Writing a great accounting CV can help you land your dream job. You may be the best fit for the position you’re applying for, but without the right CV, you can be overlooked.
Your CV is all about marketing yourself as an accountant. Just like all marketing, you’ll want to highlight the best features that you have to offer your future employer. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as it sounds.
You never know exactly what the employer is looking for. Plus, many employers use applicant tracking systems and don’t actually look at any CVs until they’ve passed that initial test.
This guide offers the best accounting CV tips that can set you up for a successful job hunt.
1. Use Keywords
Applicant tracking systems are the first line of defence for hiring managers.
If your CV goes through a tracking system, the system will look for keywords and phrases that are deemed necessary for the job. If your CV doesn’t have them, nobody will even look at it.
Thankfully, it’s easy to add the right keywords to your CV. The job description will have everything you need for the taking.
Read the posting and pick out some of the keywords and phrases specific to the job. Then, you can tweak your CV to include the ones you have.
2. Tailor Your CV to Each Job
You don’t want to submit a generic CV to every company. Instead, look at the job description that you’re applying for and modify your CV to reflect how you fit into the role.
Find the specific qualifications that the job is requiring and include any of them that you can. For example, an accountant job posting may mention that you need high attention to detail.
In that case, your CV should include how you meet that requirement. You could tweak a prior job duty to highlight your attention to detail, such as “kept detailed records of…” or “reconciled all differences in accounts”. Otherwise, you can just add it to your list of skills.
You should never lie on your CV. Just make sure your CV reflects the ways that your skills and experience match what that company is looking for.
3. Include Qualifications
Did you recently pass your ACA, ACCA, or CIMA exams? Include those credentials on your CV!
Jobs in the accounting industry can be competitive. If a job requires a certain qualification, then you’ll certainly want to highlight it.
Even if a job doesn’t list a qualification as necessary, having it listed might set you apart from other candidates.
After all, employers would rather hire someone with extra skills than not enough.
4. Pay Attention to Formatting
An accounting CV should only be around two or three pages. You’ll need to make the most out of those few pages and keep the hiring manager interested.
Try to use terminology that the accounting industry knows well, not just terms specific to your previous company.
Also, use white space where you can. If you can arrange paragraphs into bulleted lists, it can make the document easier on the eyes. Use short paragraphs whenever possible. Reading a long wall of text can be difficult when someone is trying to assess so many CVs at once.
Most importantly, pay attention to spelling and grammar. You might want a friend or family member to read through your CV just to make sure everything looks and sounds grammatically correct.
5. Highlight Financial Systems Experience
Accountants spend most of their days using financial software and systems. If you’ve used a system that the job description shows you may use in that role, make your experience known.
Common systems in accounting are SAP, Oracle, and Hyperion. Of course, Excel skills can be critical, too.
6. List Your Skills
The skills section of your CV can be tricky. Thankfully, CIMA provides a number of ideas for accountants to use.
Match the skills you put in your CV to the skills required by the job as best as you can. Here’s an idea of some categories or skills that you can include:
- Digital skills
- Governance and risk
- Business skills
- Technical skills
- Financial Management
- Leadership skills
- Corporate reporting
- People skills
- IT Finance systems
7. Use Numbers Where You Can
This should be the easiest part for accountants because we’re used to providing numbers. In your CV, you can use numbers to demonstrate your impact in previous roles.
Maybe you managed a large amount of cash in an account or saved the company a specific amount of money. Perhaps you uncovered fraud on a large scale.
Showing the numbers in your CV can demonstrate just how large of an impact you can make in future roles. It’s a great way to show your results as an accountant.
8. Show Off Industry Experience
If you’ve already worked as an accountant, make sure you’re showing your potential employer that experience. You can also showcase what types of roles you’ve held, like in taxation or audit.
In certain industries, it can be helpful to mention big clients that you’ve had if you’re able to. If you’ve worked with well-known people or companies in the past, it can improve your credibility.
9. Consider a Short Personal Statement
Toward the top of your CV, you can include a small personal statement if you feel it’s necessary. There’s conflicting information on whether you need this on your CV.
But a personal statement can help you clarify your CV for the hiring manager. Suppose you’ve only worked in taxation, but now you’re considering a position in an audit.
You can use a personal statement to call that out and let potential employers know.
Your accounting CV is a crucial way to market yourself to potential employers.
Using your CV, you can hook hiring managers with keywords and phrases while showing them that your skills match what they need.
Always tailor your CV to show the skills you have that match the job description. Having a strong CV will put you on the road to your dream accounting job.