Entry Level Jobs - Rejections/Confused

Learner102 Registered Posts: 4
Hi everyone,

This topic is just a little follow up to my previous topic titled "Beginner - Need a bit of advice", in which I asked the best possible way to enter accountancy.

Firstly, thanks alot for your replies, they were greatly appreciated.

After reading the responses I decided to try and apply for an entry level job as either a Finance Administrator or an Accounts Administrator or something along those lines and study AAT on the side. I looked at many other similar topics and saw that even after people completed level 3 or level 4 AAT, they were still struggling to find a job, so from that perspective I decided to first get any job related to accounts or finance and then progress onto the AAT.

I applied to around 40 jobs which asked for very basic requirements (all of which I had), and much experience wasn't needed at all in the salary range of £16.000 - £21,000 and its been around 12 days now and I have received around 5 rejections and many of them have "ended" on Reed. I am really confused, I know its a numbers game and they have alot of other applicants and so on, but I am genuinely confused on why I couldn't even land an interview. If you didn't read my previous post my credentials are 27 year old Recruitment Consultant that dropped out of University in the second year and has BBB in A levels).

I know alot of you will say keep applying, but I am really demotivated and really confused on how to progress. I have shown my CV to quite a few people and they said it was very good (I spent alot of time on it), and really need you guys' advice.

Many Thanks guys


  • martinf93
    martinf93 Registered Posts: 4
    Completely agree and in same situation. But you said it yourself all we can do is keep applying and it will eventually come. Positive outlook and mindset, those jobs obviously weren't meant for you.
  • JoJoMis
    JoJoMis Registered Posts: 50 Regular contributor ⭐
    I'm in the same position. I am now half-way through my Professional level and it has only taken me 6 months to get here from starting with Foundation in May. I feel like i am extremely determined and I'm a fast learner but don't really know how to communicate that through my CV.
    If it help in any way- I had a pretty solid CV in the industry I was in now and still sometime I would have to wait for a month or so to find a job. 12 days isn't long enough to give up... just stay positive! (easier said than done)
  • andrew96
    andrew96 Registered Posts: 10
    Hey, in the accounting industry experience is key, maybe try applying for apprenticeships.
  • Learner102
    Learner102 Registered Posts: 4
    edited October 2017

    The market is saturated.

    You have ACCA / CIMA qualified staff now applying for jobs that AAT qualified people used to be in.

    You now have AAT qualified people being nothing more than data monkeys processing invoices.

    You will need a bit of luck to land your first relevant role. Just persevere.

    Wow, I didn't know the market was saturated.

    How long has it been this way? the last 5 years or more?

    So just keep applying and hope I can get a role? I have perfected my CV again and shown it to many people who said it was really good, however the accounting experience is lacking. I did have some roles in previously in my recruiting firm when an administrator such as generating weekly invoices using SAGE-one and also communicating with factoring companies. I also was involved in making payments to employees and have been exposed to purchase orders, invoices and the fundamentals of PAYE, NI, SSP and was responsible for timesheet administration also.

    I thought all of this plus good communicaiton skills (meeting recruitment client companies etc) would at least land me an entry level job as a clerk. But it hasn't. That being said I did mostly only apply on Reed and I think 95% of them were through agencies so maybe they were much more tough on filtering, should I apply straight to the companies? would that increase my chances? Have you got any tips to increase my chances or where to go from here?
    Most of the jobs I have applied for (40+jobs) are accounts administrator or finance administrator. I have tried to contact apprenticeship places but they said I am too old for an apprenticeship (27yrs old)

    I really need some solid advice guys. Thanks
  • shannonr1990
    shannonr1990 Registered Posts: 36
    You should try a recruitment agency which specalises in Accountancy & Finance.
    I would also try applying for other positions such as Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivables. Along the same lines as Accounts & Finance Assistant roles, except with far less Admin & a lot more independence in the role (speaking from experience). I got my first role in AP as an assistant with zero experience what so ever! I then went on to study AAT and now just starting level 3 (so no where near the finishing line) I have just landed an amazing role as an AP clerk for a well known TV Production company. I got this through an agency who found me on Linkedin.

    Linkedin is AMAZING i am still getting offers now and ive been working in finance for TV Company for around 6 months. You just need to try other avenues. I personally wouldn't recommend reed they never once got back to me when i applied for anything! Linkedin is the way to go.
  • richf
    richf Registered Posts: 86 New contributor 🐸

    Most of the jobs advertised on jobs sites are unfortunately from recruitment agencies, they like easy to sell people.

    I struggled with this due to trying career change myself.

    Applied for 150+ which were advertised by agency's on websites and all I got was a few phone calls from recruitment consultants who quickly decided I wasn't worth the effort, one was quite rude and really demoralised me.

    At that point I changed tact and went through companies websites career sections, rang their HR even if wasn't truelly suitable and asked if could apply. Suddenly I was getting loads of interviews. Eventually took a job despite having second interviews lined up.

    I'd recommend this method for odd ball career changers such as us, cutting out the agency's helps and costs the employer less hence they are more willing to take a risk.

    That's my take on recruitment agencies anyhow, you might have more knowledge of how they operate.

    Good luck.

    Kind Regards

  • JoJoMis
    JoJoMis Registered Posts: 50 Regular contributor ⭐
    @richf That actually sounds very smart. What kind of companies were you looking up? I wouldn't really know where to start with that.
  • richf
    richf Registered Posts: 86 New contributor 🐸
    I applied to various top 10 companies initially after getting no where with jobs sites.

    I have a degree and had just finished AAT lvl 4, but didn't have minimum requirements for any, and had 13 years experience in different area.

    With each I rang and asked to speak to someone about it first, usually got a positive response for showing the initiative and the whole process really helped me work out my transferable skills and sell them as the applications are very thorough.

    I also just searched on Google for accountancy practices and also just big companies nearby, going through their websites career sections or otherwise just ringing them up and asking to speak to someone in HR. This in the end was more fruitful, but I'd still recommend starting high as the process really helped me sell myself.

    There are some jobs directly advertised on the recruitment sites, if you check daily or more often, and can get a quick analysis of the company done before adapting and sending your CV your in with a chance there too. As well as you are quick, and can sell yourself as a good fit in that initial CV.

    It's not easy method, but gave Interviews in quick succession, after each I reviewed my CV and thought how I could fill in the gaps. I'm not one for telling untruths or exaggerating, if you can be genuine and honest they'll see that, but you still need to outline how your skills transfer as they might not see how.

    Hope that's of use.

    In the end I even turned down interviews as was holding out for companies who would give me training. And through the process I changed melt mind on which way I wanted to go as learnt more about various roles.


  • richf
    richf Registered Posts: 86 New contributor 🐸
    Another tip i have is be organised, you are going to be going through a lot of info.

    I started a folder on my Dropbox account for each company I applied for from point of sending CV. I included anything useful as went through each application process and a copy of actual CV sent. I also have an evernote account where I would store data such as website links, points for interview etc for each company.

    Otherwise you'll get lost in all the information.
  • gwenb
    gwenb Registered Posts: 42
    Have you posted your CV on agencies that specialize on the Finance market? I constantly receive email alerts from Accountancyjobs.com, Hays and Robert Half. Friends and classmates I recommended these sites to, got jobs in Finance in no time. Worth a try?
  • KoopaCooper
    KoopaCooper Registered Posts: 224
    I started AAT level 2, finished that, and then finished level 3 as well, in the space of a year, and signed up to start level 4.

    During that entire year, I was applying to an average of about 5-6 jobs per day, for entry level bookkeeper and junior accounts assistant roles. Most never got back to me, I had about an interview per week and most of those either never got back or turned me down as well.

    By the time I got my job as an accounts assistant, I was just ready to start level 4, and had been studying and applying for jobs simultaneously for a little over a year. I had probably in that time applied for like 2,000 jobs, had about 50 or so interviews...and one successful job offer (which I took).

    Yep, the market is pretty saturated right now. All I can say is, stick with it. Just keep on throwing as many job applications as you can at the wall, and see how many of them stick. :)
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  • mcchoc
    mcchoc Registered, Tutor Posts: 59 Regular contributor ⭐
    There's always this:-

  • mcchoc
    mcchoc Registered, Tutor Posts: 59 Regular contributor ⭐
    There's always this -

  • megan158
    megan158 Registered Posts: 1
    Hi there- a few years ago I was in a similar situation. I was desperate for an accountancy career and applied repeatedly to entry level jobs with no success. I had completed Level 2 and 3 at night school so my CV was getting some level of attention but nothing that came to fruition.

    With nothing to lose, I wrote to several local accountancy firms outlining my situation and how I would like to volunteer to gain experience. I worked 5 days a week but had one weekday off so offered to go in on my day off every week and do some expenses or invoices etc and to my surprise I actually got a few responses! So I did that for 3 months and the interviews came rolling in because it shows initiative and as well as that I managed to get a reference within the industry. People will often give you a chance as they’ve been in a similar situation themselves. I’ve now been working in finance for over 2 years and have progressed to Assistant Accountant.

    Worth a shot!! Good luck
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