I look at maybe 50 CV’s a day, and over the years I’ve seen some no more than a couple of lines through to 20 pages!
Sometimes, I find at a senior finance level, jobseekers become a tad complacent, believing previous employers can speak for themselves and certain skills are assumed. It’s also important to remember that often the first person that will receive your CV is a recruiter and in a competitive job market they are inundated with applications – so yours needs to stand out.
Ultimately, I’d suggest CVs should follow a standard format, and so I’ve outlined a proposed template to get you going:
- Personal details
- Personal profile – an overview of your experience
- Work history –
- List your role
- Describe briefly what your company does including turnover and employee numbers
- List your responsibilities: these are the routine elements of your job. Don’t assume the reader knows what exactly what a Finance Director does.
- List a few achievements: how you have added value above and beyond your routine duties. Where possible always quantify these achievements with demonstrable figures.
- Education including school, qualifications, and any professional development
- Personal interests – no more than a couple of lines, just enough to show some character
- Keep your CV to three pages
- Give greater focus to current role activities and condense the early experience
- Always go with your current or latest job and academics first
- Always explain any gaps
- Mention systems used, so they can be picked up in any recruiter searches
- List duties and achievements in bullet points to make it easy to read
- Avoid at all costs using paragraph format as you will lose the reader halfway through your essay!
- Keep it to the point and readable to the layman, avoid jargon and acronyms
- Use some bold font to break things up and emphasise company names or job titles
- Put references on request rather than listed out on your CV to save space
- Don’t write your CV in the third party
- Keep all past and present tense correct throughout
- Don’t worry about a covering letter
- Tailor your CV to each job you apply for. Draw on areas of your experience and skill set and linking them directly to the job description and its specified roles and responsibilities
If you’re looking for a new finance role, please get in touch.
James, Company Director – Cameron Pink