CV Tips For Those Who Have Been Out Of The Game

Updated: 5th February 2024

Looking for a new position for the first time in a while? Here’s how to make your CV stand out from the crowd.

These days, recruiters and in-house HR departments are seeing more applications come across their desks than ever before, meaning that getting noticed within the larger crop of candidates is vital. One way of doing so is to ensure that you have an eye-catching, professional and unimpeachable CV.

If you’ve been in the same role for an extended period of time, it’s likely that you haven't updated (or even thought about) your CV in a while. Therefore, you may be unaware of some of the latest trends and practices being usedin the best CVs.So, this guide will give you some insight into how you can ensure your application will stay at the top of the pile through the hiring process.

Clarity and brevity
While recruiters and employers love to get down to the intricacies of your life and work during interviews, make sure that your CV is not bogged down by information that’s unrelatedto the role. There’s not necessarily a specific length for your CV, but if recruiters and employers are having to scan through it to pick out relevant information, they are less likely to read the whole thing with care. Similarly, don't feel the need to impress with long words or intense technical language. Using more readable and succinct language will allow you to get your personality and skills across more easily.

Use the job description
Job descriptions, especially for roles that require more experience, are carefully and deliberately written to attract the right candidates for the role. If a job description spends a long time impressing the need for good reporting or tax skills, then be sure to emphasise these skills in your CV. Similarly, if the description highlights a certain type of office culture, then make sure your personality shines through in a way that would fit in to that environment. 

Personal statement
Including a short personal statement at the top of your CV is a great way to get across your personality, ethos and passion for the role. Be sure to include up to three attributes that you feel best describe you, such as great leader, adaptable and dependable. It’s also a good idea to highlight why the specific role appeals to you–does the culture appeal to your way of working, or perhaps you're excited about the type of accountancy and tax clients they have? If you can include the name of the company or exact job title in the statement, it will make your application seem more personal, as though you are putting thought and care into it rather than sending the same CV for each role.

Think about key moments from your career 
What are some moments from you career that make you feel proud or for which you received significant praise? Did you close a major deal or manage a particularly difficult account? Can you give examples of the challenges you faced in these tasks? These types of accomplishments will stand out to recruiters and position you as a more attractive candidate. In addition, list some of the key outcomes and results of these moments in order to demonstrate the achievements that you made.

Use your own hiring experience
Have you ever been involved in hiring discussions before? Think about the kinds of words and skills that stood out to you from those candidates,and consider how they might relate to your own experience. If you were hiring for a similar role, would you want to be fully assured of their technical skills, or would you want to know all about their personality? 

Certifications and exams
Achieving accounting qualifications can take a lot of time, money and effort, so show casing them helps demonstrate your commitment to your professional development and long-term career growth. Even if the certification isn’t necessarily required for the position you’re applying for, it’s always going to be something a potential employer is impressed to see on a CV. Aswell as having the knowledge and experience necessary to get these certifications, it shows a recruiter that you are hardworking, driven and dedicated to the field.

Knowledge is king

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