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Start the year with a stand-out CV

Published on: 16 Jan 2017

New Year - time of resolutions, self-reflection and mass career moves. In a market flooded with fresh financial talent, your CV needs to be a door-opening document. Here’s how to keep it polished, professional and straight to the point.

Make a template, then tailor-make
Start big. Capture all your skills, experience and achievements in a beautifully broad template CV, then edit and personalise your content for each position. It’s extra work, but a step too important to skip. Hiring managers want sound evidence of the hard and soft skills their particular role demands, whether it’s team leadership, strategic financial planning or a background in Compliance and Risk. So scrutinise the job spec, pinpoint exactly what they’re after and tailor your CV to tick those boxes.  

Go old school with spelling and grammar
We’re pretty slack with syntax these days, but grammar, punctuation and spelling are deal breakers during your job search. After all, they speak volumes about your communication skills and attention to detail. So brush up on basics on a site like Grammarly and proofread meticulously (many, many times). Then check it again before you hit send.

Speak in powerful plain English
Everyone’s dynamic. Everyone’s solutions driven. Cutting meaningless business speak from your CV gives you an instant advantage. Drop the jargon and showcase your performance, industry knowledge and financial literacy with plain, potent language backed up with clear facts and figures - from ramping up ROI analysis to transforming month-end processes.

Be bold, be brief
Use a clean layout, tight word count and easy-on-the-eye fonts and formatting, aiming for two well-crafted pages. Start with a straight-talking personal statement showing off your professional and individual strengths in a couple of solid, shortlist-me sentences. Then follow up with achievement-rich sections covering career history, qualifications, specialist skills, contact details and interests. Short, punchy bullets work best.

Demonstrate fit  
You’ve mirrored the job spec. You’ve loaded your CV compelling, customised content. Now convince them you’re an ideal cultural fit by researching the finer details. Check out their website, blogs, social feeds and LinkedIn presence for clues on company ethos, brand personality and employee success stories. Then point to proof of those values at work in your resume. Your application will be significantly stronger for it – plus it’s great prep for interview day.

Still unsure whether your current finance CV stands out? We’ve teamed up with TopCV to help you create a first-class CV. Click here to submit it for a professional review.

TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly-written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your dream job.