Accountancy can seem a little intimidating as an industry to start with. Accountants train for what seems like a long time and have these complex strings of letters after their names. But what about if you want to get started in accounting jobs or work alongside your training? Here are some tips to help you break into accountancy.
Highlight your relevant skills
When you start looking at accounting jobs, there are some elements that are the same as with any job. You have to create a CV and eye-catching covering letter that include the most important facts about yourself. You also need to tailor that CV to the kind of roles you are considering and that means highlighting your relevant skills.
Perhaps you are currently taking AAT Accounting Courses in London or have a qualification under your belt. Obviously, this would be front and centre of relevant skills. But even if you are just starting your training or haven’t done any formal accounting training, there are still skills you can highlight.
Examples of useful skills for an accountant job obviously include good numerical skills as well as knowledge of the accounting profession, global business or legal issues affecting it and knowledge of the basic kind of software used. Good communication skills are important as well as negotiating and handling customers. Problem-solving, learning new systems or techniques quickly and good teamwork skills are all transferable.
Choose the right position
If you have no formal qualifications behind you then it is unlikely you will get a job at the higher level of an accounting firm. The key to success is to choose the right position to focus on. There are plenty of different options.
Apprenticeships have made a comeback in recent years and you can use them to combine work and study while still making some money. Training schemes might also combine that work element with formal training. You may want to try for temporary jobs, internships or junior positions without the need for accounting qualifications to get knowledge of the job and experience.
Try the long game
Sometimes you might not find the right kind of role for your long-term aims. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. You can carry on with your training and consider the long game – look for a role that could allow you to move sideways into an accounting job.
Let’s take administration roles – many of the skills you learn in these jobs can also apply to accounting jobs and you also learn many of the skills that are desirable. You may get jobs in bookkeeping, payroll or even marketing that help you build a CV that would appeal to an accounting role. That range of experience and skills could stand you above another candidate.
Get the right qualifications
There are options when it comes to qualifications for accounting jobs, but you want to make sure that you aim for the right ones. The AAT or Association of Accounting Technicians is one of the UK’s leading qualifications.
In fact, it is often a prerequisite for many accounting jobs. If you want to boost your earning potential as an accountant, it is also worth going through AAT training. An entry-level AAT certified professional will start at around £20,000 a year and rise to around £47,500 with experience, above the industry average.
There are different paths to getting started in accounting that allow you to find the right path. The combination of good skills and the right qualifications will set you up for a varied and interesting career in the profession and one that will see you earn a good wage too.
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