Top tips for securing a trainee Chartered Accountant role

CV preparation – how to secure an interview

  • Your CV is your tool to secure an interview. Tailor the CV specifically to suit the role you are applying for. Highlight the key aspects of your education, skills, competencies and experience that are most relevant to the role for which you are applying.
  • Include a ‘Professional profile’ paragraph at the beginning of your CV that summarises in a few short sentences why you are an ideal candidate for the role. Create a memory magnet so that you are more likely to be shortlisted for interview. This could be an academic or other achievement.
  • Always have someone else review the CV. Ideally this should be someone with experience in the area of recruitment or finance or indeed someone who has a keen eye and who will be honest with their feedback.
  • The CV should ideally be no longer than two pages. It should be clear, concise and easy to follow. Use short punchy sentences for more impact

Common mistakes

  • Spelling or grammar errors.
  • Leaving large time gaps on your CV that are not explained.
  • Poor layout that makes the CV hard to follow.

The interview – what are the interview panel looking for?

  • Preparation is crucial – conduct extensive research on the firm in advance of the interview. Speak with as many people as you can to get an understanding of the firm. Ideally consult with someone who works there or has done so in the past.
  • Be able to articulate clearly why it is that you have chosen this career path and the particular firm. The reasons that you give must make sense and show a clear focus.
  • Look the part to get the part. The importance of your appearance is not to be underestimated.
  • Be aware of your body language both for a face to face or virtual interview.
  • Have a bank of relevant examples ready that you can explain to demonstrate you have the competencies required for the job.
  • Have some strong questions ready to ask when the opportunity presents itself. These questions should demonstrate your interest in the role and firm.
  • Close the deal and ask for the job at the end of interview. Close the interview by outlining your interest in the role and organisation and confirm your focus on becoming a Chartered Accountant.

Common mistakes

  • Lack of preparation and poor knowledge of the firm
  • Inability to show a consistent focus on a career as a Chartered Accountant
  • Poor examples of skills and competencies

What can you be doing in advance to make yourself more marketable?

  • Obtain relevant work experience in a practice or accounting role
  • Build on your network of contacts and utilise these when searching for a job opportunity
  • Research the market to understand where the job opportunities are arising
  • Devise a medium to long term career plan – set your goals and monitor your progress
  • Practice your interview skills.

Contact the Career Development and Recruitment team:


Have a query?

If you have a query, please refer to our support & services page and contact the relevant department with your query.