Any help or advice gratefully received!!


I was made redundant a year ago from a non finance job and hoped to use my AAT qualification to begin a career in accountancy or finance. I am, however finding it very difficult to get "a foot in the door" due to my low level of experience.

Before I left my previous job I became Treasurer for a local theatre group on a voluntary basis. I have found this very enjoyable and it has given me some practical experience that I had hitherto lacked. The experience that I have gained has been enough for me to become a full member of the AAT but this has not been enough to get interviews for posts that I have applied for, which is becoming increasingly frustrating.

I have applied for in excess of one hundred jobs but have only received one interview and that was for a role that was largely customer service based with little in the way of accounting. I fully accept that some of the jobs that I applied for were aiming too high but equally I have also applied for Ledger roles, trainee roles and such like and it is jobs like these that I feel I should at least be getting interviews for.

I suspect that part of the problem is that my previous work history all relates to my time working in retail and my CV is rejected as irrelevant to the job I have applied for. However, there is nothing I can do about this as my CV accurately reflects my previous employment. What it doesn't show is that I started studying AAT as I was unhappy at work and wanted to change. Rather than complain about my lot and do nothing, I studied for my AAT qualification, whilst working six days a week. I found it hard going but ultimately it's the achievement I'm most proud of. If only I could get an interview so I can articulate this I feel that it might make a difference as I'd like to think it proves that I'm committed to working in finance (missing out the bit about being unhappy, I'm aware that nobody wants to hear a sob story).

I have given serious thought to starting my own bookkeeping business and whilst this is something I would really like to do, I would prefer to gain at least a couple of years working for someone before becoming my own boss.

If anyone has any hints or tips as to what I can do to increase my chances of gaining employment I'd be very grateful.

Kind Regards
Iain Hay MAAT


  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    Hi Iain,
    It seems that although you have a lot of experience, it may not show on your CV as relevant to the jobs you apply for.

    You may want to rewrite your CV as "skills based" rather than a history of your past employment. For some examples you could try a targeted CV format.

    Have you also tried speculative applications rather than responding to a recruitment advert? This is how I landed my first job in an accountancy practice after a career change.

    It's also worth registering with a few specialised recruitment agencies, meet them or speak to them over the phone and explain your situation and goals.

    Finally, update your LinkedIn profile to get noticed. It does work.

    [Deleted User]
  • IainMAAT
    IainMAAT Registered Posts: 5
    Thanks for your replies, you have definitely given me some new ideas. I'm looking forward to trying them out and seeing what difference they make.

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