Meet Our Students – Emily Yang

Emily is off to Beijing for her summer internship with one of the big four accounting firms. We are very excited for Emily and she has our best wishes. We had a lot of fun working with Emily through the #competeforcashcow nation wide competition and our recent Job Ready program. It is great to be able to share Emily’s story and journey in this short video. Enjoy!



11 tips to nail your CV

When it comes to landing your dream accounting job, your CV could be just the ticket to get you that initial foot in the door and secure an interview – but how do you ensure your CV is added to the interview pile rather than thrown straight in the bin?

Putting together a successful CV is easy once you know how. It’s a case of taking all your skills and experience and tailoring them to the job you’re applying for. But what if you don’t meet the right criteria? We’ve put together the following tips to help you get started in creating a successful CV and securing your first (or next) accounting job.

Get the basics right
There is no right or wrong way to write a CV but there are some common sections you should cover. These include: personal and contact information; education and qualifications; work history and/or experience; relevant skills to the job in question; own interests, achievements or hobbies; and some references.

Presentation is key
A successful CV is always carefully and clearly presented and the layout should always be clean and well structured. Always remember the CV hotspot – the upper middle area of the first page is where the recruiter’s eye will naturally fall, so make sure you include your most important information there.

Stick to no more than two pages
A good CV is clear, concise and makes every point necessary without waffling. You don’t need pages and pages of paper – you just keep things short and sweet. A CV is a reassurance to a potential employer, it’s a chance to tick the right boxes. And if everything is satisfied, there’s a better chance of a job interview. Also, employers receive dozens of CVs all the time so it’s unlikely they’ll read each one cover to cover. Most will make a judgment about a CV within sections, so stick to a maximum of two pages.

Understand the job description
The clues are in the job application, so read the details from start to finish. Take notes and create bullet points, highlighting everything you can satisfy and all the bits you can’t. With the areas where you’re lacking, fill in the blanks by adapting the skills you do have.

Tailor the CV to the role
When you’ve established what the job entails and how you can match each requirement, create a CV specifically for that role. Remember, there is no such thing as a generic CV. Every CV you send to a potential employee should be tailored to that role so don’t be lazy and hope that a general CV will work because it won’t.

Create a unique CV for every job you apply for. You don’t have to re-write the whole thing, just adapt the details so they’re relevant.

Making the most of skills
Under the skills section of your CV don’t forget to mention key skills that can help you to stand out from the crowd. These could include: communication skills; computer skills; team working; problem solving or even speaking a foreign language. Skills can come out of the most unlikely places, so really think about what you’ve done to grow your own skills, even if you take examples from being in a local sports team or joining a voluntary group – it’s all relevant.

Making the most of interests
Under interests, highlight the things that show off skills you’ve gained and employers look for. Describe any examples of positions of responsibility, working in a team or anything that shows you can use your own initiative. For example, if you ran your university’s newspaper or if you started a weekend league football team that became a success.

Include anything that shows how diverse, interested and skilled you are. Don’t include passive interests like watching TV, solitary hobbies that can be perceived as you lacking in people skills. Make yourself sound really interesting.

Making the most of experience
Use assertive and positive language under the work history and experience sections, such as “developed”, “organised” or “achieved”. Try to relate the skills you have learned to the job role you’re applying for. For example: “The work experience involved working in a team,” or “This position involved planning, organisation and leadership as I was responsible for a team of people”.

Really get to grips with the valuable skills and experience you have gained from past work positions, even if it was just working in a restaurant – every little bit helps.

Including references
References should be from someone who has employed you in the past and can vouch for your skills and experience. If you’ve never worked before you’re OK to use a teacher or tutor as a referee. Try to include two if you can.

Keep your CV updated
It’s crucial to review your CV on a regular basis and add any new skills or experience that’s missing. For example, if you’ve just done some volunteering or worked on a new project, make sure they’re on there – potential employers are always impressed with candidates who go the extra mile to boost their own skills and experience.


List your AccountingPod Experience!

Learn to use current industry tools, like Xero, while working on a real data set from actual businesses. Our online platform is designed to provide students with real experience using the latest financial technology. You’ll get a badge on your LinkedIn Profile and you should definitely list your real financial experience on your CV. If you haven’t already, enrol now!

11 interview tips for accounting graduates

Know as many details as possible ahead of time.
What’s the name of the person you’re meeting with? Will you be interviewed by a single person or a panel? Knowing the basic set-up will have you going in confidently.

Plan awesome answers beforehand.
Don’t just rattle off your CV. Talk about hobbies you have in addition to “real” experience that relates to the position. And throw in something random or funny! You’ll be more memorable.

Get in front of a mirror.
Respond to questions you think you might be asked in front of a mirror and watch your facial expressions. Smile, nod, and maintain eye contact.

Make sure you’re proud of the image you’re putting out on social media.
There are lots of tools online to check your social media footprint. Run a tool and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward online.

Manage information about multiple companies.
Google Alerts is a tool that emails you anytime a new story appears for a specific term. Add all the companies you’re interviewing with to stay in the know.

Not to early, not too late

Aim to arrive at reception around two or three minutes before your interview is scheduled. Its great to be keen but arriving too early could be inconvenient to the interviewer,

Make a strong 20-second impression.
Don’t stand in silence next to potential co-workers. Introduce yourself and say something they’ll remember. Bonus points if you remember their name and follow up with a casual “nice to meet you” email.

Don’t have any interruptions.
Seems like a no brainer, but be absolutely positive you’re phone isn’t going to make a peep during your interview. Don’t even put it on vibrate. Silence it, or turn it off completely.

Dress with confidence.
It’s best to be familiar with the company culture and mimic that for your interview outfit. If you find out they all wear suits…buy one and make sure you wear it with poise.

Be friendly to everyone you meet.
That includes the parking attendant, the receptionist, and the people in the cubicles you pass. Everyone will notice and appreciate it if you’re friendly.

Do your homework!
Do research on the position itself, the company, and the interviewer so you’re ready for any question thrown your way. Then add the facts you’ve acquired into your responses. They’ll be impressed with your knowledge.

Meet AccountingPod

From the Deep South to Wellingtons KFA – now that’s commitment!

Welcome AccountingPod and its co-founders to KFA! Travelling regularly from Queenstown they’ve brought ‘real business’ to the accelerator to change the game in experiential applied learning across cloud business technologies.

AccountingPod is part of a global, billion dollar opportunity to develop innovative online education technology. They’re focused on improving the business financial literacy of today’s ‘digital native’ learners and the new global wave of entrepreneurs, and we’re thrilled to have them amongst our first cohort.

Real Data and Real Business Stories

Founders, Judith Cambridge and XingDong Yan, both experienced Chartered Accountants, say their idea is simple. “Let’s take the real data and story of SME business, obfuscate and turn that into a ‘real financial learning experience’ for every student in the world. They think New Zealand is a great place to start AccountingPod because, as Judith says, “we have a huge number of successful small and medium businesses with fantastic and unique stories to share as well as leveraging off Xero’s success.” She adds that the amazing wisdom and support for tech start-ups provided by our accelerators like KFA is motivating and energising.

Get Real Experience for a Job

“Believe it or not”, says XingDong, “many of our business school grads come out with little actual applied business knowledge. So, when they front up to an interview and are asked for experience or to share their knowledge about the current business environment or technologies, sadly they fall silent.”

“This is much more common for our international students and why many will fail to get a relevant job. You’ll find these students in cafes and service stations on the minimum wage despite holding Business Masters Degrees.”

But, AccountingPod is here to change that via its innovative cloud business learning experience.

Business learns Business and Future of Work

From a broader economic perspective, Judith believes the time is ripe to do something about business financial capability in New Zealand. “With automation and offshoring affecting many entry levels, and administrative jobs, she thinks AccountingPod must grab the opportunity that cloud and big data provide to educate in new ways. “This is the future of work.”

Innovative Cash Cows

One of the best things about Judith and XingDong’s company is that they want to bring fun to business finance. When trialling AccountingPod’s concept in 2016 they set up a competition to get students to compete running virtual dairy farms wherein the winner would get paid real money based on the gross milk income of five virtual cows over the 2016-17 milking season.

The ‘Compete for Cash Cow’ contest winner was a Victoria University accounting and finance student, Rebecca Matthews. The goal was to teach students about real life dairy business while also giving them access to cloud based tools – Xero and Figured’s farm business software to be exact. Three hundred contestants participated from all over New Zealand. AccountingPod then successfully piloted with two tertiaries before applying to the KFA.

Rebecca states, “When learning new concepts at university it is often hard to recognise their value, particularly with respect to our future careers, as we’re not shown real life applications. AccountingPod compliments the material taught at university and challenges students to manipulate those theories and apply them to a real life company in a real world industry.”

Judith and XingDong have recently joined the newly formed EdTech New Zealand Board spun out of NZTech. They happily bring diversity and different perspectives to the table, Accounting Pod represents the new New Zealand. And we’re thrilled to have them on the programme with us.

Article by Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator (