The UK financial services and accountancy industry are competitive sectors so having a polished CV is essential for finance professionals.
Whether you’re a graduate looking to start your career in the City or have more experience and want to move up the career ladder, check out our CV top tips to land your next job or promotion in finance and accountancy.
You can also save time with our free CV templates and examples as well as using the below video.
How to write a CV.
While ACA accountants who have worked for the “Big Four” and experienced investment banking associates are highly sought after, less experienced candidates should also know which skills are in demand. It’s always useful to conduct some research and find out if there’s anything industry specific you can include which will give you a bit of an edge.
In accounting, good IT skills, particularly in Excel, are a real bonus and knowledge of IFRS, UK GAAP and SOX is also desirable. Excellent analytical skills are a must, but superior interpersonal skills are also becoming increasingly important as well as strong commercial awareness.
In the banking sector, rapid advances in technology and data storage have fuelled a demand for cyber security experts with strong analytical skills and knowledge of vulnerability assessments.
Risk management and strong regulatory knowledge are also top of the list for many hiring managers, particularly if candidates have experience using compliance; reporting and analysis skills.
CV templates and expert advice.
All businesses require, in some form, financial personnel so a career in finance could see you working within almost any organisation. No matter what job you're applying for, having a CV and cover letter that are well written and highlight your core skills will go a long way to help you land an interview.
Write a tailored CV for every job you apply for: there’s nothing worse than a one size fits all approach to job applications. Your CV should be tailored to the job at hand to demonstrate that you have the relevant skills and experience to meet that particular finance role.
Take a look at our 2018 CV templates for the finance industry.
Focus on key achievements.
You may have been in your current job for some years and have a job title which is specific to that firm but when it comes to your CV, stick to terms that are recognised by the industry in general.
For example, if you’re an investment banker say you are an investment banker not a wholesale banker or emerging markets trader. Those terms may mean something to your current employer but they may well be irrelevant to your future one.
You also need to cut the jargon from your CV and be brutal about it. It’s very easy to become distracted from your actual qualifications and experience. Take a good hard look at your CV and see what you can cut without losing the essence of it.
Technical and soft skills.
For your CV it’s important to include both technical and soft skills in equal amounts if possible. Technical abilities such as accounting and finance, banking operations and risk and compliance demonstrate your aptitude for the role, but your soft skills are what can differentiate you from other candidates and hopefully land you the position.
Commercial skills, communication, teamwork, creativity and a range of other soft skills should be highlighted to enhance your CV.
Emotional intelligence is also an important, and often overlooked, skill to include in your CV. Understanding how your behaviour can influence others feeds into areas like problem-solving, leadership and management.
Strong communication skills are also becoming more and more sought after, particularly in expanding global markets.
Whichever route you decide to take within the finance industry you’ll need a polished CV. Download our free finance CV template to make sure your CV is job application ready.
Highlight previous experience.
Accountancy and finance professionals use figures constantly, so use them yourself to ensure your achievements are quantifiable. Examples can include company turnover, the size of your team or percentages which indicate the success of a project you’ve managed – these will help to build a measurable picture of your finest moments. It will also show a potential employer you are used to working in the industry and that you understand its demands and trends.
Be clear about exams and qualifications as well. If you’re still studying, let recruiters know how many exams you have passed and any qualifications you are working towards. If you passed exams with top marks or distinctions, make sure you put those in too.