Category Archives: Advice

Advice on all things career related from a range of people, including careers staff, students & graduates, external organisations and other professionals.

How to impress at the Graduate Jobs & Internships Fair

Careers Fairs provide a fantastic opportunity for you to meet – and learn more about –  a whole range of employers, and further study opportunities, all in one place.

Our Spring Graduate Jobs & Internships Fair is taking place on 3rd May.  Full details available on the fair website.

This post provides tips to help you get the most from the fair.

Fair

Before the fair

Consider what you want from the fair: This should form the foundations of your planning and will shape how you approach the fair. Giving this some consideration beforehand means you are much more likely to find the fair useful.  For example, are you hoping to

  • Get answers to specific questions about a particular organisation?
  • Get advice on their selection processes?
  • Learn more about the organisation’s culture, or what their different opportunities involve?
  • Find out more about potential opportunities for the future?
  • Meet people doing the job roles in which you’re interested to get further insights?
  • Get inspiration about different types of opportunities or companies in which you may be interested (either now or in the future)?
  • Or something else?

Find out which organisations are going to be there:  And plan which you want to Continue reading

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Filed under Advice, Autumn career essentials, Career fairs & events, Networking

5 Ways To Show Employers You’re Ready For The World Of Work

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‘Career Clock – Flazingo

This week, Susanna from Inspiring Interns gives some useful tips for students and grads on how to prepare for the world of work, and demonstrate this to employers.

We’re in the middle of a graduate shortage. That’s right: while grads complain about how hard it is to find a job, employers are moaning about the lack of good candidates. Seems weird, right? But the problem isn’t necessarily the quality of graduates; it’s their readiness to enter the world of work.

The reality is that most students have never known real employment – a fact that many recruiters can tell from fifty paces. From STEM to arts subjects, from Russell Group to poly, graduates find the real world hard. These days, the movement from childhood to adulthood occurs not at sixteen or eighteen but with the end of university. As a result, many employers think of graduates, however much they claim otherwise, as too immature to be trusted with a job.

Here’s how you can assuage an employer’s fears and prove you’re ready to enter their world. Continue reading

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Tackling the Application Process & Being Open about a Disability: Part 1

disability

Steve Bone is a Careers Consultant at Leeds University, he supports students applying for graduate opportunities and advises his careers colleagues on inclusivity. In this blog, he highlights observations of the additional challenges faced by students with disabilities and shares advice on how to overcome these. This blogpost was originally published on Myplus Students Club.

Remember, you have something extra!

When supporting students with a variety of disabilities (both physical and unseen), what strikes me is that a positive approach to the application process is key. Successful applicants reflect on their ABILITIES and articulate these positively, alongside disabilities that the employer can make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for in the workplace.

Getting through to the application stage is a challenge; have I understated this? For prospective undergraduates who are unaware of their dyslexia, it is even tougher! So when I heard that an undergraduate, unaware of his dyslexia, had managed a successful application for an internship, I wanted to know how. Continue reading

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5 things to think about before you start your placement

Your Placement Year guide image

Already secured your placement? Find out what you need to do before you start from our Work Placement Manager, Rebecca.

So you’ve secured a placement – congratulations! Now it’s time to start to prepare for that all important first day. The 5 points that I’m going to cover here may not seem like the most exciting things to think about before you start your placement but you’ll be amazed at the difference understanding these things can make in the first few weeks and months as you settle in. These points are relevant to all placements but if your role involves designing or creating new ideas or products then the ones relating to confidentiality and intellectual property will be even more important. Continue reading

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How I started my own business – Too Good to Go

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This week, Chris, a MSc International Business grad tells us how he founded Too Good to Go, a social enterprise dedicated to reducing food waste. Read on to find out about his journey and get some useful advice on starting your own business.

About the business:

logo-tgtg_good-1Too Good To Go is an environmental social enterprise dedicated to reducing food waste. Through our mobile app, users can purchase food from restaurants, cafes, bakeries and other stores that would otherwise be thrown away at the end of the day for massively discounted prices.

As of March 2017, we’re active in six European countries: UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. Together we’ve amassed over one million users and diverted over 400,000 meals from landfill – all in the space of 18 months. It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey, and one that’s well worth sharing!

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Filed under Advice, How I got my job, Self-employment

How to Succeed At Your Accounting Interview

Human Resources Interview Recruitment Job Concept

This week Kara from the Accountancy Partnership talks about the interview process for the accounting sector and gives some useful practical tips on how to ace your interview.

Interviews are no one’s favourite way to spend time but they’re a necessary evil you’ll need to endure. In the increasingly competitive job market, you need to master the basics but also stand out among the competition.

Whether you’re looking for your first job in accounting or have already had some work in this industry in the past, here’s a simple guide on how to prepare for your interview:

Highlight Your Skills

If you’ve been studying accounting or even worked as an accountant before, you’ll have a good idea of what’s required. However, it’s good to remind yourself of the key skills needed to work in this industry.

Analytical skills

As an accountant you’ve got to have an analytical mind with good attention to detail. Errors in accounting can lead to penalties for you or your clients. This could end up costing your company in both penalties and lost clients.

Organisational skills

The chances are you’re going to be working on accounts for several different clients as well as any other duties you have. This means you’re going to have to be organised and able to manage your time effectively, particularly when there are deadlines to meet.

Communication skills

You may have to have a lot of contact with your clients. If so, you will need to be able to explain complex issues with their accounts in a simple and clear way that they can understand.

Tech skills

With the rise of cloud accounting and HMRC’s Making Tax Digital scheme, accountants have to be prepared. Some accountancy firms require accountants to be familiar with or able to learn how to use several different types of bookkeeping software, depending on what each client uses.

Business knowledge

Besides knowing the ins and outs of accounting, it’s also important that you have a clear understanding of how accounting fits into a business. It’s a good idea to keep up to date with what’s going on in your industry but also in the business world as a whole. This will help you when talking with clients or colleagues about the struggles or worries that businesses are facing.

 Demonstrate Your Skills

Once you’re confident you have the necessary skills for a career in accounting, you need to think about how best to show the interviewers this. This means being armed with examples of times you demonstrated these skills.

For each skill listed above and any others the firm considers important, try the STAR technique. It’s a handy way of breaking down your answers into more memorable and structured chunks.

This stands for, Situation, Task, Action and Result. For each skill think about this structure:

  • Situation – explain the situation you were in
  • Task – think of what you had to achieve
  • Action – what actions did you take
  • Result – what was the end result? What would you have done differently?

Sell Your Skills

While the most important thing is that you can do the job well, it’s important that you can sell them in a presentable, professional package that ties all your positive qualities together.

So make sure you’re dressed smartly. If you’re unsure what to wear, it’s always better to risk dressing too smart than too casual, especially for something like an accountancy firm.

Pay attention to your body language, make sure it’s projecting confidence and openness. People have a tendency to hunch and cross their arms when they’re nervous but this can come across as unconfident or even rude. Similarly, make sure you’re comfortable maintaining eye contact or you’ll look bored or unfocused.

When going in for the handshake, try to make sure it’s not too weak or too firm. Your handshake says a lot about your confidence. Don’t be afraid to practice with friends or family beforehand, as weird as that might sound.

Be Yourself

It might be a cliché but it’s still good to remember to try to be yourself. Though it might be difficult to see how you could possibly be yourself with all the advice of what not to do above, it’s important to try to inject a little personality into your interview.

Part of the purpose of an interview is to see whether you’d be a good fit for the company culture, both for yourself and for them. Try too hard to be someone else and the interviewers will spot it’s an act from a mile off.

Need to brush up on your interview skills? Take a look at the Interviews section of our website, and if you need any further help come and talk to us or book a mock interview.

This article was written by Kara Copple, content writer for The Accountancy Partnership

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Is My Career Goal Realistic?

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What?” – Veronique Debord-Lazaro

This week, Beth from Inspiring Interns talks about career goals and gives some tips on how to follow through and achieve them.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Children, when asked this question, let their imagination run riot. They want to be an astronaut, a pop star, a mermaid. By the time they’ve grown into undergraduates, they’ve often switched careers but become no less ambitious. Now, they want to be a journalist, a CEO, a TV presenter.

But while small children are encouraged in their dreams, students are often told to take a reality-check. They’re told the industry they’ve chosen is too competitive, the chance of landing their dream job too slim. They’re told they’re aiming too high or over-inflating their talents – ultimately, that their career goals are unrealistic and need to be adapted to an increasingly competitive job market.

Continue reading

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