AS far as securing a top job after graduation goes, accountancy is a great choice.

However, when it comes to securing a position at the best firms applicants need more than just a good degree and a new haircut to stand out.

Diverse CV: Employers love nothing better than reading about a passion or hobby that’s a bit different.

Even if your interests are not particularly quirky, having success in a nonacademic arenas such as sport is an asset. This shows potential employers you have more than one string to your bow. Work experience is also where you can set yourself apart from the pack. While related work experience is golden, any kind of work experience – from pulling pints in your local to pushing double glazing flyers through letter boxes – shows a good work ethic and real world experience.

IT know-how: It goes without saying you’ll know your way around an Excel spreadsheet, but employers are looking for evidence you’re savvy with other software programs.

Most firms use their own customised software, which new-starts will need to master on a regular basis.

Show the breadth of your IT knowledge and how you’ve swiftly adapted to new systems to gain brownie points

A team player: Again, this is where work experience can allow you to talk about all those times you took one for the team while working at the biscuit factory. The ability to get on with people is vital to forging a successful career as an accountant.

Often you’ll be required to present information to colleagues who don’t share your expertise, so being able to communicate complex stats without flummoxing everyone in the room is a skill in itself.

Professional: While accountancy students follow a tough schedule, it’s still a big leap from student life to full-time professional. This means appropriate dress and language at work.

Graduates who conduct themselves in the most business- like way will be the ones catching the eyes of the recruiters.