In today’s post we’ll talk about how to tailor your CV for an accounting role. If you’re already an African Accounting Academy graduate, you’ll have taken our lesson on how to draft a professional CV. If you’re a current student, you’ll soon get to that lesson!
So, how should you tailor your CV when you are applying for accounting roles? Here are a couple key tips.
- Include relevant experience, with details!
In the ‘Professional Experience’ section of your CV, you must include the company you worked for, your job title and the period you worked there. I often see people stop there. They don’t describe the tasks they did or what they were responsible for. How can the hiring manager decide if your past experience is relevant to the position you’re applying for if you don’t explain what you did at your last role? It’s extremely important to include these details, especially for past roles that have responsibilities similar to the job you’re applying for.
- Link your past experience back to the job description
Adding on to the point above, make sure you link your past experience to the job you’re applying for. If the role will require you to perform bank reconciliations and prepare payroll, and you have done these in other roles, they need to be included in the details you put on your CV. If you’re applying for your first accounting role, but have other experience, try to link that back to the accounting role. For example, if you worked as a cashier, make sure you explain that you have experience counting, handling, and reconciling large amounts of cash and entering data into a system. Although not the exact same as managing a petty cash float and drafting journal entries, this shows that you have some similar experience in the past.
- Include relevant skills
Ensure you include skills that are relevant to the accounting industry – the most important being Excel skills and proficiency using accounting software. Often employers want to see what software you have used in the past, to understand how much training you’ll need when you join the team. Remember – do not lie on your CV. If you are only an Excel beginner, do not state you’re an expert. The interviewer will quickly figure out you exaggerated. The same goes for accounting software – if you haven’t used the software in another job, you are likely not proficient and shouldn’t state that on your CV.
- Pay attention to the details
Attention to detail is a very important skill for accountants – we are dealing with numbers and documents every day, and we need to get into the details, making sure they are always accurate. The same applies for your CV. Your CV is a reflection of your skills, so if there are spelling or grammar errors, fonts are different or the formatting is off it demonstrates that you don’t pay attention to the details. If there are errors in your CV, the hiring manager can’t trust that there won’t be errors in your accounting work!
- Remove unnecessary information
Remember, HR managers and recruiters have very little time to spend on each application they receive. For example, for a recent client we had to review over 150 CVs for a junior accounting position. You need to make sure you highlight only important, relevant information. Remove unnecessary details like your primary school and even your hobbies. You want the person reading your CV to focus on the things that make you right for the job, which are primarily your university education, qualifications, and past work or volunteer experience.
Hopefully these tips help you as you edit your CV for your next role!
Any other tips for a strong CV? Comment below!