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CV Preparation & Advice for Accountants

15 Jan 2016

Clare Meredith

One of the most common questions that I get asked by accountants at business events or at interviews concerns crafting a good CV. Many of those who are moving out of practice haven’t had the need to update their CV since leaving school and quite rightly, they want to make an impact. I’ll say that having this attitude is a great start and shows that you care about making a good impression. Many accountants that I work with are not great at selling themselves. Consider your CV as your chance to make a lasting first impression and use this real estate to show what makes you a great fit for the job.

So, if your CV still highlights that you were part of the secondary school tug o’ war team or that you spent a summer island hopping in Greece 18 years ago, it probably is time for a spring clean – read on to see what’s critical to making an impact with your CV.

1)    Keep your CV layout clean and concise – your document length should be no more than 2 pages.  Be sure to use just one standard font (Arial/Times New Roman) and font size 11.

2)    Put your contact details and experience at the forefront. Your contact details go at the top of the first page, followed by your professional record in reverse chronological order.

3)    Tailor your CV for each job that you apply for. Take the time to analyse what is important to that employer. Jot down their needs and how you can match this up to your skills and experience set.

4)    If a role was contract/interim, make sure to include that so any future employer understands your career path. Remember, this is your first contact with them and it’s vital that the hiring manager sees how your career has progressed and understand that you were not walking away from jobs regularly.

5)    Be specific about your responsibilities. If coming from practice, mention the types of clients that you worked with e.g. multinational construction business over £10m turnover.

6)    Include your education and professional training record with details on your dates of passing/graduating and whether you passed first time.

7)    Include your soft skills – things that aren’t taught at college but crucial to a successful career. If you have the ability to work well with internal stakeholders, have confidence and gravitas dealing with senior line management. Include the systems you are familiar with also as all these details will serve to make you more attractive to potential employers.

The perception of an accountant has transitioned from dated stereotype (the bean counter) to influential business partner who is commercially astute and has a strong ability to analyse and comment on figures impacting business performance. Make sure your CV reflects this and you’ll stay ahead of the rest!

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If you feel you’ve got the full package, we’ve got excellent opportunities for you to flourish in some of the country’s best companies.