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Next step after a BSc Hons in Financial Management

I' ve completed my degree, but after six months I am still without a job. What should I do?

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Hi everyone!! First of all thank you for your (indirect) support, you cannot imagine how much you have helped me during my studies.

I have completed a BSc Hons in Financial Management six months ago (2:1) and I am still without a job. I have also a Foundation degree in Applied Finance. I have applied to any open position in UK and Ireland  but without success. I have more than 6 years of experience abroad as a management accountant and I am actually working as a volunteer in a Charity (during the day... while I work in hospitality at night to pay the rent and the bills). 

In my free time I study CPD courses, which are cheap and give me a deeper insight about accounting. I want to find a job as soon as possible, any kind of job. I was also considering to qualify with ICB and freelance as a bookkeeper, but the accountant where I volunteer, discouraged me, telling me that this is an old fashioned job which is disappearing with automation. I am arrived at a point where I am so confused that I don't even have a clue about a possible next step... I proposed myself to work for free in the practices here around, but nothing. 

In your opinion, what should I do? What is the fastest qualification/certification toward a job?

ICB and freelance? IAB to leverage my international experience and rolling the dice abroad? Will a certification in Financial Modelling (FMVA) be of any use here in UK, without a senior qualification like ACCA or CIMA? Better to build upon my competencies in programming and database developing and trying with Business Intelligence? Any proprietary software solution, maybe SAP or cloud accounting? Or should I change field, studying FRM? I want to be operative in less than one year, so for the moment I have discarded ACCA and CIMA. They are also too much expensive for me at the moment, I cannot afford them.

Thank you so much for your help

Be

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By WhichTyler
11th Jan 2019 09:01

You haven't said what sort of jobs you are applying for, but have you considered a training post in practice which will give you an income and a qualification?

https://www.icaewtrainingvacancies.com/job-search?job_types=full-time

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By Mediolanensis
11th Jan 2019 12:13

I am applying to these positions: Assistant Accountant, Assistant Management Accountant, Trainee Accountant, Treasury Analyst, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Trainee Accountant, Graduate jobs, Financial Analyst, Finance Assistant, Administrator and so on. Any possible job opportunity. I have already tried the ICAEW and ICAS route, but without success.

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By WhichTyler
11th Jan 2019 12:56

Are you finding that you are get interviewed but not apppointed or not getting interviewed?

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By Mediolanensis
11th Jan 2019 13:12

Not getting interviewed

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By MissAccounting
11th Jan 2019 10:23

What area of accountancy do you want to go into? I would stop with any further qualifications for the time being and concentrate on finding a role first as the qualifications may not be related to the role. Starting at the bottom or close to is often the best way but you are already "over qualified" for those positions even if you are willing to do them.

Speak to some recruitement agents too, they should be able to get you something even if its temp roles to gain some experience.

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By Mediolanensis
11th Jan 2019 12:18

I' d be happy with any area. Recruiters told me to be flexible. They told me not to look for a particular job, but to apply to any open position and let the job find myself. The general advice is that the starting point does not matter. So I am maintaining this approach. But it is not working...

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Caroline
By accountantccole
11th Jan 2019 12:15

I wouldn't worry about more qualifications at this stage, sounds like you need experience. See if you can offer yourself to a local firm (for free) to try out different aspects of accountancy / tax. They get to see if you are any good and you get some valuable experience. I've recruited from work experience people several times in the past

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By Mediolanensis
11th Jan 2019 12:40

I have already tried this route with local practices, but nothing. I could find a volunteer position in a Charity and I am trying to leverage this experience. I re-proposed myself to local practices and any possible available job opportunity, but without success. I don't know what to do...

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By Vile Nortin Naipaan
11th Jan 2019 12:20

Most employers with any sense favour people with dirt under their fingernails over those with half a ton of pieces of paper.

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Tornado
By Tornado
11th Jan 2019 13:35

As others have basically said.

You come across as indecisive and that probably puts off potential employers. I think you need to stop trying to do anything and everything and decide on a specific direction to take and only go in that direction.

Use your financial management skills to treat your abilities as assets and work out the best way to invest those assets to give the greatest returns.

You have the abilities but, no managed direction.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By Mediolanensis
11th Jan 2019 14:23

Thanks. If I knew what to do next, I didn't open this post...
The advice to have a clear idea is theoretically good, but crashes against the reality of the job market and of the bills to pay at the end of the month. Recruiters themselves recommend me flexibility in my approach. And I think there is nothing wrong in it, if the choices are coherent with previous studies and experiences. All the solutions I have proposed are in line with my journey. And the feedback from recruiters is that to get a job, any kind of job, I need the relative certification/qualification. This is not due to my indecision, but to the competitiveness of the job market. To the same position there are hundreds of applications and the ones with experience+degree+certifications wins over the ones with just experience+degree. The question is: which certification/qualification (among the ones coherent with my degree and work experience) offers the shortest path to get a job?

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Replying to Mediolanensis:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Jan 2019 16:28

Recruiters hope to earn commision.

By applying for lots of jobs you might just "get lucky"
But generally you will get an interview through correctly targeting what you do and your CV to the role you want to do. It you do better doing 2 or 3 targeted applications a week, vs 50 random ones. Successful job hunters tailor their CV and cover letter each and every time, this take considerable effort to research what they want, and edit your application to meet their demands.

I get regular approaches where people cant even be bothered to address me by name who claim they want to work for me, but haven't even read the website. Its not worth looking at.

Generally an employer will interview a fair number of applicants who meet the criteria. if you never get an interview, then you done meet the criteria, or your applications are poor and binned outright.

But ultimately, yes a degree isn't worth much to an employer, especially if its from a middling or poor uni, your previous work experience would be far more relevant to me, and A-levels if you did those in the UK

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By cbp99
11th Jan 2019 14:29

I think the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers I assume) is not such a bad idea. You should be able to qualify quickly with your experience, and will then be in a better position to take on bookkeeping assignments. It's not high level, and would not enhance your CV (just leave it off), but may increase your confidence, and sharpen your basic skills, and may help when pitching for assignments.
You may then be able to pick up bookkeeping work, which would be a better way, for you, of making ends meet than hospitality, and might lead to useful contacts with accountancy firms, as well as providing hands-on experience, which employers always want.

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By Mediolanensis
16th Jan 2019 16:53

Thank you for your reply. I was wondering why you said "just leave it off" (ICB qualification from my CV). Is it really perceived as a low level qualification? What would it be an adequate level of study? The management accountant where I volunteer discouraged me as well. He told me that bookkeeping is an old fashioned profession which is disappearing. But I see that people with ICB credentials are actually working and that they are highly prepared. Generally more prepared than AAT. It is baffling, I cannot understand where marketing ends and real life starts.

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By cbp99
17th Jan 2019 08:31

I suggested omitting ICB from your CV in the event it seems to be out of kilter with other qualifications. I think it is a good qualification, but it may not impress a recruiter at a higher level. Bookkeeping is stage 1 in finance, and an understanding of the fundamentals is important.

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By Mediolanensis
18th Jan 2019 23:41

My dream is to work as a financial manager (this is what I have studied for). Since I noticed that CIMA recommends to study AAT, I have come to the conclusion that a strong foundation is important. I like ICB programme and it seems better than AAT, even if this last one is more recognised. Do you think that from this perspective ICB may represent an added value? I am thinking in particular to the ICB modules in cost, Budgeting and management accounting. What do you think?

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By Moonbeam
11th Jan 2019 15:14

Something isn't right. I suspect it's your approach and the fact that you'll be overqualified on paper for a lot of the lower level you need start at. What about temporary bookkeeping work? Or any temporary admin job to get inside a company in case they can move you across to something more suitable.?

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By Red Leader
11th Jan 2019 17:17

I think that's a really good idea. Just get inside a company doing any work, then look to transfer.

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By Mediolanensis
16th Jan 2019 16:30

I am overqualified on paper. A recruiter told me to remove over-qualified experience. But it's not working as well.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
16th Jan 2019 17:17

Is English your second language?

I ask as you have certain turns of phrase re your sentence construction- whilst your grammar and punctuation looks fine- signs of a non native speaker- there is the odd phrase that jars, does not sound like that of a native speaker.

If my surmise is the case some expert input re your CV might not go amiss, they might slightly tidy up the idiom of your expression in both the CV and in a standard covering letter that might assist landing more interviews,

No idea if my guess is correct but be assured it is intended as a constructive comment.

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By Mediolanensis
16th Jan 2019 17:45

No, I am not a native speaker. So I imagine that even with a qualification/certification, my sentence construction will still be the real obstacle to the job market. Maybe I should take English classes.. What do you think?

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Replying to Mediolanensis:
By Moonbeam
16th Jan 2019 18:01

I doubt you need English classes. Your written English is superior to that of many native speakers.
What you are presumably encountering is the standard barrier that gets put up against all non nationals, particularly those who don't have much UK work experience.
In that case seek out ex pats from your own country in the UK. Join their social clubs. People when abroad look after their own kind because they know how isolating it can be in your sort of situation. One of them may have a need for your skills. It's all about networking and befriending people who could help you.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
16th Jan 2019 18:02

Get someone who has strong written English, current CV writing skills etc to go over your CV and your usual covering letter.

English classes are all well and good but your English looks 99 percent fine, what I am talking about is edge tweaking, and some of it likely just comes with time, so I am not sure classes will help that much . (I am a very poor learner of foreign languages so it is hard for me to really comment on whether classes will really help, I suspect not)

My daughter ,who is a native English speaker and writes reasonably well (I read her dissertation) got input on her postgraduate course applications (Msc)from my son's girlfriend who had herself twice been successful re postgraduate course applications, sometimes silly little thinks make a difference.

I would get some input on your standard CV or CVs (my son had different ones when he was applying in final year university depending upon the type of position he was after).

There is no stigma taking professional input re a CV, all our clients pay us to help in an area we are strong and they are weak, hopefully friends etc can assist but if not maybe someone can suggest a hired gun.

Anyway good luck.

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By Matrix
16th Jan 2019 18:13

I would change tack and look for jobs using both your finance and IT skills.

I know people who didn’t complete their accountancy exams but became very successful in IT areas for finance (in the City in London and Sky).

Look at graduate jobs, you may need some luck but your enthusiasm will help. Sell your languages too.

Put a positive post on LinkedIn and try and get it shared.

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By Kaylee100
05th Feb 2019 07:28

My daughter took some time to find work after graduation (she was looking for the creative industries). She trawled Indeed and other job websites, volunteered locally (as you have), had her CV of all skills and qualifications proof read and was advised to tweak it for each job role so it looked directed and clear to read, joined LinkedIn to start making connections and followed up failed applications politely.

Just some ideas. Good luck.

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