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Not sure how to write an accounting CV that stands out? You’ve come to the right place!
In this blog, we’ll run through our dos and don’ts for writing an effective accountant CV that shows off your achievements so far.
And if you’re looking for accounting CV examples, good news – we’ve also created a template for you!
Accountancy skills are highly sought after, so good recruits are always in demand. This means that accountants are often in a strong position to negotiate the perks they want – for example, 61% want the option of home or remote working according to the ICAEW.
However, competition is fierce for the best jobs – so you must make sure your CV gives you the best chance of an interview.
Here are our top tips for creating an accounting CV that will help you stand out from the crowd.
First things first, an accountant CV is like any other in that you need to get the basics right.
Whether it’s a trainee accountant CV, or one to promote a 20-year career, there are a few essentials – use a clear layout, avoid complicated formatting and send it as a PDF.
You need to tailor your accounting CV to each role you apply for, based on the job advert.
Don’t make any rookie errors either. That means no spelling or grammar mistakes, silly email addresses, keyword stuffing or anything else that will see your CV go straight to the bin!
Accountants have a reputation for strong attention to detail – your CV is the first example of your work that hiring managers will see, so don’t give them any impression you’re not thorough.
All accountant job adverts will mention a mix of desirable hard and soft skills for the role.
Including a key skills section is a quick, simple way to show hiring managers that you have what it takes to do the job.
Typical accountancy skills mentioned on job descriptions may feature some of the following:
Some of your skills will be more relevant to include than others, so tailor your skillset to the job description.
Always remember though, you should never lie – especially on an accountant CV – as you will be found out, so don’t include any skills that you don’t actually have.
In some careers, it’s hard for applicants to find stats to use on their CV to show how much impact they’ve had.
In accounting, it should be more straightforward – so make the most of the facts and figures you have at your fingertips!
Mention how many staff you’ve been responsible for, how many client accounts you’ve managed and so on.
You can also include examples of how much you’ve helped a company to grow or save, in pounds or percentages.
Facts and figures will have more impact in the right context though. If you’re struggling to explain your best ones, use the STAR method – make sure you’ve covered the:
Strong CVs feature plenty of evidence to back up claims, otherwise they risk sounding too generic and employers struggle to see how candidates stand out.
Use your personal statement, also known as a professional profile, to really sell yourself.
Your personal statement should summarise the best bits of your accounting CV. Think of it as your written elevator pitch to boldly outline why you’re a great fit for the job and draw attention to your biggest strengths.
If it’s the most difficult part of your CV to write, don’t worry. Set aside extra time, plan what you want to say and don’t rush it.
As we mentioned at the start, accountancy skills are in high demand, but the best opportunities will be very competitive.
A good way to give your application the edge is to write a great cover letter alongside your accounting CV. That way, you have another opportunity to explain just why you’re the right person for the job.
We recommend writing a cover letter even if the employer doesn’t ask for one – for many hiring managers, this document is just as important as the CV.
Your cover letter shouldn’t just repeat all the same information though.
This format allows you to do things a little differently. For instance, in a letter, it’s easier to convey your enthusiasm for the job opportunity and give more detailed STAR examples.
Read our guide to writing a brilliant cover letter here.
[Address] – [Phone number] – [Email address]
Use about 6-7 lines to promote who you are, what you can offer and your next career aims. Be concise and personalise it to show how you stand out and what makes you unique:
Commercially-savvy ICAEW chartered accountant with 8 years’ experience and a proven track record of reducing costs for SMEs.
If your skill section looks strong, include it here – otherwise, put it after your work history section. Relate your skillset to the job description and use bullet points – for example:
List your previous roles or companies worked at, in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent position – also include the dates.
Then, add bullet points, to describe your most relevant achievements and responsibilities – for example:
[Job title, company name, location] [Dates]
[Job title, company name, location] [Dates]
Qualifications and Education
Start by listing your accountancy-specific qualifications such as your AAT, ACA or CIMA certifications. Add any other relevant qualifications, then your education details:
This section is optional if you’re short of space. Any interests you include should ideally strengthen your overall application in some way – for example:
I manage the accounts for my local town football team, as well as our bookings and transport arrangements.
References available on request
To write a strong accounting CV, make sure you’ve tailored it to the job description. Include all your relevant financial skills and use statistics to provide evidence for your best career achievements.
Your personal statement is a chance to tell your unique story and highlight your CV’s best bits. Write a cover letter too – it’s a great way to stand out from other applicants.