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By Jessica Muddit

The average employer only spends eight seconds reading a resume before deciding whether to advance or reject it. What will make your CV stand out from the rest?

“With accounting and finance CVs, we want to be able to identify relevant systems, industries and key skills very quickly,” says Erin Devlin, managing director Victoria of recruitment consultancy people2people and author of Get the job you really want.

“And be as specific as possible – list the systems on the front page, then provide details later in the CV, such as the fact that you created pivot tables, rather than just saying that you used Excel.

“Do the same for industries – for example, in manufacturing, there may be a particular type of inventory that you have recorded. The employer then knows that immediately, and that sets you apart from other applicants.

Beat your own drum

Accomplishments within each role should be clearly articulated, adds Devlin.

“You don’t just want to say, ‘I did the billing.’ It is better to say: “I managed the invoicing of approximately 400 suppliers per month.

“Provide solid data on how you improved your organization, such as identifying cost savings that resulted in a 10% increase in EBIT over a period of time.”

Highlight anything that adds value to the recruiter, such as excellence in education.

“If you’ve done well, show it off, like having a high honors average in your college studies,” suggests Devlin.

Play to your strengths

Recruitment Expert founder Michael Edelstein CPA invites candidates to reflect on their strengths.

“What makes you special? Are you a CPA [Australia] Board Member, Sports Team Captain, Toastmaster Champion? Basically, what are you doing to grow, develop and contribute? »

Communicating this effectively requires a high degree of self-awareness.

“I know what a financial accountant does and I know what a business services tax accountant does,” says Edelstein.

“What did you actually do in this role? Did you just come in and do your job, or did you excel in certain areas? Have you developed a new report, reduced the time it takes to do something, or implemented something new? This stuff shows initiative and will make you stand out.

Volunteering or community work could also be included, depending on the type of activities undertaken, Devlin says.

“For many positions, we like to see how people are engaged in their community,” says Devlin.

“As it’s outside of work, it’s obviously personal information, and it’s up to someone to do it voluntarily. But if you wish, it can set you apart, as it might show additional leadership qualities and skills.

Avoid raising red flags

It’s all too common for an otherwise excellent resume to be plagued with unanswered questions. Anticipate this by filling employment gaps or short-term periods of employment.

“Nobody wants to hire a job hopper,” warns Edelstein. “Anything that raises a red flag should be dealt with. There may be legitimate reasons for short-term roles, such as a maternity contract, relocation, maternity leave, or caring for elderly relatives. Explain it, instead of leaving it to the reader’s imagination.

It may seem obvious, but spelling and grammatical errors are a huge red flag for accounting and finance resumes because they suggest a lack of rigor.

“Attention to detail is key – accountants live and die by this skill set,” says Edelstein, yet he’s amazed at how many resumes he’s seen that talk about attention to detail. while containing careless typos.

The icing on the cake

In the era of social networks, having a quality CV is no longer enough. Candidates should also leverage their LinkedIn profile to stand out.

“In combination with your resume, LinkedIn can be incredibly powerful,” says Devlin. “Creating and sharing quality content specific to accounting and finance can position you as a thought leader.”

Edelstein also advises job seekers to leverage their LinkedIn connections and ask for recommendations from current and former colleagues who highlight the traits listed on their resume.

“It can be very powerful to have someone describe you as an amazing team player who always delivered on time and went above and beyond. That kind of stuff is really hard to showcase on a CV” , he said.