How to write a good CV for accountancy

Written by gail marie
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How to write a good CV for accountancy
You may need to write a CV to start your career in accountancy. (Getty Images)

Because a curriculum vitae (CV) is a marketing tool most often used by those applying for positions in academic fields, it should highlight your academic accomplishments and summarise your professional experience. CVs are also longer than resumes -- two to three pages is typical and more than three pages is not unusual -- and more fluid, being updated by the writer frequently with papers written or presented, research conducted, classes taught, academic programs developed, and so on. A CV for accountancy will be most useful (and will likely be required) when seeking a job as a professor, scholar or expert resource; however, accounting firms or other businesses may request them in lieu of or in addition to a resume as well.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Academic achievement information
  • Professional achievement information

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  1. 1

    Choose a format for your CV which emphasises what is most important in the field of accountancy and what is required by the institution or company to which you are submitting it. Common CV sections include "Education and Qualifications," "Achievements," "Professional Experience," "Areas of Expertise" and "Professional Development."

  2. 2

    Enter your name and contact information at the top of the page and consider separating each section under that with a solid line or white space. You could also shade the heading itself to make each section appear more separate from the others.

  3. 3

    Include degrees and professional certifications earned, dates of graduation or certification, schools attended and areas of concentrated study in an "Education and Qualifications" section. List these in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent degree first.

  4. 4

    List your academic and professional achievements in an "Achievements" section. Examples include, "Named accountant of the year at ABC Bank in 2005" or "Presented paper titled 'What's Wrong With Our Economy' at the ABC Conference to 200 attendees." Consider presenting these in reverse chronological order as well or, if desired, in order of importance or pertinence to a particular position.

  5. 5

    Provide descriptions of duties performed in your past and current professional roles (also presented in reverse chronological order) in a "Professional Experience" section. Examples include "developed business plans to clients' satisfaction" and "assessed and evaluated expenditure of client firms."

  6. 6

    List your areas of expertise and anything you've done (conferences attended, for example) to further your professional development in related sections, if desired.

  7. 7

    Be sure to highlight any specialisation you may have in each section, whether it is general accounting, account management, certified public accounting or something else, especially if that specialisation is integral to the position you hope to get an interview for by submitting your CV.

  8. 8

    Use key accounting words throughout your CV like assets, benefits, formulate, cash flow and establish. This is helpful when potential employers search a group of resumes and CVs for candidates.

  9. 9

    Keep the structure of your sentences or phrases consistent throughout your CV. This is called parallelism, and it helps your reader make sense of what he or she is reading most easily. For example, if you use phrases that begin with verbs in one section of your CV (a common practice in resumes -- e.g., graded all Accounting 1 assignments, held weekly conferences with available students, etc.), use them in all sections.

Tips and warnings

  • Find examples of accounting CVs online and use formats and layouts that you think will be most effective for your information and situation.
  • Keep the text simple, logical and concise. Though a CV is often longer than a resume, if the reader's attention wanes while reading (or more likely skimming) it, the CV is too long.

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