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Industry Insights - Writing an Effective Senior Finance CV

Industry Insights - Writing an Effective Senior Finance CV

April 2021 by Damian Rhodes
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Using his 20 years’ experience in Finance & Accounting and Senior Executive recruitment, Finitas Practice Director Damian Rhodes provides his checklist on writing an effective Senior Finance CV.

Senior Finance professionals must communicate effectively across departments and add value to an organisation in addition to financial control and leadership. A CV must demonstrate this effectively.

Over the last 20 years I have seen people offered jobs ahead of their (sometimes more capable) peers because their CVs were identified by an ATS (Automatic Tracking System) and conveyed value to an employer within the first 20 seconds and led to subsequent interviews and offers.

When writing a CV, it must therefore be:

Clear and concise:  Keep it to no more than two pages. You must communicate complex information accurately and clearly. Remove anything repetitive or irrelevant.

Focused on Added Value:  Do not repeat your job description: instead, highlight how you added value: Did you reduce cost, drive performance, win new deals?  Always quantify where possible.

CHECKLIST: Always include

·Contact details: Phone number, email address and a link to your LinkedIn profile.

·Executive summary: In two to three lines, summarise your background, how you added value and what you are looking for next.

·Location: This does not need to be your full address eg: Southampton (Open to one hour commute)

·Dates: Include months and years for all recent roles: Feel free to summarise earlier career history at the end of your CV.

·Non-Executive directorships and memberships of relevant bodies.

·Skills Summary: including all key words which may be required by an employer – this can be in columns after your executive summary.

·Short description of each recent employer including industry, eg “PE backed tech firm with offices in four countries employing 60 people.”

·Affiliations: Include these after your name, eg Jane Roe MBA, FCA; your full qualifications can be kept to the end of your CV

·Reasons for leaving: If you worked recently for less than two years, briefly state why.

You may include:

·Some personal information including hobbies or outside interests if they help paint a picture of who you are: Keep this brief though and avoid anything which could lead to discrimination.

Rephrase:

·Remove the word, “I” from your CV and do not repeat your name throughout it:

“CFO with 25 years’ experience within both technology and finance” does not need the words, “I am a” nor “Jane Roe is a” beforehand.

Double Check:

·Spelling and grammar are vital. Read your CV and ask someone else to read it as well as using a spell checker.

Remove:

·A photo of yourself: this should be on your LinkedIn profile.

·"References available on request".

·"A great team player who can also work on their own initiative".

·The words "Curriculum vitae" or "resume".

·High School achievements from 25 years ago.

If you’re looking for a new senior finance role or looking to identify someone within your finance team, contact me today in complete confidence: d.rhodes@finitas.co.uk 020 370 2000 www.linkedin.com/in/damianrhodes