Abigail Stevens, recruitment, international, accountancy, oil and gas, overseas, career, advice, interview

Having spent the best part of two decades in the recruitment industry, providing expert advice to literally thousands of job seekers, Abigail is here to provide you with answers to any of your questions. Her expertise lies within recruitment, moving and living overseas, as well as all aspects of the job application process (CV/Resume preparation and career advice). No question is too big or small to ask on the following topics;

  • Recruitment
  • International Job Moves
  • Financial Recruitment
  • Living overseas
  • Moving overseas
  • CV Construction
  • Career advice
  • interview techniques advice
If there are any topics that you think Abigail could provide advice please do not hesitate to ask, you can submit questions via her Twitter account: @AbigailStevens, email to askabigail@thinkgr.com or below in the comments panel.

Think Global
Recruitment host a series of webinars with presentations from Abigail Stevens
(Managing Director), industry leaders and guest presenters providing industry
knowledge and insider information on a host of topics. Each webinar will cover
a different subject matter, with the purpose of improving and enhancing the
recruitment process for both candidates and clients. We are open to receiving subject suggestions so if you wish a particular topic covered please submit your ideas in the comment box below. 

93 thoughts on “Ask Abigail

  1. I have noticed on your website that many of the roles available at the moment require at least three years of previous experience. My question is, do you only work with professionals with a minimum of three years, or is it possible to find a vacancy with less than three years of experience?

    I'm currently living and working in Barcelona, but I'd love to go on with my professional career in another country. I don't care if it's Europe, America, or Asia.

    Kind regards

    1. Three years upwards is the normal for a company to use a recruitment agency, or to sponsor for visa's out with Europe. Unfortunately, it will be hard to pick up a work visa without more experience. For visa's you are also likely to need a professional qualification. Although an internal transfer can be easier without the qualification.

      It would be worth gaining more experience within Europe and then you could make a move further afield.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

    2. Thanks so much for the information. I've found a website for graduates in the UK and I also have the possibility to work for a Big Four in Barcelona and then try an internal transfer.

      Kind regards

    3. No problem. I will be assisting one of the Big Four firms in the Channel Islands to fill graduate roles for August start dates. The screening for these starts in April. I will make a note to contact you then and find out how you are getting on.

      One word of advice, if you apply to the Big Four in the UK, then make sure you do lots of practice tests for verbal and numerical reasoning. If you are rejected from the tests you will not be able to re-apply for a year and by then you may be too experienced! There are plenty of practice tests on the internet.

      Also, look up competency based interviewing and Star Technique. Make sure you think of lots of examples of things you have done to prove you have the competencies on their job spec.

      All the best with your search! Do let me know if you secure something.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

  2. Hi Abigail,

    I am hoping that you may be able to help me or at least point me in the right direction.

    My husband and I are looking to move to the USA within the next 12-18 months and I need to find out the best way to look for work over there so that I am in employment before we move. Is this something that you can help with at all?

    Kind regards
    Beverley

  3. Thank you for your message.

    There are two obvious ways to make an international move.

    One is to firstly to secure a new role with an employer that can/will sponsor you to gain a visa to allow you to work in the relevant location you want to move to. The second would be to secure a visa first, move to the location and start the job hunt. Obviously the first one is a lot less risky than the second.

    There are a variety of global visa advice companies that may be able to assist you with regard to gaining a visa (Green Card) yourself first. We have used this company in the past and had positive results: http://www.globalvisas.com/

    With regard to seeking a role and sponsorship, this can be tough for the USA. The economy has not picked to up to where it was and it seems to have become increasingly harder to sponsor individuals to work there over the last few years. With a decrease in jobs, the jobs are going to local people and there are not as many visa's available. Generally you need to be in a sought after field that they cannot find someone to do on the local market and have relevant qualifications in this field.

    We specialise in finding roles for professionally qualified accountants and even though they are in high demand in most locations around the globe and the USA, we are struggling to gain companies that will sponsor them at the moment.

    All that being said, the recruitment industry in America is very mature and there are a number of good recruitment companies there that you could try contacting directly. For your field, another option would be to try approaching employers you would like to work for directly. Do not worry if they do not have a relevant vacancy on their web site, get the name of someone in Human Resources and contact them. I recommend sending a Resume and then follow up on it by phone. Also, keep an eye on online vacancy web sites. Such as http://www.monster.com

  4. Hello, I know this is incredibly specific, but do you have or have you ever had opportunities in Krakow, Poland.

    Thanks in Advance
    Andy

  5. Andy,

    Thank you for your question. Yes, we have had positions in Poland and Krakow, we work with most of the world. It would depend on your background if we can assist you. I would suggest either you send an email to mail@thinkgr.com or phone us on +44 131 260 5850 to speak to one of our international recruitment consultants about your experiences and requirements.

    We look forward to hearing from you!

    Abigail

  6. Thanks Abigail, I'll update my CV and get back to you guys in the next few weeks. Appreciate your help, Andy

  7. Dear Abigail

    Presently, what is the best place to move and find new opportunities for an auditor or accountant with more than 15 years of experience?. I suppose that when you arrive at this level is more difficult find any position that fit with your role.

    You are doing a great work with us.

    Congratulations and thanks for investing a lot of time with us.

    1. Eliseo,

      Thank you for your question. I apologise for the delay in response. It really does depend on the experience you have gained as to where would be the best location/s that will be relevant for you. As far as the best place, Think Global Recruitment could well be able to assist, if you email your cv to mail@thinkgr.com we can assess this and contact you with a more tailored answer. However, as a generic one, we are currently finding the most senior level roles in the Middle East, Germany Far East and CIS (Russia etc) regions. This changes on an ongoing basis and as I mentioned, depending on your exact experience to date. I hope this assists a little. Kind regards Abigail

  8. HI Abigail,
    How are you? Hope doing well. I was looking to relocate in HR Profile any guidelines if you can help me.

  9. Hi Krishna

    Thank you for your message. It does depend on where you would like to relocate to.

    In some locations there is more of a shortage of HR professionals than others. It is in the locations there is a shortage that companies will recruit internationally, because they can not find the individual they need locally. There is also the issue of requirement for a work permit for the location you move to. Again, you need to have a skill that can not be found on the local market. Countries do not tend issue work permits to foreigners if a local person can fill the role.

    I am not aware of agencies that look after international HR recruitment. Mainly because this is not usually a field there is a shortage of people for. However, it would be worth googling any industry bodies for HR in the location you want to move to. Contact them directly and ask them what the job market is like at the moment. Maybe consider enrolling with them to undergo their professional qualification. It could be that you could get an education visa that allows you to work part time in the location and gain local experience as well as the qualification. This will always enhance your chances of securing a long term / permanent position and visa in the location you desire.

    I hope this assistance.

    Kind regards

    Abigail

  10. Hi Abigail,
    I am happy to get your contact. I have MBA in international Business BA in Accounting , certified manager, certified International project manager certifications. And also experience more than 10 years in finance and information technology as a manager in construction company and other part time consultancies. Degree in computer science also. So how can I get international vacancy please advice.
    Regards,
    Solomon

    1. Hi Solomon.

      Thank you for your message. Interestingly I am working this afternoon on a presentation on the same topic that I will be delivering to the MBA Students at the Edinburgh University Business School in 10 days.

      From the little I know about your background I would suggest you register with a recruitment agency that specialises in the types of positions that interest you and covers the locations you would like to work in. It sounds like you will be best suited to roles in industry & commerce, although maybe also some Consultancy type positions. The majority of these seemed to be filled by agencies based locally in the market the you wish to move to. However, if you do want to send your cv to mail@thinkgr.com with a note of the locations you are interested in we can keep an eye out for relevant opportunities that come up. If the agencies can not assist, you could try the various online vacancy job boards and posting your cv in cv libraries. Ones such as http://www.monster.com, http://www.efinancial.com etc. I hope this assists and wish you all the best in your search.

      Kind regards
      Abigail

  11. Hi Abigail,

    Currently I am looking for Internal/External audit opportunities, in case of locations I am very flexible. I have 14 years experience in accounting/auditing from which 7 years I spent in auditing. I left a Big4 company 4 years ago. I have an ACCA and a Chartered Auditor degree.
    At the moment I am working as a Finance Manager and would like to return to audit but it seems that there is no way back.
    Would you please advise me, why recruiters not prefer candidates with mixed professional background for auditing positions? It seems that they only prefer those candidates who would like to change from one Big4 company to another without any career breaks in auditing.

    Thank you for your kind answer.

    Regards,
    Kat

    1. Hi Kat. You are right, it can be very difficult to get back into audit if you have left for more than 12 months. The feedback employers give us is that they feel the person may be just returning to audit because they have no other option.

      Alternatively they feel that when someone is in industry they are not keeping on top of the professional development, accounting standards and practice updates as much as someone who has remained in practice. Getting across the message you are only considering roles back in practice can assist. Also providing any information on how you have kept up-to-date since leaving. Some locations are also more open to ‘returnees’ than others. If you would like to send me your CV I would be happy to take and look, provide some more specific advice and see if I can assist you to secure your move back into practice. astevens@thinkgr.com Regards Abigail

  12. Abigail,

    I am just curious if employers prefer potential employees
    from within the EU, in order to avoid the trouble of sponsoring from non EU places.

    Regards,

    Judy, NY

    1. Thank you Judy.

      If an employer can source a person suitable for their vacancy from the same country/region, they will always prefer them over an outside applicant. However, this is also a requirement for the visa in the first place. Countries only allow you to source outwith if you can not find the right person from within.

      There is of course the cost and time factor involved that is taken into consideration.

      I am sorry it might not be the way you would have wished for. However, I hope this makes sense.

      Regards

      Abigail

  13. Please Abigail assist me to relocate overseas to work. I have ACCA Parts 1 and 2( five papers) professional Accountancy qualification with over 3 years relevant work experience.
    I am currently in Nigeria.
    my email maesun42@yahoo.com

    Regards
    Michael Imasuen

    1. Dear Michael, Thank you for your message. The majority of the roles we recruit for require applicants to be ACCA fully qualified. This is so the companies can sponsor you for a visa, as much as the need for the studies and exam passes.

      However, if you send your CV to mail@thinkgr.com we will keep it on file and contact you if anything relevant becomes available.

      In the meantime, all the best in your search. Regards Abigail

  14. Dear Abigail,

    I am a Greek accountant living and working at the moment in Luxembourg. However due to family reasons I am planning to relocate in UK Cardiff by the end of June 2013. In the past I have worked either as an accountant or as an auditor.

    I would like to ask you about the possibilities of such a transfer and in order to increase them what should I do and where should I focus (audit or accounting). Your professional advice on that matter is of great importance to me.

    Thank you in advance for your assisstance.

    Kind regards,

    Marios

    1. Thank you for your message. You have some good experience which would be transferable, alongside your ACCA qualification.

      My advice would be to return to audit. There are a large number of accountancy firms in Cardiff and their largest requirement is within audit. It is also a good field to move in to obtain the best training that will allow you to understand the way things are done in the UK. You can then always make a move out into accounting again at a later date. Once you have been out of audit or an accountancy firm for more than 12 months it is hard to return.

      I hope this assists you. I would be delighted to assist you in seeking a move to Cardiff, if you would like to send your CV to me and let me know the best time of day for you to speak.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

  15. Hi Abigail,

    How are you? I was wondering whether you can help me to move to NewZealand/Australia to work. I have done my post graduation in Accounting from Melbourne, Australia. And currently working with Deloitte ,Inida. I have 3+ years of experience as well in Taxation.

    I would really appreciate if you can guide me!

    Thanks,

    Bijesh

    1. Dear Bijesh, It sounds like you have a good post grad and also great to have Deloitte on your CV. At this current time I would suggest your best plan would be an internal transfer. Failing that, if you have three years plus experience and your CA exam you may be able to secure a role with another firm in Australia. However, on the current market you would need to be willing to pay your own flights from India and it would be easier if you flew to Australia for interviews. A lot of firms in Australia are currently saying they can only consider people willing to pay own relocation. In some cases they also want you to already have your own visa also. This does vary from case to case. I hope this helps. Abigail

  16. First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity that you are giving for job seekers.

    I am an Spanish financial consultant, with 5 years of professional experience in auditing and transactions (due diligence, etc.). I have worked in Ernst&Young and I am currently working in BDO.

    I am strongly committed to seek a job overseas, and I am really looking forward to moving to a financial services firm in an English speaking country in a medium term.

    However, I am finding a problem regarding the professional qualifications required in those countries. I have finished all the exams required to be a Chartered Auditor here in Spain, but however this sort of qualification is not exactly the ACCA, CA, etc….required in most of the Anglo-Saxon countries.

    I would like to ask you about the possibilities of such transfer and in order to increase them what should I do because I am a little bit lost regarding the professional qualification problem.

    Your professional advice on this matter is of great importance to me.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Kind regards,

    Joaquin

    1. Thank you for your message.

      Your findings are online with the employers expectations in the large English speaking locations such as the UK, Australia, Canada etc. The main reason for the countries outside of Europe requiring these qualifications is that they need them in order to be able to obtain a visa for you to live and work there. The UK has always had a history of preferring qualifications they recognize because it is a good way for them to have assurance the person qualified knows what they are doing and has received a certain level of training. In the current economic climate it is also harder than other times because employer can be more selective with less positions available and more people looking.

      However, if you send me your CV I may be able to assist, depending on your experience. It maybe that we are able to find you a location that will give you more opportunity to speak English on a regular basis and relevant experience that will open doors in English speaking locations.

      Abigail

  17. Hi Abigail

    Any luck for non-eu accountants with big 4 and fund accounting experience somewhere in the world these days?? In which locations are employers willing to offer sponsorship (other than Big 4 usual)?

    1. Hello, it really does depend on your experience. However, we have seen some sponsorship into the Channel Islands for fund accountants. It is more rare, but if you have the experience they need they will sponsor. If you want to send your cv in I can give a more specific answer mail@thinkgr.com

  18. Hi Abigail

    I saw your information about the recruitment for accountants in LinkedIn,is it possible for me to move to New Zealand, as currently I'm studying towards my CIMA qualification pursuing my management level. I would even like to show you my resume and if you could please help me in building a strong resume that'll be great.

    Kind Regards

    Emmanuel

    1. Hi Emanuel

      Unfortunately, you do not have the relevant experience the companies we work with require. Usually we are looking at least 3 years current experience gained in a Chartered Accountancy firm and the professional qualification. Once you have gained you CIMA qualification I recommend you apply directly to companies you are interested in working for in New Zealand. They will need you to be fully qualified in order to be able to sponsor you for a New Zealand visa (presuming you do not already have one). Your other option would be to work for a large company in the UK that has a New Zealand office, where you are currently based for 18 months plus and then apply for an internal transfer.

      Kind regards

      Abigail Stevens

  19. Mam'

    I just read your Professional carrier and inspired very much. I, Want your precious advice over how to enter in oil and GAs Sector. I am going to complete my Articleship from KPMG Pakistan at the end of the month and now wanted to get experiance in Oil and Gas Sector.

    Mam' i am a CA Finalist and have 2 just module left for completing C.A. My Plan is to Start carrier through oil and Gas Sector. In this regard i just want your precious guidline.

    I know your time is very Important but i am sorry for disturbance.

    Please , kindly guide me in this regard.

    Thanks

    Rashid

    1. Rashid,

      The Oil and Gas sector is currently a very good one to work in. It has held out throughout the recent world wide recession. However, it would depend on the country/countries you want to live in if it is the best route to go down. Once you start to specialise, if you stay longer than a year in a specialism, it is harder to change again.

      I hope this assists.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

  20. HI…
    I have experienced that for last few months I am going on applying for jobs which are advertised in job portals, by consultants and companies but to my surprise I am not getting call for Interview from the recruiter, and I am really worried now!. So, my question is what may the reason for not getting response from the recruiters? I have also asked for suggestions from some experts on my resume but they are saying its all right. so can you please suggest me what may the problem for not getting response from the recruiters?

    Thank You..

    Neelo Padhy

    1. Neelo,

      I am sorry to hear you are not getting any response from the recruitment companies or employers. Due to the worldwide economic situation there are a lot of people applying for most roles, so sometimes companies take the option to only respond to those who are successful. So long as the person applying fits the majority of the criteria, we will always aim to respond, either positively to set up an interview or to explain the individual has not made the short list. I am not sure what you are including on your covering email/letter. However, make sure you tailor each application according to the companies' requirements. Outline the skills and experience you have that fits what they are looking for. Also, articulate why you are specifically interested in the position and if a location move if required, why you are interested in that location. These things may assist in receiving an increased response. I also recommend phoning the organisations you have sent your details to, to follow up. I hope this helps.

      Abigail

    2. Thank you Very much for your kind and quick response. I will try on to take at most care on the points highlighted by you in my future applications. Thanks Again. Neelo

  21. Hi Abigail

    I was going through your Opportunity advertisement mentioned in LinkedIn and was fascinated by the idea of opportunities in New Zealand. From the above comments I have assessed that currently I do not have sufficient experience to apply for positions. However I shall do the same sometime in future.

    The reason for writing now was to appreciate your efforts in responding to all the queries in a very professional manner.

    Regards,
    Hamad Mirza

    1. Thank you for the feedback Hamad. It is always good to know that people are finding the information provided useful. If you want to keep an eye on vacancies on our web site http://www.thinkgr.com then this may help you assess your options for the future. In the meantime, I wish you all the best in your development towards your moving goal. Regards, Abigail

  22. I'm an experienced Internal Auditor with 15+ years of experience and also a CIA, MBA. I'm currently a resident in California, USA. There are not too many Audit Director level jobs to consider. Would you recommend expaning to rest of USA? or do you see the same challenge across the land?

    1. There is nothing to lose by trying. Historically we have assisted a large number of auditors from out with the USA secure roles in the USA. This has not been so easy in recent years, for the very reason you have given that there are not so many roles and the Government quite rightly have reduced work visa’s to allow those in the country to secure the roles that are there. I would think if a number of employers are happy to look at applicants from out with the USA, there will be a number that would be delighted to hear from people with a good background from within the USA. You could also consider further afield. Other countries may well be interested in your background. It would of course also depend on your personal circumstances if you are happy to relocate. Being in internal audit I would imagine you are used to an element of travel. However, if an employer feels you are only relocating because you have no choice, they may hesitate to employ you. You will need to pick somewhere you would want to live and be able to describe why you would to live in that location.

      I hope this helps. If you would like to send me your CV I would be happy to let you know if any relevant opportunities do become available. We would treat it confidentially and not issue to any third party without your prior permission. Please send it to mail@thinkgr.com

  23. Mam'
    I just read your Professional carrier and inspired very much. I, Want your precious advice over how to enter in oil and GAs Sector.
    I am going to complete my Articleship from KPMG Pakistan at the end of the month and now wanted to get experiance in Oil and Gas Sector.
    Mam' i am a CA Finalist and have 2 just module left for completing C.A.
    My Plan is to Start carrier through oil and Gas Sector. In this regard i just want your precious guidline.
    I know your time is very Important but i am sorry for disturbance.
    Please , kindly guide me in this regard.

    Thanks

  24. Rashid

    The Oil and Gas sector is currently a very good one to work in. It has held out throughout the recent world wide recession. However, it would depend on the country/countries you want to live in if it is the best route to go down. Once you start to specialise, if you stay longer than a year in a specialism, it is harder to change again.

    I hope this assists.

    Kind regards

    Abigail

  25. Dear Abigail,

    I would like to ask for an advice from you based on your skills and working history.

    I am planning to return to audit and I received an offer from Top 10 Hungary for an audit manager position. In the next 2-3 years, I am planning to move to an international audit career. Would you please let me know, whether auditors from Top10 companies will be considered by Big4 firms in case of career opportunities?

    Thank you for your time and help in advance.

    Kind regards,

    Brigit

    1. Dear Brigit

      Yes, Big Four firms will consider applications from people working in Medium Tier. You will also benefit from your previous Big Four experience.

      I think a move to BDO now would be very good for you. It is usually very hard to return to Professional Practice when you have left it for more than 2 years. Moving to BDO now will give you the opportunity to either move internationally though the BDO network or into another firm at a later date.

      I hope this has assisted you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance in the future.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

  26. Hi Abigail

    Please find attached my CV and covering letter I currently use. I have just finished a contract in South Africa as a Training Manager. My experience is within the training and assessment areas. So more along HR. I know a lot of employment in Bermuda is targeted at CA's and lawyers so I am not sure if there is employment for me in this field. I am not sure about registrations over there, I am currently registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa which allows me to do psychology assessments. Would I need to write a local exam to allow me to do this?

    Just a couple of random questions from my side? How long does the process take and what amount of money would be needed for the initial move? I have been doing some research but just to get a guideline. Also if my boyfriend would get a job before I do or the other way around would it be possible for him or I to come over without a job and then look for a job there?

    Kind Regards,
    Karla

    1. Hi Karla

      Unfortunately we do specialise in finding roles for Accountancy and Finance or Oil & Gas professionals. I am therefore not going to be able to assist you directly.

      As you mentioned, the requirements on Bermuda are predominantly for Accountancy and Legal staff. This is also because of immigration requirements. Typically the government will only allow companies to sponsor you for a work visa if you are in a professional there is a shortage for on the island. I am not sure if you professional falls into that category. However, you could look at the immigration web site or contact them and find out.

      I would also recommend seeing if you can find a fellow South African working in a similar field to you on LinkedIn and drop them a line to ask for further advice.

      You can also look for jobs by viewing:

      http://www.bermudajobs.com and http://www.royalgazette.com/section/jobs

      I would also suggest contacting http://www.frontier.bm/ to see if they can assist. Having not used them, I can not vouch for their service, but am aware they are an on island based agency and have some non-accountancy and legal roles on their books. I hope this helps.

      Kind regards

      Abigail Stevens

  27. I have been working in PwC since April 2012. I passed 10 exams of ACA at the first attempt but due to recent exam failure my employment will terminate at the end of August. I am available to start for new position from Monday, 2nd of September. I would highly appreciate if you could meet this week to discuss some opportunities.

    1. Thank you for your email. Although we did have some graduate recruitment roles last year, we specialise in qualified level upwards. The roles we are working on require a minimum of 3 years accountancy firm experience. I am sorry to hear you were let go. I suggest you contact the firms you would like to work for directly. Also, if you are flexible with regard to the location you would work in, you could try one of the Channel Island firms (Guernsey or Jersey) and see if you can gain another trainee position to resume where you left off. Alternatively you could try some of the smaller UK firms that sponsor for either ACCA or CA/ ACA.

      Also, if you have a British visa or right to study and work in the UK I would articulate that on your application.

      Sorry I can not be of assistance on this occasion. However, I wish you all the best in your search.

  28. i wish to relocate to UK, i'm a HR Professional from Egypt, what should i do ??

    1. You will probably have the strongest chance of doing this if you apply for a visa to work in the UK and then approach prospective employers once you have the visa. You can either approach them directly or contact a specialist recruitment company that looks after HR positions. I wish you all the best in this.

  29. I am looking for work as an external auditor in australia. I have a bachelors and masters in accountancy and finance from UK and i am also an ACCA member with 3 years experience in the same role.

    Can you suggest me which recruitment agency I should try to look for external auditor job?

    1. We would be delighted to assist you. Think Global Recruitment specialises in placing qualified accountants into vacancies throughout the globe and has 14 years expeirence of assisting UK accounants move to Australia. Please send your cv to mail@thinkgr.com

  30. Hi Abigail,

    I would like to know the typical salary and benefits provided to someone at a big four firm who is at the senior manager level in a middle eastern city such as abu dhabi, dubai or doha. I am currently at one of the big four at the senior manager level within the assurance practice.

    Regards,
    Abas

    1. Hi Abas

      To be honest there is not really a ‘typical salary and benefit’ in that region. We see such variety on how the packages are made up. The cost of living varies greatly on each of these cities. Some companies weight packages towards the basic and some towards allowances and bonuses. I suggest you look at the cost of living, especially housing, car allowance, food and drink and work out what you need. When you get an offer you can always ask if there is room for movement.

  31. Hi Abigail,

    I am from the UK and have been thinking about relocating overseas, what would you say are the top five things to consider before making my decision?

    Thanks,
    Andy

    1. Hi Andy

      It is great you are thinking of an international move. I would highly recommend it. If I were to put it down to just 5 things to consider I would say:

      1) Which location will be best for your career – what are your longer term career aspirations – each location overseas will offer different types of work experience

      2) What is important to you in a location – Western, Different culture, English as first language, scenery, sports, weather etc

      3) How do you feel about being away from family and friends – perhaps a location with direct and cheap flights home would be more suitable. Are you the type of person who can make new friends easily?

      4) Do you have any property ties? Can you sell/let out your current property? When is your lease up.

      5) Do you have any financial ties to the UK that will make it difficult to move. It is often hard to rely on sending money home with exchange rate and various other issues.

  32. I have recently been given the opportunity to relocate to Australia with my work. Can you recommend the best way to help my wife find a job before we move? Thank you for your help

    1. Congratulations on the offer of a role in Australia! It really does depend on what your wife does for a living if she will secure a role before she moves. Qualified Accountants are sought after, but also your qualification and work experience gives a lot of comfort to an international employer. You can therefore can secure a role before moving. Other professional that you can do that include: IT, Nursing and Teaching. There will be recruitment agencies, like Think Global Recruitment, that look after those sectors. Otherwise it might be a case of her looking internally, applying direct to employers she would like to work for, or waiting until she gets there. Where possible you should sponsor her for a visa as your spouse, that way an employer will find it easier to hire her. Most professionals can get work when they get to Australia, although its good to budget for it to take her a couple of month. I wish you all the best in your move!

  33. Abigail,

    I have made it to the ‘final stage’ interview for a job, what sort of questions can I expect to be asked?

    Felix

    1. Dear Felix

      A good question. This tends to vary between clients. Quite often it will be very similar to questions asked during earlier interviews. Sometimes totally new ones.

      The best way to prepare is to ensure you are ready for questions regarding your motivations, technical questions regarding your ability and questions that allow your personality to come out. If you have had a tough first interviewer, you may find the second plays 'nice cop' or visa versa. Whatever happens, treat every interview as if it is as important as those before, even if you had great feedback from your first.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

  34. I’m struggling to find a new job, how would using a recruitment agency benefit me? How long does the process take? Will I be faster just continuing to apply by myself? Thanks. James

    1. Hello James,

      Thank you for your question. Using the right agency can be extremely beneficial. Benefits include:- If you select a specialist in your sector they should have a strong network of contacts, which will mean your application will get in front of the right contact. The agency should be able to tailor your applications to stand out when submitted. If they have built long term relationships with their network, potential employers will priortise that recruiters applicants over others received. The agency should also be able to assist you prepare for your interview so that you stand out over other applicants and provide offer advice. I hope this answers your question.

      Kind regards,
      Abigail

  35. Hi

    Does your recruitment agencies find positions for internal auditors? How do I go about applying for jobs overseas? Is there any way you can please help me?

    Thanks
    Nadeema

    1. Hi Nadeema,

      Thank you for your message. Yes, we do assist people to secure internal audit roles. The roles can vary between 30% and 100% travel, with most around the 70% travel. For the really high travel ones you can often be based out of your location of choice. If you would like to make an overseas move them please send your CV through to us and we can see if we can assist.

      Abigail

  36. Dear Abigail,

    I have worked as an administrator in a top ten firm for four years, I have decided that I want to make a career change and become an accountant. I have a degree in Maths but never really did anything with it. What do you think would be my first step into becoming an accountant?

    Kind Regards

    Julia

    1. Dear Julia

      The first step would be to ask your current firm if they would offer you a training contract as an accountant. Either the Chartered Accountancy or ACCA are globally recognised and both are very good qualifications to gain. If your current firm can not take you on then google the top 20 accountancy firms in your area and look on their web site careers section for graduate opportunities and follow the guidelines on their application process. If they do not have any vacancies advertised then call the firms and ask them if they would consider an application. You may be up against a large number of other applicants, so I do recommend practicing all tests, googling interview tips for that particular employer and do your research through on the role, company and location. I wish you all the best. Becoming a qualified accountant is like a ticket to work anywhere in the world!

      Kind regards

      Abigail

    2. Abigail,
      How can you help a journalist who wishes to work overseas? For instance, if he sends you his qualifications and evidence of experience, can you help him or her get placement?
      Thank you

      Chiis

    3. Hi Chiis, I would love to be able to assist you. However, I myself specialise in accountancy and finance recruitment. There is shortage of Qualified Accountants across the globe and as a result most countries will allow them to gain a visa to live and work there. I am not aware if journalists appearing on a shortage list or how easy it is to gain a visa to live and work in other locations. I presume many journalists do this on a freelance basis. As such, unfortunately, I am not aware of any agencies that can assist you. I do recommend through working out which companies you would like to work for in your location of choice and writing to them directly and following up with a phone call. I wish you all the best in your search! Kind regards, Abigail

  37. Hi Abigail,

    I’ve been overseas in the States for many years and after reading the blog on working internationally, it struck a cord with me.

    Whilst your agency may be more about international placements, if there was ever an appropriate marketing position back ‘home’ in Scotland, I’d definitely be interested. What would be the next steps for me moving back to the UK?

    Regards

    Jane

    1. Hi Jane

      Lovely to hear you are considering returning. I am sure your experience in the US will be a huge asset to the UK. You are correct, we do assist people to make an overseas move. However, that includes assisting returnees to their originating location. However, we do specialise in accountancy recruitment. Interestingly, you are thinking of making the same move I made 18 years ago. I was in marketing and returned to the UK from Australia. I choose to live in Edinburgh and did find it hard to find a marketing role. The majority of head offices based here are in the Financial Services sector and that did not appeal so much to me. So my first advice would be to choose where to decide to live and if career or location is more important. I do not know any international recruitment agencies looking after marketing opportunities, so your options are to apply directly to roles you see advertised, approach companies you would like to work for, or visit your preferred UK location and meet with agencies face to face to gain interviews. I hope this helps and wish you all the best.

      Kind regards
      Abigail

  38. Hi Abigail,

    I had a second job interview for my dream job last week, how long does it normally take to hear back? I think I was against a few other people… If I am unsuccessful, can I ask for feedback? In the past I have asked but not heard anything. I would really like to know.

    Thanks,
    Peter

    1. Hi Peter, How long is a piece of string! Sadly employers sometimes forget that it is a person with feelings waiting anxiously to hear back. The good news though is that if your interview was really bad you would probably have heard back straight away, with a reject. Yes, if you are unsuccessful I would encourage you to ask for feedback. Some companies decline to comment for fear of lash back, but many will give you some constructive feedback you can use to improve your interview next time. All the best with your search.. Abigail

  39. Dear Abigail,

    I want to move overseas but I do not have a degree, what are the options available to me?

    Thanks, Naomi

    1. Dear Naomi, that is very hard to say. It depends what experience you have an any professional qualifications you have. Can you provide further information? Also do you have any locations in particular in mind? Abigail

    2. I have no qualifications other than those gained in school. I have a hospitality background but have no experience outside of the UK. I am currently a food and beverage manager and I particularly like the sound of Barbados and the Middle East. I have nothing holding me down in the UK. Thanks Naomi.

    3. Hi Again Naomi, to be honest I am not sure if you will be able to gain a visa to work in the Caribbean without a relevant hospitality qualification. However, you are certainly in the right trade to try. I would recommend contacting a few hotels and asking the question. Again, I am not sure for the Middle East, but believe it should not be an issue. Although there are a lot of people living and working in the Middle East in your industry from Asia. This may mean the pay rates are not as good as you could get elsewhere. This is not my area of expertise, so I recommend you do some internet research looking at advertised vacancies, in addition to contacting employers you want to work for. All the best with this! Abigail

  40. Hi Abigail, I have an interview next week for a job that I really want. I know can do the job and be good at it. The thing is, I get really nervous in interviews and I’m worried that I won’t be able to show my full potential because of this. Do you have any advice to help me get through it? I really appreciate your help. Joanne

    1. Hi Joanne, Do not worry, you are not alone in getting nervous at interview. In fact most of us do. The first thing is make sure you have done lots of research and thought about the types of questions they might ask and how you will answer them. You can even google for ‘interview tips on x company’. If you do your preparation you will feel a lot less nervous. Make sure you write down all the good things about yourself that would make you good for the role. Read them before your interview. Also, remember the interviewer can also be nervous in an interview situation. Treat it as a two way thing for you to find out more about the role and company and to impress them so they hire you. Make sure the nerves do not mean you avoid eye contact. It is very important to make contact with your interviewer and smile from time to time (as naturally as possible). No interviewer wants you to fail, they are looking for new members of their team after all. Hopefully they will also put you at ease. All the best, please do let us know how you got on! Abigail

  41. Good Afternoon, what do you think is more important? Salary or work experience? Thanks, Simon Sajid

    1. Good Afternoon Simon,

      I would say work experience every time. A high salary can often be a short term gain A company offering a high salary now may be doing it for a reason, ie, they are struggling to hire/keep staff because of other employment terms, they are short staffed and need you to work long hours, the experience or working with that company is not as desirable so they have to offer more to attract staff.

      Once you have proven yourself to a company offering a realistic salary, but excellent work experience, you will get promotion and more rewards. Alternatively you will have excellent experience that will make you more sought after will increase your earnings in the long term. Once you have the excellent work experience that cannot be taken away.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards

      Abigail

  42. Hello Abigail,

    I was made redundant from my last accounting job in 2008, I'm really struggling to find a new job. Do you think I would be able to move overseas?

    Kind Regards,
    John

    1. Hello John

      It can be tough to get a new job locally or internationally with a big gap on your CV. However, not impossible. You may need to take a step back to get something on your CV again. Possibly even working somewhere relevant on a voluntary basis. Keep up and make sure you have documented that you have kept updating you technical skills, understanding changes such as IFRS etc. I wish you all the best with this.

      Kind regards

      Abigail Stevens
      Director

  43. Hi Abigail,

    Compliments to the season! May 2015 be the best year to date!

    Hope all is well on your end?

    I need your advice/input? My cousin needs to register at Uni this week.

    He doesn't want to be an auditor or a financial accountant one day, but he wants to study a financial degree that will allow him options to work overseas (definitely a future client for you)…

    Due to the fact that he doesn't want to audit, I suggested that he study CIMA (chartered institute of management accounting). As I know he would like to be more involved in business management, advising on business strategy and risk management – rather than being an accountant/auditor. I also mentioned that he could always do his MBA later on, should he want to improve his CV..

    My question to you.. Is there opportunities for CIMA qualified individuals to work abroad? And if there is, can you give me an indication of how common these opportunities are? Will he struggle to find work abroad or is there a demand for such individuals (all depending on the economy of course).

    Do you perhaps have any other financial qualification suggestions? Or would you suggest he bite the bullet and do his CA? (if you believe it is really the best one to go for)

    I don't want to send the young man down the wrong path…

    Thank you in advance!

    Kind regards

    Frikkie Grieff

    1. Hi Frikkie

      Happy new year to you too! A bit of a long answer and only based on my knowledge of assisting accountants find new positions over the last 20 years.

      The most widely recognised international accountancy exams are the South African, Scottish, England & Wales, Irish, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian Chartered Accountancy qualification. They have a reciprocal agreement that they are of a similar standard and this is recognised by potential employers and immigration. I believe partly because you cover and sit exams on elements of accounting and you have a set work experience, it is a known entity. These are followed Chartered Accountancy qualifications from other locations and the ACCA exam, but usually when the individual has trained in a recognisable practice.

      Audit is seen as an extremely good grounding in working out what makes a company work from a financial prospective. Industry companies will often take someone from an audit background. CA firms virtually never take someone from an industry background. It should also be noted that there are far more jobs for people moving from overseas within the CA network than industry. This is because of supply and demand. There are fewer jobs for accountants in industry and the industry companies can therefore pick from accountants on their door step. Many study in practice, make their first international move in practice and then once local, after a couple of years, use their connections to gain an job out in industry or move within their firm into a consulting or corporate finance or Transactions type role.

      You are right to refer to the economy making a difference. We definitely do see more variety in the jobs available when the economy is going better and perhaps in 3 years’ time he can make an international move into industry. For example, historically, pre the last recession, we could place recently qualified chartered accountants directly from professional practice into: Financial / Management Accounting roles with 2 different international food ingredient manufacturers, into Brand Analyst Roles with a massive brand FMCG business, into Product Controller or Fund Accountant roles within international Financial Services organisations, into a whole variety of business as Internal Audit or Risk Management roles.

      We are currently in the process of tracking down everyone we assisted find new roles over the last 15 years. It has been very exciting to see the onward careers they have had. I would say the majority have eventually taken the step into industry and are in extremely good positions. Those that stayed in practice have also achieved excellent career progression, many are now Partners.

      Other than the Middle East and USA, the MBA does not seem to add value when seeking a job, although it can assist in improving someone’s ability to shine out when within an organisation and receive more rapid promotion. It is more about what you can actually do, then the qualification’s at that stage. Some employers have fed back to me that the MBA can increase an individual’s expectation regarding level of position and salary, when all they want is the professional qualification, work experience and achievements. Having said that, I believe the MBA schools might have international work placement programmes. He could speak to them before making a decision on this and see how successful they actually are and if they believe CIMA would be a good grounding first.

      I wish your cousin all the best in which ever route he takes and would be delighted to hear from him in a few years’ time to see how we can then assist him in his international career.

      Kind Regards,

      Abigail

    1. Hi Emma
      Thank you for your question, it is one we are frequently asked. I could talk for ages on this subject. However, for today, I will just give you a few pointers. The first thing is that you may need to tailor your CV for the relevant country you are applying to. For example, the USA tends to like a fairly brief resume, straight to the point. Canada likes a CV with no personal information such as your gender, age etc. In South Africa they like all the facts to do with your gender, ethnic origin etc (to avoid discrimination), Australia would like a CV with lots of details about what you have done in your career, referees, certificates etc. So I advise doing research on this. If in doubt though, I always say supply a lot of information, but bullet point it and use headers so the reader can easily navigate around the CV. Start by highlighting an overview of your experience and strengths/achievements in just a few bullet points, then put the detail below. Tailor any applications to the requirements of the role. Ie look at the role specification, see what is required and make sure, if you have it, it is on the cv and in your overview at the top and covering email. Never exaggerate experience you don’t have on a CV, it will come out at some point with very negative connotations.
      If you are seeking an international move and an accountant, please feel free to contact us. If we are working with you we spend a lot of time getting your CV and entire application right for you.
      All the best
      Abigail

  44. Hi Abigail,

    I'm a CPA here in the Philippines,and I'm actively looking for an opportunity abroad. I have already gained 5 years internal audit experience.I hope you can assist me on this.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Catherine

      Thank you for contacting me. We most certainly do work on Internal Audit vacancies. However, it does depend on your experience in Internal Audit, training, the level of travel you are happy to do in a role, where you want to move to etc. I would need to know a little more before answering if we can assist you at this time. Can you please send your cv to mail@thinkgr.com.

      Thank you

      Abigail

  45. Hi, think Global Recruitment. May I know regarding the opportunities available that suits my qualifications? I am very interested to work in england. I have relatives in Birmingham and in Stafford. Thanks Danna

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