7 essential tips for writing an exceptional accountancy CV

November 10th 2023 | Posted by phil scott

A CV is an introduction to you.  It’s a small document that has a BIG impact.

A CV is an accountant’s sales pitch when you apply for a job and it brings together your education, skills, experience and achievements all in one neat package. It should also showcase your personality too!  It’s the first impression you’ll give an employer (and a recruiter) – and there is only one chance to get it right.

What tips should accountants remember when writing their CVs?

Here are 7 important ones to get you started:

1. Make a statement

Think about including a section that isn’t specific to your education or career experience but introduces you, your personal qualities that make you stand out and your career objectives.

Showcase your individual abilities, pull out what it is about you that makes you right for this role and highlight your career goals for the future.

Employers want to understand what makes you stand out and a short mini sales pitch is a great way to do this.

2. Be specific

Although you may be applying for many roles at the same (perhaps similar roles in the same sector or perhaps different jobs in other industries) it’s vital to avoid creating a generic CV.

This might be seem a quicker way to apply for a new role, but it won’t be quicker in the long term.  Employers or recruiters have to read through a huge number of CVs on a regular basis so a CV that seems general or not tailored to a particular role simply won’t stand out.

How can you avoid submitting a generic CV?  Read in detail the spec of the job that you’re applying for.   Highlight areas of your experience and skills that specifically match these requirements, so you’re making it quick and easy for a potential employer to see that you’ve got what they need.

Also, include in your CV keywords that match what the role is about and mirror the terms that have been used in the job spec.  In this way you’ll be pulling from your experience the specific elements that they are looking for.

3. Be unique

During the interview stage it is easier to demonstrate what makes you different, why you are unique and how your skills and experience will make you the best fit for the role.

However, just because it’s not as easy to do this in writing, does not make it impossible!!

Think about what makes you different – this could be achievements in a role, skills gained throughout your career or additional training you’ve had which gives you an edge over your competitors.

Identify what makes you unique and clearly present this in your CV.  In each and every job that you introduce, think about how you can present your individuality and experience that sets you apart from the rest.

4. Highlight your achievements

Make sure that when you’re summarising each job role you’re really focusing on how that particular position has brought you to where you are in your career today.

Avoid summarising only responsibilities.  Include the essence of the role so a potential employer understands your remit, but give much more attention to highlighting your achievements in each job.  Point out how you improved or changed a vital process, how you increased income by XX%, how you revolutionised a way of working or you delivered a crucial project for the business and the impact this had.

Prove your impact in your past roles and therefore you potential impact for your new employer.

5. Present well

In the midst of concentrating on content, it’s important not to forget about the presentation!  When laying out a CV, think about the most reader-friendly way for it to be presented.

Think about how you’ll use headings, spaces, lists, summaries and more, so that the essential information you’re trying to communicate is easy to digest by the reader.

Remember, it’s the first time they’re reading about you, so make it as easy as possible to find crucial information.

6. Be succinct

Resist the temptation to go into too much detail for every job role.  Take care to be succinct in your content – take the most important information and lead this with this.

With so many CVs to read, an employer needs to see the most valuable detail.  Pushing yourself to write concisely will present you in the best light possible.  Make sure your content packs a punch!

7. Don’t forget the extras

Although a CV is primarily an opportunity to showcase qualifications, experience and expertise, make sure you don’t forget the extras that make you who you are.

Whether that’s featuring interesting hobbies or talking about volunteer work or sporting achievements, this is another way to present what makes you a unique individual that would fit well within their business.

Are you interested in new career opportunities in accountancy?  Register now.