Your CV is your sales tool – it the first thing any prospective employer gets to see about you, and so it pays to give as precise an impression as possible. You need to use it to convince your potential new company that you are the right person for the role.
Unfortunately, a great number of finance professionals fail at this simple task and seldom get to the interview stage. With a little time and effort you can make sure you do not fall into this category.
Your Personal Details
Keep this as simple as possible. You just need your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. Don’t include your date of birth, marital status or ethnicity.
Your Personal Profile
The first thing your potential new employer will see about you is the most important aspect of your CV – your personal profile. Try to construct a short but sharp paragraph that tells your new company all the important things they need to know about you. Include your major qualifications, your most important previous roles and the key responsibilities you have held. You may also finish with a very brief sentence about your hobbies and ambitions to hint at the real person behind the text, but avoid stuff like ‘I enjoy getting drunk with my mates’ – you want to appear professional at all times.
Accountancy of course is a profession that values qualifications, so after your personal profile you need to list your qualifications in order of importance, the most important being at the top.
If you passed first time, then include that information, plus any degrees you have obtained, where you obtained them, and the dates.
Only include A levels if you are in the early years of your career. There is no need to include GCSE or equivalent qualifications.
Experience and Achievements
Work backwards from your current role and use a bullet-point format to aid clarification. List your roles as job title, followed by the company name, followed by the dates of your employment. After the facts, include a brief paragraph explaining your role, your responsibilities and your achievements.
Your skills will be, of course, very valuable to your employer. You should pay particular attention to your technical skills, including listing the computer packages you are competent with. Also include any other computer skills such as any programming languages you understand, such as unix scripting or SQL.
This can be a contentious one, as some recruitment firms recommend that you do not include anything personal about you, less you alienate your new employer i.e. you may love football but the person reading your CV hates it with a passion. Listing any skill-based hobbies is a good idea, such as fluency in other languages, and any volunteering you perform.
Some people recommend that no CV should be more than two pages long, however if you have trouble in fitting everything in on two pages, there is absolutely no issue with going over to three.