If you went straight into Practice from university then this might be the first time you’ve had to write a professional CV. It’s also possible that you have only worked for one employer since graduating and only had one or two roles during that time. So it can feel like there isn’t much to put on your CV at this stage. This might leave you a bit disheartened or you may assume that given the demand for qualified ACAs you don’t need to put much more on your CV other than the firm you’ve worked for and a few bullet points about your role.
While there’s no reason to feel you haven’t got much to say, you also want to avoid falling into the trap of making it too basic. In most cases you will be competing against candidates with a similar background and for some roles you may also be up against candidates who already some experience post practice.
Include details about your clients
Include as much detail as possible about the clients you’ve worked with. Even if you don’t feel comfortable naming specific businesses you can include details on the size and sector of the businesses you have worked with or deals you have worked on. If you worked across a number of sectors, be sure to mention that or if you are focusing on moving into a specific sector it helps to put the emphasis on your experience working with clients in that industry
It’s about relationships as well as skills
Nearly all accounting roles in industry these days require you to work with a number of different stake holders so it’s definitely worth highlighting any experience you have of working with a team, managing junior colleagues or building relationships with client stake holders. Including this on your CV signals to a potential employer that you appreciate the importance of developing rapport and building relationships as well as demonstrating your experience of doing so with a variety of people.
Don’t forget about your projects and achievements
Don’t forget to include projects and achievements. While the former can be fairly obvious to pinpoint, the latter might need a bit more thought. It will help to spend some time thinking about the different clients you’ve worked on over the past few years – did any of those present an unusual accounting challenge?; did your efforts go above and beyond the normal levels of service or solve a problem that was business critical?; Did you have to deliver something to avert a crisis or within an usually tight deadline? Including all of these details will help your CV stand out and also show a potential employer that you can deliver above and beyond standard requirements and expectations.
Make it personal as well as professional
Don’t be shy about including personal achievements or interests! These might not seem relevant for the roles you’re applying for but they can really help you stand out when hiring managers are reviewing lots of CVs that look quite similar. If you’ve run a marathon, been involved with fundraising or are involved with community projects make sure you add them on towards the end of your CV.
TalentEdge recruit finance roles across Tech, Media & Consumer. If would like to get more advice on looking for your first role in industry or get feedback on your CV please do get in touch with me at email@example.com
To access all our ACA guides and advice or contact a consultant about roles in a specific sector click on the link below to go to our ACA Guides & Advice page.