Accounting CVs in 2021: Is it time you changed yours?

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In the last year or so, every industry, including finance, has been turned upside down. 

The pandemic created new challenges for businesses of all sizes, building a new demand for remote work, distributed teams worldwide, and even prompting accelerated digital transformation.  

The good news for today’s accounting candidates is that opportunities are beginning to appear in the financial sector. The flexible working landscape means you can apply for roles worldwide and work comfortably from your own home.  

However, while many aspects of accounting work have changed, one thing remains the same – your CV is still the key to unlocking new job opportunities.  

So, is your CV ready for the new age of accounting? Here’s how you can enhance it.  

1. Address What You’ve Done in the Last Year 

Almost everyone was affected by the pandemic in some way over the last year. Depending on your role, you may have been under more pressure than ever or struggling to work efficiently from home. Today’s hiring managers and business leaders will be looking for evidence of your ability to thrive in unpredictable situations by learning what you did in the last year.  

For instance, as an accounts manager, you may have been responsible for helping keep your company afloat during a time when budgets were tighter than ever. As a finance director, you might have been responsible for finding new investments and opportunities.  

Did you step up during these new challenges? What new systems did you implement, and what kind of results did your work have? Use the achievements section of your CV to demonstrate your creative problem-solving. If you were furloughed, you could still make yourself more attractive to employers by showing how you used that time to develop new skills 

2. Adapt your CV to Suit the Job Description 

job description is a behind-the-scenes look at the kind of person a company wants to hire. The things listed on a job description for a senior accountant will highlight exactly what your potential employer is looking for, so adapt your CV and cover letter to respond to your company’s needs. For instance:  

  • Certifications: Look at the tasks you’re going to be performing daily in this role and find ways to highlight relevant skills. If a role as a senior accountant asks for knowledge in accounting software, list your accreditation and experience working with that software. 
  • Soft skills: Job descriptions often hint at the kind of person a company wants to hire by listing valuable characteristics. If a job description asks for a dedicated and passionate employee, use your CV to discuss how you use your spare time to upgrade your skills, earn new qualifications, or learn about financial trends. 
  • Experience: Reference experiences specifically connected to the role in question. For instance, you don’t need to list your time as a retail worker if you’re applying for an account manager’s role. Talk about your freelance accounting work or the work you did managing VAT returns for a previous employer. 

3. Update your Cover Letter 

Your cover letter is a valuable part of the job application, but it’s something many financial professionals forget about when writing their CV. When you add a cover letter to your CV, you can use it as an opportunity to share additional relevant information about you.  

Once again, look at the job description for your desired role, and ask yourself what kind of words and phrases stand out. If a company asks for a “hands-on” financial accountant, use your cover letter to describe how you were always looking for development opportunities and progression in your previous roles and how you think this new role will be perfect for that.  

Don’t just talk about how this new job is ideal for you, though. Reference the problems outlined by your potential employer in the job description and how you can help with them. For instance, if the job description talks about creating consistency in financial reporting, talk about how your experience working with intelligent software will streamline the company’s workflows. 

4. Consider Earning New Qualifications 

If you’re thinking of seeking out a new role this year, look into qualifications that will make your CV more appealing. Some certifications will be more difficult to achieve than others. For instance, as an accountant, you should usually have an ACA/ACCA or CIMA qualification. If you don’t have these qualifications, highlight in your CV or cover letter that you’re currently working towards them. 

You can also look into developing new skills online. Tools like QuickBooks for accounting have certifications you can apply for in your own time. After you complete the certification exam, you have another valuable skill to add to your CV. 

If you already have all the required hard skills to impress a potential employer, look at the soft skills you can offer too. Maybe you can enhance your leadership skills with a digital webinar or course. Perhaps you can take steps to boost your communication skills so that you can collaborate better with other members of your team.  

5. Proofread Every CV 

Finally, as an accountant, attention to detail is one of the most important characteristics you can have. A single missed number or decimal point can spell disaster for a company. Employers are therefore more likely to ignore your CV if they notice glaring errors and mistakes. 

Double-check your CV and cover letter for any grammatical, spelling, or formatting issues before submitting. You might find it helpful to ask someone else to proofread the document too. Additionally, remember no matter how much you want to get the job, you should never “exaggerate” your skills.  

What Next? 

It’s time to get out there and find yourself the ultimate financial role. With more hiring opportunities in the digital world than ever before, there are plenty of jobs waiting. All you need is the right CV to attract the attention of your new employer.  

If you need help making the right impression with hiring managers, reach out to Rebus today. You can connect by emailing us here or calling our direct line on 01282 930 930 



Rachel Mitson 

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