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Top 5 Tips for Writing a Finance Cover Letter

Written by: Evie Courtier
Published on: 15 Feb 2024

Cover letter

A finance cover letter must be a myriad of things; concise, professional, yet enticing to the recruiter, and/or employer. Having a good hook is essential to the success of your cover letter, with the writer providing context, evidence and drive for the role in hand. Presenting your finance or accountancy cover letter, provides you with the chance to go beyond the points on your CV, sharing how your experience has prepared you for your next career move.

Whether you’re applying for an entry-level job role, a part-qualified job, or a finance director position, your finance or accountancy CV, and cover letter will be your first written introduction to your prospective employer.

So, what is an employer looking for? A finance candidate must come across as educated and intelligent, with a foundation of expertise/willingness to learn, whilst also demonstrating a streak of creativity. We’ve included our five top tips below, for creating a successful finance cover letter:

  • 1. Balance Form and Function

    Your cover letter must be easily readable, be clear about who you are, what you are applying for and your capabilities to do the job. When composing your cover piece, ensure that it is formatted like a letter, with your contact information, an appropriate salutation (including the name of the recruiter or interviewer) and closing statement, such as ‘yours sincerely’.

    We recommend writing three to four bespoke paragraphs (about 300 to 400 words each depending on the type of role), including an opening statement, explaining why you’re interested in the position, and how you heard about the role.

  • 2. Provide Evidence

    The main 2-3 paragraphs of your cover letter should include what attracted you to the role, why you want to work for the company, and why they should hire you in a, for example, finance director job / accountant role / financial controller position.

    The employer is looking for two things; your ability to conduct the role in hand with a foundation of skills, experience and expertise, and whether you’ll add value to the accountancy firm or organisation.

    The best way to accomplish these goals is to provide quantifiable examples of prior accomplishments.

    • Instead of saying, ‘in my prior role, as financial controller at a global manufacturing firm, I used financial modelling and forecasting skills in order to make strategic business recommendations.’
    • You could note, ‘in my prior role, as financial controller at a global manufacturing firm, I used financial modelling and forecasting skills to analyse market trends, resulting in a 15% increase in revenue projections for the upcoming fiscal year. This informed strategic business recommendations that contributed to a successful product launch, exceeding sales targets by 20% and enhancing overall profitability.’

  • 3. Qualifications and Keywords

    Focusing on the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the position, through detailing relevant education, certifications, and any specialised training you have received, helps your cover letter stand out to the employer. Using appropriate keywords from the job description to demonstrate that you have the required qualifications and experience for the role in hand.

  • 4. Demonstrate Company Knowledge and Adjust Tone

    Before writing your letter, you must take the time to research the company or accountancy firm you’re applying to. Demonstrating that you have researched the company and understand its values, culture, goals, and industry position, helps you to discuss how your skills align with the company's needs and how you can contribute to its success.

    Your tone of voice, whether you’re applying to a FTSE 350 company, or SME, an entry-level accounts assistant job, or a finance director position, should always be professional - no matter whether the company utilises a business-like tone of voice on their website, newsletters and messaging, or a culture-centric casual messaging behind its brand.

  • 5. Tailor, Address Concerns, and Express Thanks

    Customising your cover letter for each job application goes without saying. To progress to an interview stage, you must avoid sending a generic letter. Feature specific aspects of your experience that are relevant to the particular job and company, demonstrate enthusiasm for the role, and remember to address any gaps in your employment history / why you’re choosing to make a career change if you’re changing direction.

    Concluding your cover letter by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to apply and reiterating your interest in the position, is a nice way to finalise your letter. Remember to include a call to action, such as expressing your hope for an interview or stating your availability for further discussion.