Back to basics: CV writing for senior financial professionals

Written by: Austin Brislen, Sellick Partnership
Published on: 24 Feb 2016

Austin Brislen Sellick PartnershipAustin is a Senior Consultant with over six years’ experience providing recruitment solutions in the finance sector. He works alongside national practice firms, insurers and consultancies to deliver key strategic hires across the UK.


Putting your CV together or updating your current one can often be a daunting task, particularly for senior finance professionals who have been out of the job market for a longer period of time. It’s for this reason you should think carefully about putting together the relevant information for a winning CV.

1. Get the basics right

When starting off your CV, it’s easy to jump ahead and rush to the other sections, however, it’s imperative to put a good plan to together to structure the document appropriately. Contact details are obviously a good place to start, with a mobile number, an evening number and email address. Try to also include the link to your LinkedIn page to ensure you’re easily accessible. Other sections you should incorporate include; education, employment history, professional qualifications, specialist skills and software skills to name just a few.

2.  Be authentic

It’s important to sell yourself and your skill set on your CV, but be sure not to exaggerate or twist the truth about your experience. Highlight your achievements and what makes you stand out in a competitive job market, but ensure you can always articulately back up your claims on paper with your expertise if you get to the interview stage.

3.  Personal statement

Include a short section at the top of your CV with a personal statement, detailing you key motivators, why you’re looking to leave your current position and why you’re interested in the role you’re applying for alongside your relevant skills. Ensure this is concise and engaging to capture the attention of the hiring manager. 

4.  Numbers speak a thousand words

Whilst it may take a bit of calculating, it’s always worthwhile to incorporate numbers and statistics to sell your achievements. Telling a prospective employer that you increased sales by 73% has a much greater impact than just saying you increased sales. Solid statistics such as this can really impress potential hiring managers. 

5. Tailor it every time

Ensure you tailor your CV for every application to reflect the required skills, experience and culture of the organisation. Try to avoid slipping into the habit of just sending out a standard CV for every role. By tailoring your CV to a specific role, you instantly show you’ve gone out of your way to research the company and the role, making you stand out from the crowd even further. 

6. Proof read it
Your CV exists to demonstrate your expertise and professionalism to potential employers and simple mistakes or a lack of attention to detail is not the best first impression  - and could even cost you from progressing further in the hiring process. Ensure you proof read it yourself, checking for minor spelling or grammatical errors. Then get someone else to do it too; casting a fresh eye on the document could pinpoint further errors that can be corrected before you send it off.

Following these simple steps can really add value to the content of you CV and allow you to gain a winning edge with hiring managers. By continuously updating and refining your CV, you’re ensuring that you make a stellar first impression to recruiters and hiring managers, positioning yourself as the strongest candidate for the role. 

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