As a prospective accountant, perfecting your CV and personal brand are key to securing an interview. Companies and recruiters can receive hundreds of CVs for every advertised accounting role, so you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Based on our client’s feedback, this is how we recommend you should format your CV to land an accounting job.
- Keep your personal statement/profile short, we would recommend no longer than 4 lines. Many people take up the front page of their CV with long profiles that use general phrases such as ‘can work well independently and as part of a team’ or ‘excellent punctuality’. Your CV needs to be unique – don’t use generic phrases that anybody could use!
- Make sure you include your qualification in your personal profile (that you’re a CIMA / ACCA / ACA Part-Qualified or Qualified Accountant), this immediately asserts your expertise alongside your personality. Remember employers want to know the human behind the words.
- Keep your qualifications concise and in chronological order with your most recent qualification at the top:
- Professional qualification (AAT / CIMA / ACCA / ACA Part-Qualified or Qualified). If you’re Part-Qualified, state specifically how many exams you have completed and how many you have remaining, it’s ok to still be developing your skills.
- Degree and classification of degree followed by which university you attended (if applicable)
- A Levels and GCSE’s – You don’t have to list out every individual grade, stating how many you got in a range of classifications is fine.
- Here you can list which accounting systems you have used to show your proficiency. (Sage, SAP, Oracle, Navision etc)
- Make sure you also list what you can specifically do in Excel (vlookups, pivot tables, macros). Don’t just put ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ as every company defines this differently, it also allows you to explicitly showcase your spreadsheet abilities.
- In this section you can add any other useful systems like Cognos reporting, SAS or SQL for example. This may give you an extra edge if the employer often uses one of these.
- Include your dates of employment. It might sound obvious but many people leave it off. Make sure you include both month and year employed.
- This should also have the company and job title with a brief synopsis of what your company does. Try to include which sector it was in as well as a rough annual turnover.
- Employers can gauge size and responsibilities then.
- Get as much detail about your current role on the front page of your CV as possible. This is what hiring managers are really interested in.
- Try to list 6-8 detailed bullet points around your current responsibilities or projects you’re involved with. Then follow this with a list of 3-4 key achievements from those projects.
- Make sure your achievements are quantifiable so that hiring managers can see where you’ve added value. Make yourself seem like an addition they need to be including in their team.
- In this section you want to include plenty of detail around your last 5 years’ experience. Any roles prior to that, keep the content brief! Hiring managers aren’t really interested in what you did 10 years ago!
Include interests at the bottom of your CV. Many people leave this off but including interests can break the ice as a talking point at the start of your interview. This is especially crucial if your interests are memorable and unique. Be the person they remember for your hobby of teaching watersports!
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