How do I write a CV for accounting?
The best accounting CVs have a few things in common.
“How do I sell myself as an accountant?”, if you’re asking yourself this question, you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’re going to look at how to create a NZ accountancy CV that will make you stand out from other applicants and boost your chances of landing the job. We’ll explore the core skills and qualifications you should include, as well as some top tips for formatting.
Accountancy is a competitive field, so you need a CV that will tick recruiters' boxes.
Creating the best accounting CV: what to include
Listing certifications on your accounting CV
You’ll want to list your most important qualification, for example CA or CPA, in the header after your name. However, putting all your certifications up here would get very messy, so we recommend putting everything else in the education section of your CV.
As normal, start with the most recent and work backwards chronologically.You can use our free, downloadable template to make a professional looking CV for your accounting job.
Technical skills for your accounting CV
From analyst jobs to roles in accounts payable, there are heaps of positions that come under the accounting umbrella, and the technical skills on your CV should be tailored to your specific role.
Among the most important skills for modern accountants, is knowledge of tech packages such as:
- Enterprise resource planning tools: e.g. Oracle, SAP or Tableau.
- High level Microsoft Excel experience.
- Hyperion: if you’re looking at financial reporting or analysis roles.
- Business intelligence platforms.
Bonus tips: a great way to check you’ve not forgotten any of your skills or qualifications, is to cross-reference your CV against your Trade Me Jobs Profile as you go.
If you think employers are just looking for someone to crunch the numbers, prepare to think again. Soft skills are vital for accountants, and something you should be including in your CV. In particular, make mention of:
- Teamwork and communication: whether you’re working for a public accounting firm or in-house, you’ll need to be able to work effectively with others. In particular, you’ll need to be able to explain your work to people who might not understand financial jargon.
- Customer service: especially for public accounting firms, employees with excellent customer service skills will be the ones who hold onto clients, and that’s what your bosses want to see.
- Critical thinking: all good accountants have this soft skill in common. Solid critical thinking skills allow you to analyse information and identify elements that look out of the ordinary.
- Problem solving: even experienced accountants make mistakes from time to time. What employers will want to know is how you deal with issues when they arise.
- Ability to work under pressure: accountants of all disciplines often have busy schedules, especially around periods like the end of the financial year. Show how you’d cope with this, drawing on examples from your past experience or studies.
As with your technical abilities, the best way to demonstrate soft skills on your CV is through concrete examples of how you’ve put them into practice. Just keep things clear and concise.
You need to demonstrate the right blend of hard and soft skills.
How to format your accounting CV
In New Zealand, your accounting CV should be no longer than two pages, and should include:
- Your name and contact information.
- A personal statement.
- An objective.
- Your work history.
- Your qualifications.
- Your references, or a sentence similar to ‘references available upon request.
Using keywords in your accounting CV
Many employers use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to shortlist candidates for interviews. This means machine learning bots are likely to read the CV before it reaches humans.
As well as correct formatting, one of the major things this technology looks for are certain keywords that show you’re suitable for the role. But how do you know which to include? Great places to look for keywords include:
- The job description – in particular, scour the requirements and responsibilities sections.
- The company website – check out their values/mission/culture pages. Here, you might find buzzwords that relate to how the company sees itself, which you can use yourself.
- Similar listings – if you’re still struggling, look at similar listings from other organisations. If the same terms crop up over and over, it might be an idea to include these too.
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