Whether you’re looking for a job as a CFO, an accountant, a finance project manager or a tax specialist, you’ll be wanting to attract the attention of a certain level of management when job hunting as a finance executive. Recruitment trends are evolving, but the CV (or resume) remains a vital step in the job-seeking and finding process. Traditionally, the CV was the first port of call for hiring companies. Today, the hiring company might screen employees using online profiles such as LinkedIn first. But for those finance executives who make it to the second tier of interest, the potential employer will most certainly still be requesting and scrutinising your CV. With that in mind, here are some tips from for making this important document more accessible and ultimately, more likely to land you an interview.
1. List achievements rather than skillsets.
Lisa Rangel from Chameleon Resumes puts it this way: “Hiring managers today expect candidates to have the normal fiscal responsibilities and skills that are found in financial executive candidates,” she says. So citing skills and responsibilities alone are not going to set you apart from the CFO/Financial Director crowd. You need to explain how you did a good job with that responsibility—and outline what that ‘good job’ looked like for your hiring manager.”
In other words, anyone can say that they are good with numbers, meticulous, hard working and possess leadership skills. However, if you can say that you helped to double revenue and increase margin by 10% over 5 years at your previous company, that’s something which strongly backs up your claims. A hiring manager is looking for measurable milestones of success in a finance executive. Look to communicate your success in numbers or other quantitative measures. Saying you were a “highly effective” finance executive does not have as much gravitas as saying you managed to halve the business’s operating costs.
2. Stay away from financial jargon.
“Despite your understanding of KPIs, ROI, DSOs and RFPs, not all executives live in the world of financial jargon,” Rangel points out. Even though, as a finance executive, you will be answering to a leader or leaders with financial acumen of some sort, chances are that your CV will first be read by someone in Human Resources. Assume that no one reading your CV has a financial background, explain confusing acronyms and write in a clear manner to a general audience.
3. Highlight soft skills along with financial achievements.
Skills such as communication and conflict resolution are becoming more and more valued by hiring companies – and with good reason. Even though you’ll be overseeing (or counting) money, you’ll also be managing people and be expected to coordinate efforts between departments and team members. A good way to illustrate your people skills and communication skills is by citing examples when you needed to put these to use. For example, have you mentored anyone in a formal capacity? Participated in a conflict resolution course? Are you a member of Toast-masters, or do you have some form of public speaking experience? If so, include it in the document.
Another way of conveying communication skills is by making sure your CV attests to them. If your CV is clearly well-written, void of grammar and spelling mistakes and well-laid out, your potential employer is likely to assume that your interpersonal communication skills are good too.
As a finance executive, your future employer is likely to make assumptions about you within a few seconds of glancing at your CV. Make sure that you put your best foot forward by following these tips and striving to convey your personality in your CV. And remember: if your company is looking for the assistance of a well-trained, experienced finance executive, get in touch with The Finance Team. We will help connect you with the right professional who can assist for the period of time that your company needs.
Image credit: http://www.reresourcegroup.co.uk/