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  • Publish Date: Posted over 1 year ago
  • Author:by Simon Lythgoe

How to Make Your CV Stand Out

Looking for your next finance role? The first step is getting your CV right. With such a small window in which to impress recruiters, it’s vital that you’re able to make your CV stand out from the crowd.This can often feel like a daunting prospect, particularly if you’re newly qualified and don’t have much experience. So, to help, we’ve put together a list of our top tips on how to write a great finance CV and make sure you land your next exciting role.​Use keywords from the job descriptionBe sure to read through the job description carefully. This will help you to tailor each iteration of your CV to each specific role. Scan through for keywords and scatter these throughout your CV. For example, attention to detail, Excel, payroll, finance systems, or reconcile payments.By doing this, you not only show you’ve paid close attention to what the role entails, you make it easy for recruiters to see how you match up to the job requirements. W`hen they only have a very short amount of time to scan through each CV, this can help to make yours stand out.Showcase your skillsThe finance industry is one that requires certain skill sets – so you need to think carefully about how you present these on your CV. It’s helpful to have a skills section specifically for this. But it’s also important that you pepper these throughout, particularly when giving examples of your experience and qualifications. Use specific terms and acronyms to make these skills easily identifiable. When including a list of technical skills, you may choose to include Excel or industry terms such as SOX or UK GAAP. And don’t forget about your soft skills! You need to make reference to your ‘strong analytical skills’ and ‘good communication’. Again, match these to the requirements outlined in the job description.Use examplesAs you outline your experience, you need to give examples of how you made a positive contribution in your past roles. These examples are great for showcasing your relevant skills and making your CV stand out. As with most areas of finance, figures are important.Therefore, if you can quantify your achievements – even better! This will help the recruiter quickly and easily see what you can bring to the role.​Only include relevant informationIt can be tempting to list every job, skill or qualification you’ve ever had to make yourself look more qualified for the role. But please resist! You need to make sure you only include the most relevant information. Recruiters are time-poor and don’t have either the time or the inclination to wade through pages and pages of less than useful facts.Your finance CV should definitely be no longer than one to two A4 pages. Any longer and it’s likely the recruiter will lose interest and it’ll end up at the bottom of their pile. Keep your CV short and sweet and be selective with the information you include.In summaryPerfecting your CV writing skills will stand you in good stead when you begin your job search. Remember to tailor each application to the specific role and only include the important information. Most importantly, shout about your finance skills and what you can bring to the role. Make it easy for recruiters to see why you’re right for the job and you’ll quickly make your finance CV stand out!We’d like to thank CV-Library, one of Cedar’s carefully chosen partners, for this week’s guest post. CV-Library is one of the UK’s leading job boards and showcases vacancies in our core sectors of Finance, Change & Transformation, Procurement and Supply Chain. Check out our latest vacancies on their website here.

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Looking for your next finance role? The first step is getting your CV right. With such a small window in which to impress recruiters, it’s vital that you’re able to make your CV stand out from the crowd.

This can often feel like a daunting prospect, particularly if you’re newly qualified and don’t have much experience. So, to help, we’ve put together a list of our top tips on how to write a great finance CV and make sure you land your next exciting role.

Use keywords from the job description

Be sure to read through the job description carefully. This will help you to tailor each iteration of your CV to each specific role. Scan through for keywords and scatter these throughout your CV. For example, attention to detail, Excel, payroll, finance systems, or reconcile payments.

By doing this, you not only show you’ve paid close attention to what the role entails, you make it easy for recruiters to see how you match up to the job requirements. W`hen they only have a very short amount of time to scan through each CV, this can help to make yours stand out.

Showcase your skills

The finance industry is one that requires certain skill sets – so you need to think carefully about how you present these on your CV. It’s helpful to have a skills section specifically for this. But it’s also important that you pepper these throughout, particularly when giving examples of your experience and qualifications. 

Use specific terms and acronyms to make these skills easily identifiable. When including a list of technical skills, you may choose to include Excel or industry terms such as SOX or UK GAAP. And don’t forget about your soft skills! You need to make reference to your ‘strong analytical skills’ and ‘good communication’. Again, match these to the requirements outlined in the job description.

Use examples

As you outline your experience, you need to give examples of how you made a positive contribution in your past roles. These examples are great for showcasing your relevant skills and making your CV stand out. As with most areas of finance, figures are important.

Therefore, if you can quantify your achievements – even better! This will help the recruiter quickly and easily see what you can bring to the role.

Only include relevant information

It can be tempting to list every job, skill or qualification you’ve ever had to make yourself look more qualified for the role. But please resist! You need to make sure you only include the most relevant information. Recruiters are time-poor and don’t have either the time or the inclination to wade through pages and pages of less than useful facts.

Your finance CV should definitely be no longer than one to two A4 pages. Any longer and it’s likely the recruiter will lose interest and it’ll end up at the bottom of their pile. Keep your CV short and sweet and be selective with the information you include.

In summary

Perfecting your CV writing skills will stand you in good stead when you begin your job search. Remember to tailor each application to the specific role and only include the important information. Most importantly, shout about your finance skills and what you can bring to the role. Make it easy for recruiters to see why you’re right for the job and you’ll quickly make your finance CV stand out!


We’d like to thank CV-Library, one of Cedar’s carefully chosen partners, for this week’s guest post. CV-Library is one of the UK’s leading job boards and showcases vacancies in our core sectors of Finance, Change & Transformation, Procurement and Supply Chain. Check out our latest vacancies on their website here.

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