Account Management Roles

How to hire a graduate for a role in Account Management

Candidate profile:

A confident, articulate speaker with strong written communication and negotiation skills. Good time-management skills are essential as well as the ability to work across a number of projects at the same time. Budget management and client liaison experience are beneficial as well as an eagerness to really get stuck in. There should also be a desire to understand their own product intimately, the market around them and the competition - they also should really get to grips with their client's businesses.

Account Management, like Sales, does not have specific degree requirements as the right personality and attitude are more important. A degree in Business or Marketing could be beneficial depending on the type of accounts.

Top skills:

  1. Organisation: account managers need to be able to juggle lots of clients at the same time without forgetting anything.
  2. Written & verbal communication: it is necessary to be able to write and talk to clients and leave them with a good impression!
  3. Attention to detail: making sure that little mistakes do not end up impacting the client's experience is essential.
  4. Problem-solving: you are looking for a candidate who will be able to think on their feet and give a customer a solution if they raise a problem.

Non-office experience:

  • It is a great sign if a candidate has experience in customer facing roles, such as waitressing/waitering or retail. Similarly, participation in university sports and societies suggests good time-management skills.
  • Any experience working with content or editing may be beneficial- for instance, experience working on a university paper can demonstrate organisation and communication skills

Office experience:

  • Look out for work experience in an office/agency environment in customer service or sales support - a job that required working to deadlines and managing and dealing with clients in a professional capacity.

Green flag

  • Happy to take on high levels of responsibility and quick to pick up new skills
  • Someone who can take the initiative and can creatively, but logically, work through issues
  • An individual adept at time management would be especially suitable for this role

Red flag

  • A badly written or formatted CV and cover letter show a lack of attention to detail which is key for an account management role
  • Someone who prefers independent work or dislikes engaging with clients
  • Someone who is not especially competent in articulating themselves verbally - communication between manager and client is an essential part of this role

At interview:

  • Poor people skills at interview should cause alarm bells due to the high level of customer interaction needed for an account management role. You could stage a fake telephone call scenario to see how the candidate holds themselves.
  • This role play could also encompass a potential problem a client may be facing - this could test how a candidate would be able to manage a client and their expectations as well as demonstrating how they would be able to problem-solve.
  • Questions presenting potential issues/circumstances they may be faced with in the role is also a great way of exploring how a candidate thinks and a candidate’s natural ability to problem-solve and work through issues.

Employee Expectations

As a graduate with limited experience in the field, the account manager can expect an annual salary of around £18,000. Account managers often earn bonuses or commission for reaching certain targets, and so, bonus or commission schemes (or lack of!) should be outlined to the candidate in the job description. An employee may also expect opportunity to increase their level of personal responsibility and take on more accounts, as well as earning transferable skills.


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