If you want to work in the finance industry, you have to learn how to write a finance CV.
Finance is a large and competitive industry, and if your CV doesn’t stand out, you aren’t going to land the interview. Your generic CV just isn’t going to cut it.
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Your finance CV has to be perfect for the job you’re applying for. To make sure you pick the right finance CV template and highlight the right skills, make sure to follow these steps:
If you want your application to be successful, pick a great finance CV template.
Your CV’s appearance is just as important as your work experience. If your CV is ugly or confusing, no one will read it, even if your skills are perfect for the job.
Further, your CV template needs to suit the industry. The finance industry tends to be formal, so a traditional CV template is your best choice. This means you should look for a CV template with a readable typeface, clearly defined CV sections, and a subtle colour scheme.
Your CV summary is your elevator pitch to an employer. A CV Summary is a short section right at the top of your CV that sells you as a candidate as efficiently as possible. With only a few sentences or bullet points, a great summary can list your job title, highlight a few key experiences or achievements, and demonstrate your most impressive skills.
A great summary for a finance CV should focus on the skills most directly relevant to the industry and to the specific role you are interested in. Try to highlight your most impressive finance-specific skills, whether they’re your proficiency with accounting tools, your client management abilities, or your financial planning achievements.
Depending on your career history and your desired role, the experiences you feature may include a paragraph like:
A results-driven and self-motivated financial professional with 5+ experience handling key financial data. Noted for the ability to manage complex assignments effectively, with the confidence to work as a part of a team or independently. Experience leading intercultural teams and building strong working relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Responsible for balancing all accounts at the end of the financial year. Committed, hands-on and flexible with the ability to adapt to changing priorities and maintain a positive attitude and a strong work ethic.
The Work Experience section is the most important part of a finance CV. This is where you can showcase your skills and achievements in past roles. For a successful application, your Work Experience section needs to be perfect.
Write your work experience in reverse-chronological order (unless you have very good reasons not to), beginning with your most recent position and working backwards in order.
Throughout each job description in your Work Experience section, emphasize the skills and achievements that are most relevant to the position you’re applying to. Even if previous positions weren’t in the finance industry, try to feature the transferable skills that will still be useful in a finance position.
As you write about your past roles, make sure to use active language to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. Instead of saying you were “responsible for preparing financial forecasts using new models”, say that you “Spearheaded implementation of new financial forecasting models that improved accuracy and efficiency”. Phrase all of your experiences and accomplishments in a way that demonstrates leadership and initiative. The way you describe your experience is almost as important as the experience itself.
You should also use measurable achievements to showcase your skills as much as possible. Your experience will be extra impressive if you can measure your success with numbers. Sales figures, customer acquisition data, and revenue generation are all great ways to demonstrate your abilities. Any skill or accomplishment that can be easily expressed with numbers is a great item to feature on your CV.
Your finance CV isn’t complete without a robust Skills section. You need to pick out your most relevant and impressive skills and feature them prominently.
The best way to showcase your finance CV skills is with a simple bulleted list. This gives the ATS a clear heading and list it can scan for necessary skills, and makes it easy for hiring managers to quickly scan the list and see what you specialize in.
For added flair, you can add strength ratings to your skills so they really stand out.
Your education is an important part of your finance career. The Education section in your CV should not take up much space, but it’s still important to showcase your academic credentials.
If you’ve been working in finance for a few years, all your Education section needs is a few lines noting your degree, school name, and the year you graduated.
Bachelor of Commerce University of Pennsylvania
If you’re a recent graduate, or haven’t been in the finance industry for long, your Education section can be longer. If you don’t have much experience, your Education section might be your best opportunity to showcase your skills. When you don’t have enough work experience to fill out your CV, you can add more details to your Education section, like classes, specializations, or important projects.
Make sure your finance CV is optimized for Applicant Tracking Systems. Applicant tracking systems are software programs that accept CVs and sort them according to how well they match the job description. When you apply through an ATS, it will scan your CV for the skills the company is looking for.
To make sure your CV beats the ATS, customize your CV for every job you apply for. To do this, study the job posting and make note of all the specific skills they’re looking for, then feature those exact skills in your CV. The ATS will scan your CV looking for those skills, so make sure your phrasing is just like the job posting. Your CV will make it past the ATS when it perfectly fits the job requirements.
Community Success Manager & CV Writing Expert
Ben is a writer, customer success manager and CV writing expert with over 5 years of experience helping job-seekers create their best careers. He believes in the importance of a great resume summary and the power of coffee.
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