As an accountant or professional you understand that your CV is a key part of your marketing materials.
A good CV will increase your chances of getting invited to interview. If you reach the interview stage the odds of you landing the job increase significantly.
Here’s the problem. Despite there being plenty of advice out there on CV writing and even templates, many struggle to create a CV that gets them interviews.
In fact when I’m reviewing CVs I never cease to be amazed at how poor many of them are.
Often they are just poorly presented. In many cases they simply don’t market the individual effectively.
The good news is that it is possible to create a CV that markets you effectively.
The key to this is stopping and really thinking when creating your CV.
So what are 20 questions to ask yourself before creating your CV?
What type of role are you going to be applying for?
This may not have been the first question you thought of. But think about it.
If you are going for a role that requires excellent communication skills, your CV is going to have to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively in writing.
What level of role are you applying for?
In general, the more senior the role, the more targeted and polished your CV is going to have to be.
What is critical to success in the roles you are applying for?
If you really understand the role you are applying for, you will be able to distinguish between what’s essential to success in the role and what’s desirable.
What are your best technical skills?
You will have lots of technical skills. On the other hand, do you really know your best technical skills.
These are often those areas where you are seen as the “go to” person in the team.
What are your best business skills?
At the early stages of your career it is all about technical competence.
Sooner than you think your business skills or commercial skills start to become increasingly important.
What are your top people skills?
People skills (often referred to as soft skills) are vitally important in the modern workplace.
Especially with the changing roles of accountants and professionals.
What management experience do you have?
This can help you stand out.
Historically accountants and professionals were often great at the technical aspects of the job but struggled when they started to manage others.
What leadership skills do you have?
The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to have been in a leadership role to have leadership skills.
Think about times when you stepped up and made things happen.
What are your best attributes?
Your attributes or qualities are what makes you stand out from others.
What technology skills and experience do you have?
Automation is impacting on all professions.
Employers are increasingly looking for people with good with technology or at least know and can find ways to utilise technology to do business better.
Have you got a complete career history?
Dates, organisations, roles, responsibilities. If there are gaps be sure to explain them.
Have you got a list of career achievements?
I find that people either don’t have achievements on their CV or if they do they are too narrowly focused on their most recent role.
What feedback have you had at work?
Chances are you have appraisals at work. You may also have received feedback from those you work with in the business.
You may even have been formally recognised in awards ceremonies at work or in your profession.
What style of CV will you use?
There are plenty of templates. It’s important that you use a style that’s common in your professional field.
What are you identifying from the job advert?
Most skim read the job advert. This is a lost opportunity. Take time to really review thoroughly.
What are you identifying from the job description?
Review the responsibilities.
How closely does what you have done previously fit with the job responsibilities.
There doesn’t need to be a 100% match. Equally it can’t be a 50% match either.
What are you identifying from the person specification?
Review the person specification. Ask yourself how closely you fit the ideal candidate profile.
The more senior the role, the more important this is.
What must be in your professional profile?
The professional profile might be the only section of the CV that is read.
Think of it as your pitch.
The closer your professional profile matches what the recruiter is looking for the better the impact it will have.
What career achievements will you highlight in each role?
I encourage you to have at least 3 achievements for each role that you have had.
What keywords do you need to ensure that you include?
Some organisations now use applicant tracking software to sift through CVs.
If your CV does not have the keywords your chances of getting shortlisted and invited for interview is greatly reduced.
Found this blog post helpful?
Check out my Online Course that takes you step by step through the process of creating a great CV that gets you more job interviews at https://goalsandachievements.com/how-to-create-a-great-cv-online-course/