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Our tips for your professional accountant’s CV

As a prospective accountant, perfecting your CV and personal brand is key to securing an interview.

Companies and recruiters can receive hundreds of CVs for every role and often make a decision within seconds, so it’s vital to ensure your skills and personal statement stand out from the crowd.

Based on feedback from hundreds of clients and with years of experience helping accountants to find their ideal new jobs – this is how our team of experts recommend you write and format your accountancy CV to land your perfect role.

Jump to: Your personal statement | Education and qualifications | How to include ACCA or CIMA on a CV | Skills and systems experience | Accounting experience

How to write an accountant’s personal statement or profile

A well-written personal statement or profile at the top of your CV is your best opportunity to grab the hirer’s attention and demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate for their accountancy role. Remember that an accountant’s personal statement (along with the rest of your CV) will be read very quickly and therefore it’s essential to keep all information clear and concise, with the most relevant information at the top of the page.


Firms often have limited time to review candidates, so doing everything you can to make your strengths stand out whilst being concise is key to winning an interview. You should also limit your accounting personal statement to information and skills which are relevant to the role. Don’t be afraid to cut out extraneous information, as you can always mention this in the interview if you feel it’s relevant.

 
Do:

  • Keep your personal statement/profile short – we recommend no longer than four lines.
     
  • Make sure you include your qualification(s) 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.

Don’t:

  • Take up the front page of your accountant’s CV with a long profile that uses worn-out phrases such as ‘can work well independently and as part of a team’ or ‘excellent punctuality’. Your CV needs to be unique – avoid generic phrases as much as possible.

How to include education and qualifications on an accountancy CV

It’s essential to emphasise your skills and qualifications to get noticed and land that all-important interview. Our tip is to always put the most relevant information first.

Do:

Keep your qualifications concise and in chronological order with your most recent qualification at the top of your CV:
 

  • Professional accounting 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 okay to still be developing your skills.
     
  • Degree and classification of degree (if applicable).
     
  • A-Levels and GCSEs.

How to include an ACCA or CIMA qualification on your CV

There are a number of recognised accountancy qualifications in the UK including CIMA, ACCA, ACA(ICAEW), AAT and CIPFA.

If you have gained an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) or any other recognised qualification, these should be highlighted clearly on your accountancy CV within the qualifications section.


Anyone who has completed the required qualifications, modules, and practical experience to become either an ACCA or CIMA member can use the relevant letters after their name on their CV, while those who are part-qualified can use the part-qualified designated letters.

It’s important to understand when and how to include your CIMA, ACCA, or other qualifications on your CV to ensure that you evidence your hard work and leave a lasting impression on potential employers.

How to add accountancy skills and systems experience to a CV

Prospective employers want to know if you have the right skills and how quickly you can hit the ground running, so highlighting any experience with accountancy systems and programmes on your CV is advantageous.

Even if you don’t have specific experience with the system requested in the job listing, your experience with another will show your ability to pick up similar layouts or practices. Additionally, adding all the systems you are experienced with shows how versatile and adaptable you are, giving the employer a little more insight into your strengths.

Do:

  • List which accounting systems you have used to show your proficiency. For example, Sage, SAP, Oracle, Navision, etc.
     
  • Be sure to list what you can specifically do in Excel or Google Sheets, such as lookups, pivot tables, macros, etc.
     
  • You can also 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.

Don’t:

  • Describe your skills as ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’, as every company defines these differently. Use the opportunity to explicitly showcase your spreadsheet abilities.

How to include accounting experience on a CV

Alongside your qualifications, your CV needs to include relevant accountancy experience and achievements. Use this as an opportunity to underline your suitability for the role, as well as in any previous roles you may have held or firms you’ve worked for. Doing so gives more insight for employers

Do:

  • Include dates of employment. It might sound obvious, but many people leave it off. Make sure you include both the month and year employed.
     
  • This should also include 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. This enables employers to gauge size and responsibilities.
     
  • Add 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.
     
  • List six to eight detailed bullet points around your current responsibilities or projects you’re involved with.
     
  • Follow this with a list of three to four 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 included in their team.
     
  • Include a thorough, but concise amount of detail on your last five years of experience.

 
Don’t:

  • Include too much detail for roles you held more than five years ago. Hiring managers aren’t really interested in what you did 10 years previous.

Work with Distinct

Here at Distinct, we’ll take the time to understand your needs and goals to help you find a role which is perfectly suited to your skill set.

If you’d like help finding your ideal next move, contact our Nottingham office today. You can also browse the latest Accountancy & Finance vacancies on our jobs board.
 

Article last updated on 17/3/2023

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