was also having issues with recruitment agencies who would disregard my cv and cover letter because of my lack of experience. It wasn't until I started making follow up calls to every single vacancy I applied for the day after I sent it off did I start to get anywhere.

    It's such a time consuming, confidence knocking process, but do not give up. There will be something out there, you've just got to make the recruiter/employer believe you are the perfect candidate.

    After 3 months of round the clock job hunting, I had 2 interviews in the space of a week and was offered one of the jobs for an Accounts Assistant position. Don't let the fact you don't have extensive practical experience put you off, more often than not, if you show you have the drive and the passion, this is more valuable, experience will come. Also, don't under estimate the power of a cover letter. It's the first thing the recruiter/employer is going to see. Show them why you are the best candidate for them. It's about selling yourself, making them think they need you as part of their team. I also spent a lot of time on a LinkedIn profile, building up a network of recruiters and various people within the industry which seemed to help too.

    Turn around the fact that you don't have specific experience in the industry and focus more on what your previous career has taught you. What skill-set have you developed that will give you an advantage within accountancy. Focus on this and turn the negative of lack of experience into a positive.

    Sorry this is so long, but I completely understand how frustrated you must feel and wanted to share what I did to help me in finding my first job in accounting.

    Hope this helps.
  • gazwales84
    gazwales84 Registered Posts: 3 New contributor 🐸
    Thank you both for this fantastic advice. I am going to work on some cover letters over the week end and start phoning some companies up.
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525
    You can also try the job centre website - I know other forum members have used this and found it to be useful and rewarding.
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
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