The key to a winning finance and accountancy CV is to start broad, then go bespoke. It’s essential to tailor your details to each opportunity – but impractical to start from scratch with every application. A catch-all CV template provides a time-saving shortcut.
Capture all your skills, experience, and achievements in one comprehensive base document, then personalise your content for specific positions. Use the job description as your starting point, ensuring each version of your CV aligns with the hard and soft skills, industry credentials, and cultural fit the role requires.
Looking for a finance CV example for your next career move? Check out our Finance Director CV tips, CV template for Part-Qualified Accountants, or information on how to write the perfect Graduate accounting and finance CV.
Tech has revolutionised how firms recruit for finance and accountancy roles. Many employers now use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to automate initial candidate selection. That means a piece of software will have first sight of your CV, searching for keywords that mirror the company’s job description.
Including these keywords boosts your chances of being seen by a hiring manager. So with every job, pinpoint the ad’s non-negotiables – such as people management, ACCA qualification, or advanced Excel skills – and tick them off as you refine your resumé. Find out more about how to optimise your CV for an applicant tracking system on TotallyLegal.
Ideally, an Accountant CV should be no more than two pages, so every word counts. Keep sentences brief and action-focused, avoiding jargon and business speak. You could look at our Accountant CV template as a guide.
Your layout should feature:
• Personal details – Include your full name, phone number, home address, email address, and LinkedIn profile.
• Personal statement – Most recruiters scan this section first, so hit them with 3-5 powerful lines of experience, qualifications, career goals, and key qualities. Show your enthusiasm for the role with relevant successes, keyword-rich sentences, and clear reasons why you match the spec.
• Professional experience – List your career history in reverse chronological order, including employer names, positions held, and time spent in each job. Cover your roles, responsibilities, and, above all, results. Highlight accomplishments demonstrating your leadership, management, and financial acumen at work, bringing wins to life with quantifiable metrics – from saving £8,000 in external audit fees to improving operational efficiency by 25%.
• Skills summary – Give employers a quickfire snapshot of your hard and soft skills, spanning core financial capabilities – like analysis, budgeting, forecasting, risk management, and reporting – as well as technical and interpersonal strengths. Examples include software knowledge, process implementation, and people management – and you can read more in our top finance and accountancy skills article. Again, link your summary to the role’s specific requirements.
• Professional qualifications and education – Outline your professional accreditations and educational achievements, including full details of your accounting and finance qualifications, undergraduate degree, and post-graduate studies. Secondary school results can be condensed, but be sure to mention any other professional certifications or training.
• Hobbies and interests – If you have space to spare, add relevant interests that tie neatly to the role. (Think treasurer of your tennis club or adult numeracy volunteer.) Otherwise, show you’re a well-rounded person with a concise list of hobbies that could kickstart a conversation at interview stage.
Attention to detail is a critical skill in finance and accountancy, so even minor grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors could remove you from the running. Proofread your CV multiple times and ask others to spot mistakes you may have missed. AI tools like Grammarly are superb for finding typos and suggesting improvements, and Word’s ‘Read Aloud’ function lets you listen out for possible edits. When you’re all proofed and ready to apply, err on the side of caution. Run one final check before you hit ‘Submit’.
While it’s essential to promote yourself and your skillset on your CV, be careful not to exaggerate or twist the truth about your experience. Highlight the credentials that make you stand out in a crowded hiring market, but ensure you can back up your claims when it’s time to excel at interview.
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