I've worked in recruitment for many years now and I’ve seen my fair share of CVs. When you’re looking for a new finance role, just like any other job - your CV is your first impression and it needs to be strong.
From my experience, having clean, clear, and detailed practical experience is what employers want. Keywords are also crucial to the CV.
Usually when you send a CV to an Agency, or directly to an employer, the person receiving it mightn't necessarily be a finance person. This makes it important to tailor your CV and highlight your experience so that it's clearly related to the job description.
Finance CV advice
Here are some tips that might help you along the way in writing a CV that will help you stand out when applying for jobs within the finance industry.
A personal statement or a summary of your qualifications is a great way to start a CV. This is clear and to the point way to immediately catch the eye of finance recruiters.
For example, “Newly Qualified Accountant with XXXX years’ experience” or “Qualified Accountant with XXX of industry and practice experience”.
Throughout your CV use bullet points and paragraphs, this will make it easier to read. Another good tip is to always have both a Word version and a PDF version if needed. Ideally a CV should be max 2 pages long – try to take out unnecessary experience.
When writing about your experience, think about your responsibilities for each relevant role and what you did weekly, or monthly.
For example, “Processed monthly payroll for over 150 employees”, or “Managed weekly cash flow” or “processed over 2000 invoices each month/week”
Achievements in the role are highly regarded so if you have something great to share with the employer then write it on the CV. Make sure there are no gaps in your career history so if you took a year out to travel, put that down.
Education and qualifications
This should be short and sweet with only the necessary qualifications you have. If you’re coming from an Accountancy background – always say if you are part qualified or fully qualified accountant. For example, “CIMA qualified, ACCA qualified, ACA qualified".
Which accountancy qualification you have will matter to employers so make sure to include it.
With regards to university, you can add your degree but you don’t need to write out the modules you have done. Even if you are applying for a graduate role, there is no need to put this much detail on a CV.
Most employers would want to know what software you have used. Highlight any technical skills you have such as SAP, Oracle, SAGE etc. Again, use the job spec as a guide to what skills you should highlight.
Tailoring your CV
You should never have a generic CV and minor changes can make a difference. Take your time to create a CV that will benefit you in the long run.
In a remote working world this is the main way to promote yourself on paper. If you have the skills the company is looking for then highlight it and make yourself stand out from the crowd.
My final advice is to get help from recruiters. Reach out to Finance recruiters here at Cpl as we can always help to give you advice on how to write a CV.
Another point is be prepared to back everything up in job interviews, so if you have a lot of work experience it’s important to be able to show what you have learnt from each role and your expertise on the position.
If you do have questions on CVs or about the Accounting and Finance market at the moment, feel free to reach out to any employee here at Cpl as we are always happy to help.