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August 27, 2016

The 3 Keys to Landing Your First Accounting Job

business accountingGraduating from a prestigious educational institution with specialized certification in accountancy? You are all set to bag your first job in your field of interest—accounting.

Applying for that dream job might be a tedious process and waiting for a call back after an interview might take several months.

Here are three of the most important things you need to take care of so you can bag a job before your potential rivals.

1. Resume

The first—and sometimes only—thing that a HR manager looks at to decide if you are worth hiring is your resume and remember you have only 6 seconds to catch their attention. As a fresher with no experience, you might not have much on there. This means you need to figure out what content goes in your resume.

Choose an apt font and size that gives it a classic and clean-cut professional look. With some research, you can find good resume keywords online, including those that help catch the attention of the hiring committee. Avoid using capitalized, bold, and italicised terms in you bio, unless absolutely necessary.

Pick the perfect type of resume that allows you to highlight your skills and specializations. Chronological, functional, and combinational are three of the basic types of resumes among a list of many others.

Use catchy subtitles. Construct lines effectively. Do not write more than two lines for any description, and keep the language stylish yet simple. Watch carefully for grammatical errors.

Make sure you don’t go overboard with any of these tips. Your resume should portray effortless efficiency. Also, try to keep it within 2 pages.

2. Interview

Once your resume is selected, you’ll have to face the interview. Most people get nervous and anxious, and tend to mess up their interview despite their calibre and talent. This is mainly due to lack of preparation. Even though most interviewers expect you to be street-smart, a thorough knowledge in the field of your choice is also essential.

You are spoiled for choices when it comes to resources—be it online or offline—to help your prep for the interview. You can easily find blogs that give out frequently asked interview questions in a finance interview.

Apart from preparing for these questions and brushing up on your syllabi that was covered over the many semesters, you should also have a brief knowledge of software like ERP accounting software and business management software that are in trend, and are used by most organizations.

Knowledge about current affairs and the latest accounting standards is also an absolute necessity.

3. Confidence

To crack any interview, confidence is the most important factor. Your body language plays a significant role in cracking an interview. Even small signs of nervousness or uncertainty are caught during the interview. Stay confident right from when you send out your resume. The process might be a time-consuming one, but leads to success.

With some motivation, patience, and making smart choices while displaying your talents, landing your dream job is a piece of cake. Use these tips, and an accounting job is in the bag!

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August 10, 2016

Using an equity release calculator

calculating financeMany homeowners have a considerable amount of cash tied up in the equity of their homes – that is, the value of the amount of the home they own, less any outstanding mortgage or loan.

Not only is it possible to release that equity – to enjoy its present cash value – but more homeowners than ever before appear to be choosing to do so. This is a conclusion drawn in a story published in the Guardian newspaper on the 25th of January 2016.

During the course of 2015, a record 22,500 equity release agreements were made, representing a return to the nation’s homeowners of a total of some £1.61 billion.

How do I know if equity release is right for me?

Probably the single most informative source is an online equity release calculator. It might be the best step to gaining some idea of what equity there may be in your home that may be released, depending on the value of the property and your age (you need to be 55 or over to qualify for any equity release scheme).

Combine an equity release calculator with a comparison website which shows the various interest rates currently offered by equity release providers and you may get a pretty clear idea of whether to take things further. There is generally no limit on the number of times you may use the same calculator.

There are any number of such online calculators and it might be difficult knowing which one to choose. Some of the things to look out for when choosing one, therefore, might include:

  • how much equity you might be able to release, the interest rates governing the various schemes on offer and what the impact is likely to be upon your estate;
  • whether the provider is a member of the Equity Release Council – since this guarantees a certain number of safeguards built into any agreement; and
  • whether the site providing the calculator also offers a detailed guide on how equity release works and the arrangements that might be made to answer your queries and discuss your concerns directly with any provider.

Types of equity release

Using an equity release calculator is only the first step in what is invariably a complicated process, involving very serious decisions about the home in which you live, the funds it might unlock and the impact any agreement has on the estate you may pass on to your surviving dependents and relatives.

This makes it important that you seek the advice and guidance of a specialist in the provision of equity release agreements and embark on a learning curve that might lead to your understanding of the two principal vehicles for equity release:

  • home reversion – this involves the sale of a proportion of your home to the equity release provider, so that you become a co-owner, but may continue to live in the dwelling until your share of the property is sold upon your death or when you move into long-term care; or
  • lifetime mortgage – this is probably a more popular arrangement than home reversion and allows you to make a more reliable calculation of the costs involved. A lifetime mortgage is similar to a regular mortgage, but you make no repayments on the advance, which continues to attract interest in the normal way. The mortgage is repaid from the sale proceeds of the property when you die or move into long-term care.

The use of an equity release calculator may be enough to set you off on the road to unlocking some of the wealth tied up in your home.

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