What Accountancy Employers Are Looking For, That School Doesn’t Teach

You’ll learn a multitude of valuable skills while you’re studying at university. As you join the
world of work though, you’ll soon notice there are a few skills that school simply can’t teach

Having a degree definitely gives you a distinct advantage, but applying for jobs is seriously
competitive – especially if you want to get those in-demand dream jobs!

Employers are increasingly looking for candidates who possess traits that will help them
thrive in the business. According to a recent study only 50% of employers believe degree
level applicants have all the skills required for the workforce.

Don’t be discouraged by these perceptions, your qualification is still a valuable addition to
your CV. We’re talking about what else is needed to go with your degree. The other skills
and qualities employers in the accounting field love to see in candidates.

A Willingness to Learn

We hear what you’re likely saying as you read this. You’ve just spent three years learning –
obviously you’re willing to learn! However, consider this.

We are living in one of the most dynamic times in history in terms of business technology
and innovation. New ideas can be shared with ease, and things change very quickly. And
let’s not forget, many businesses have had to shake-up recently due to various pandemic

It all adds up to a highly changeable work arena. Only those who are willing to listen and
learn new practices, technology and techniques, can help propel a business forward.

Show you’re practicing continuous professional development by reading industry
publications and websites. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your knowledge of new or
suggested innovations in any interviews. You’ll be perceived as the true expert you really

A Respect for Experience

We all know people can get stuck in their ways, and that fresh eyes tend to question things.
It’s never a bad thing to challenge the norm.

Remember, the people who interview you aren’t trying to hold you back. They’re more
likely to be looking for a protégé, or a future leader they can mentor.

But also remember that industry wisdom that comes with time. Prove you’re willing to listen
and learn from those ‘in the know’ by spending some time filling your CV with work

Even if you only spend a few days or volunteer, there will be experts you can meet and
network with, who will be more than willing to teach you the true value of experience.

Confidence and An Innovative Attitude

‘Intrapreneurialism’ is the practice of acting as an entrepreneur, but within an organisation.
Employers need a company culture of intrapreneurship in financial roles, as finance is often
the backbone of the whole organisation.

Show confidence in your ability to research and create new ideas. As long as you can back
up the reasoning behind them, be comfortable talking to your peers and higher-ups about Innovation

You don’t have to live and breathe finance to be a success in an accounting career path, but
an active interest will equip you with many of the skills employers want.

Challenge yourself to learn and develop outside of the academic environment, and we
guarantee your CV will be the one that your future boss can’t put down.

Article By – The Accountancy Partnership

My experience of studying Psychology at Hope

Article first featured on https://hopeuniblogs.com, posted on November 11, 2020

My name is Vaishali and I have recently graduated from Liverpool Hope University with a degree in BSc Psychology (honours).

One of the main reasons why I chose Psychology at Hope was because of how small the university and the department really was. Having a small department and cohort means that I really got to know the people on my course and my tutors. The academics really get to know you on a name basis and not just as a number on the course, they are really approachable and will always make the time help you with any problems that you have during your time at the university. Hope has such a sense of community within a large and busy city which put me at ease, especially as I moved to a new city for university.

Another reason why I loved Hope and Liverpool was the amount of opportunities across the university, while studying Psychology and in the city of Liverpool. During my time, and with the support of the careers hub, I worked as a Student Ambassador which really improved my university experience. I would get paid to support with Open Days, school visits, campus tours and representing the Psychology Department. This was great because I only worked when I wanted to, so I could focus on my studies if and when assignments were due. I also made so many friends from different courses and year groups – I had more familiar faces around the campuses which made me feel like I was really part of a community. I really enjoyed helping others and learned so much, which informed a lot of my course work.

The Psychology course at Liverpool Hope University provides a range of topics from religion to research methods. I got a better understanding of a large variety of topics throughout my degree and you have the option to choose specific modules that you want to learn. My favourite module was Clinical Psychology, which prepared me a lot for my dissertation during my final year. You have the opportunity to choose your own research project to conduct with the support of a supervisor. I was able to do my dissertation on investigating the genetic and environmental factors which influenced smoking behaviours and being able to quit smoking.

I loved my time at Liverpool Hope and I have learned so much about Psychology and myself.

Back to basics…CV Writing

What is a CV?

A tool to market yourself for jobs

How your content effectively matches the role’s requirements (i.e. Skills, Knowledge and Experience) of a vacancy. The better you can demonstrate this match, with relevant information, the better your chance of being short-listed.

A reflective tool

Drafting a CV is a great way to identify blind-spots or areas in your Skills, Knowledge and Experience or further enhance what you already. This can also be a great way to start a careers appointment.

The Basics…making it competitive

In most cases, a CV ready for submission should be no longer in length than two sides of A4.

The main body of text font size 11 or 12.

The font type needs to be sensible. We recommend Ariel or Calibri.

Do not include a portrait, age, marital status, criminal record, nationality or disabilities.

Keep contact details to address, contact number and any relevant online profiles (e.g. LinkedIn) or websites that you would like the employer to know about.

Pick’n’Mix Your Sections

Below are a list of ideas for sections to include in your CV. You can choose some or all of these sections. However, the most important thing to consider is: does this document create an effective match between myself and the role? – i.e. does it present me in the best possible light?

Personal Profile: this is a brief overview of your Skills, Knowledge and Experience that briefly highlights why you are a suitable candidate for the role

Skills and Attributes: a short-list of skills and attributes that you consider relevant to the role and add value to your application. This is an effective section for candidates who have lots of technical expertise and/or those who are lacking in relevant experience to the role.

Education: list from most recent/current to last. Title line for each stage of education should look include: date (e.g. mm/yyyyy-mm/yyyy) course (e.g. Degree or A-Level or GCSE, etc) and institution. Depending on the relevance of the role, the reader may be interested in reading more about the content of your degree studies.

Work Experience: this can include paid employment and unpaid work experience. As with Education, you should list these from current or most recent with a title line: date, role (e.g. Chimney Sweep) and organisation (e.g. Hope Sweep inc). Briefly describe the duties of each role.

Other Information: this should include anything that you consider valuable to the employer that you haven’t mentioned already. This could include: driving license, additional languages, professional training, company visits, project work, etc.

Achievements: if you have received any official awards, commendations or recommendations this is the place to include it.

Hobbies and Interests: firstly, avoid content like: go to the gym, socialise with friends and read books.

Either include interests that are relevant to the role or pick one interest and describe it in greater detail (i.e. what it is? what you get out of it? what you might do with it in the future?).

Judge it Yourself

  1. Is there a clear message in my CV?
  2. Have I created an effective match between the content and the requirements of the job?
  3. Is it easy for a reader to find all the content they are looking for quickly?
  4. Does it have a professional appearance?

Before submitting…

  1. Check for spelling and grammar corrections
  2. Get a second opinion
  3. Save as a PDF

It helps to have more strings to your bow (from ISE: Insights)

A really interesting piece exploring careers and success of graduates in creative & performing arts

Adventures in Career Development

This post originally appeared on ISE: Insights on the 29th October. In it Robin Mellors-Bourne and I discuss new research in which we found that dance and drama graduates report having successful careers that make good use of their skills. We go on to reflect on what this means for our thinking about graduate success and draw out some lessons for graduate employers.

The image of the starving artist creating brilliant works despite the squalor of their surroundings is perpetually frustrating to those who train and practise as artists. Many would tell you that pursuing an artistic career shouldn’t exclude you from having a decent life and that ultimately art thrives where it is appropriately resourced. But it is equally true that pursuing a career in the arts is rarely a short cut to a high salary.

Policy makers and the media have often taken some glee in pointing out…

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Back to Basics: JOB SEARCHING

The country is re-entering a month long national lockdown this Thursday and reports in the guardian about how job losses during the COVID19 pandemic are hitting young people the hardest. You can be forgiven to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic towards finding a student job or your first role at graduate level. The aim of this blog is to help you combat any barriers you have and help you with your job searching. There are some reports which provide a more positive picture:


Working as a Careers Adviser, I quote Derren Brown’s book: Happy, a lot. He was inspired by stoicism and regularly refers to using stoic mentality to help you become and remain Happy!

He suggests that people over worry about things when they are facing challenges or adversity, which unnecessarily impacts on your happiness and therefore your performance and success.

With the COVID19 pandemic we are facing many challenges and adversity, especially students and graduates trying to find employment. One of the things which regularly comes up in Derren Brown’s book is that you are only ever in control of two things:

  1. Your thoughts – How you think, how you chose to think about things
  2. Your actions – how you chose to act or react to situations.

You have no control over anything else and as such should try and not worry about them as they are beyond the limits of your influence or control. Applying this to COVID19 we can help prevent the spreading of the virus by our own actions. If we regularly wash our hands, wear masks when advised to and respect social distancing we will contribute to isolating the virus in our own small way.

We can also apply this to the current situation with the student and graduate labour market. You have no control over how many companies are recruiting or over how many people you are competing with for a job. What you can do is chose how you think about this and how you respond with your actions.

If you think negatively and allow yourself to worry about those things, it will affect your performance with finding a job. You need to think positively, accept the situation which is out of your control and be the best you can be at finding employment.

The rest of this blog will help you with the basics of job searching, if you would like to develop a positive thinking mentally further, you can complete our e-module on Positive Thinking on My Career Centre: https://mycareerscentre.page.link/positivthinking and another one on Mindset: https://mycareerscentre.page.link/Mindset . Use your My Hope login details if asked to log in.  

Job Searching back to basics:

  1. Know yourself, understand your strengths, the skills you have and what motivates you. We have a number of self-assessments which you could complete on My Career Centre: https://mycareerscentre.page.link/careerassessments
  • Read our Job Searching 101 blog for comprehensive advice on which job search websites you can use plus much more information about job searching:


  • Understand the role you are applying for through the job description and person specification.
  • Research the employer if you can. Some recruitment agencies do not share the employer information for competition reasons. In those cases you need to use the job description and person specification as a guide. We have a ‘The what, why and how of researching employers’ e-module on My Career Centre: https://mycareerscentre.page.link/researchingemployers
  • Tailor your application statement or CV and Cover letter to meet the requirements of the job you are applying for. Points 3 and 4 prepare you for this. No generalised or sweeping statements. Prove you have each of the required skills with an example of how you have used that skill to achieve a relevant outcome, in a relevant context (if possible) as concisely as possible.
  • Do not procrastinate, make yourself a plan and stick to it. Develop a job searching routine and set up a spreadsheet to write notes about which jobs you applied for, the company and the date. So you don’t duplicate your applications. Also keep a file of all of the applications so you can revisit what you said in the application if you are asked back for an interview. We have an e-module on Self-management on My Career Centre: https://mycareerscentre.page.link/Self-management

If you have left Hope and part of our Alumni and did not activate your access to My Career Centre before you graduated. You will need to email careers@hope.ac.uk who will send you instructions to gain access for all of the above links to work.


How I got my job at BDO in Liverpool

We have a Placement Year information session with BDO on Thursday 5th November at 1pm. In the session they will talk about their year in industry roles within their Shared Services Centre. Read about Hope alumni Denis who secured a graduate role within this department.

Careers and Employability

Here in the Careers and Employability Team we love hearing, and sharing, the experiences of our graduates in the workplace. In this blog we hear from Denis, A Geography graduate from Hope, who’s now working for BDO LLP in Liverpool.

What is my job role?
I work at a large accountancy and business advisory firm called BDO LLP. I work in the firm’s Shared Service Centre (SSC), which is based in the Liverpool office, and my job title is SSC Assistant. I do bank letter coordinating for various BDO offices, mainly for London and Leeds. This means that I am constantly in communication with banks around the world and our Audit Managers to provide account balances for our clients end of year audits. This requires careful management of large databases consisting of hundreds of entities and client private banking information. At the moment our team is relatively new, so we are always implementing new…

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