As the world becomes increasingly digital, with social media profiles and LinkedIn endorsements, you may think that your CV isn’t as relevant as it once was.
Though the financial industry is changing, employers, recruiters and hiring managers still rely on the CV to make initial assessments about their candidates.
When it comes to choosing someone for a crucial role, like a senior accountant position, many companies won’t even offer an interview to a person who doesn’t have the right CV. The question is, how can you make your application stand out?
Step 1: Make Your CV Relevant
When hiring managers and the team here at Rebus start reviewing financial CVs, we look for signs that the person is passionate about the role they’re applying for. One clear sign that a person is committed to a position is that they’ve done their research to make their CV as relevant as possible.
If you’re applying for a senior accountant job, talk about the things you did to influence internal financial controls in your previous role, or how you supported the budgeting and forecasting process. Every time you add something new to your CV, ask yourself how it will help with the job you’re applying for.
A good way to stay on track is to print out the job description and highlight any key competencies or words that the employer has used to describe their ideal employee, then use similar terminology with your application.
Step 2: Make it Short and to The Point
The person responsible for reviewing your CV will have a number of applications to sort through, including yours. With that in mind, it’s essential to keep your application as short as possible. Stick with two pages or less, and only include the information that’s most pertinent to the position.
With two pages, you’ll have plenty of space to impress your potential employer, without overwhelming them with information they don’t need. If you’re worried about some of the most essential details on your senior accountant CV showing up on the second page, use a “core skills” section at the top of the first page to highlight important abilities related to the role.
Once you’re done writing, go through your CV and remove anything that’s just taking up space.
Step 3: Showcase Education, Work Experience and Achievements
There are a few key components that most hiring managers and recruiters will be looking for when they’re sifting through senior accountant CVs. Although things like attitude and culture are important, it’s also crucial to show that you have the necessary technical skills to thrive in your new environment. This means showing off your:
- Education: List the educational achievements most relevant to the role you’re applying for. For instance, do you have CIMA, ACA, or ACCA qualifications?
- Work experience: Have you been employed in a similar role before? Were you in a position that asked you to take on responsibilities like managing end-month accounts or balance sheets?
- Achievements: How did your previous experience give you the skills required to thrive in your new role? How would you apply the skills you’ve learned to this new position? For instance, did you learn how to manage internal and external audit relationships in another job?
Step 4: Check for Accurate Grammar and Spelling
Senior accountants need to show exceptional attention to detail and accuracy in their roles. If your CV is covered in mistakes, there’s a good chance that a hiring manager or recruitment team will simply disregard it. Remember that word processors don’t necessarily pick up every error you make. While “I have several years of experience as a manager” is spelt correctly, it’s not contextually correct.
Read your CV three times to make sure that everything is correct before you send it. If you’re concerned that you might be missing typos, ask a friend or mentor to read through on your behalf and pinpoint any mistakes they notice so you’re more likely to get through to the interview stage.
Step 5: Use Plenty of Facts and Evidence
When applying for roles in accounting and finance, it’s crucial to remember that numbers count. As you describe what you did in previous positions, draw attention to statistics like company turnover rates, the number of sites you managed, or the time you spent on specific tasks. Quantifiable figures are more likely to capture the right attention in this industry.
Rather than just listing that you improved a company’s profit margin last year, explain exactly what you did by saying: “I collaborated with suppliers to get a 20% discount on repeat purchases, and therefore increased our bottom line by X%.”
Just don’t be tempted to embellish your CV with extra facts that aren’t true.
Step 6: Include a Cover Letter
Finally, one of the easiest ways to make your CV stand out in today’s crowded marketplace is to include a carefully-constructed cover letter. Your cover letter is your opportunity to show that you’ve researched the business carefully, and it allows you to provide extra information without taking up too much space on the CV. Make sure your cover letter shows:
- How you will help the company achieve their goals.
- How well you’ll fit with the company’s existing culture. (which values or attitudes do you share?)
- That you’re willing to adapt to the needs of your new employer and learn new skills.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To get in touch call us on 01282 930930.