Accountancy is a discipline which is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Amidst challenging job market conditions, it’s seen as an ‘iron rice bowl’ – every company needs someone to keep the books, and while the basic bookkeeping may be automated away, high-level accounting and financial management entails a lot of subjective decisionmaking which computers can’t easily handle. Just look at the grades needed to even get in the door in our local universities now: nearly straight ‘A’s!
I’ve seen a lot of accountants looking for new jobs recently. Unlike other industries, they’re not coming to me because they can’t land a job. They’re coming to me because they want to land a more senior position at a better company. This is great news! At the most basic level, this entails a different strategy – I tend to spend a lot more time with these clients to get every single achievement and project they’ve worked on in the past. To stand out, those are a must. This is especially the case in industries dominated by high-flyers, where performance is very easy to measure objectively. The most common problem I see is that these achievements aren’t presented well, if at all. It seems we Singaporeans are a modest bunch. That’s not good in the context of a job search. Modesty most definitely has its place, but we need to sell ourselves better. We must be confident in our abilities!
Here’s a recent example I’ve written for an accounting professional. As with my new series of CV guides, I’ll show you the full, final product first, then I’ll break it down with my thoughts and certain considerations I had while writing the CV. In the second version, my comments are [formatted like this] – keep an eye out!
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email at russel (at) resumewriter.sg. I read every single email. Advice is completely free too, by the way – just trying to help others! 😊 I also offer free CV reviews – get in touch with me here with your CV.
Now, without further ado:
THE FINAL PRODUCT (CLEAN VERSION):
With a bit of squeezing, it’ll probably fit 2 pages 🙂
Again, keep an eye out for my comments – they’re [formatted like this.]
I’ve zoomed in a bit to make it easier to read. This one’s pretty long, as it was a very interesting profile. There are a lot of nuances to writing Accountancy CVs and profiles due to the rather diverse nature of the field. There’s also a few large white-space gaps between pages – this is only because I’m publishing it on the web though, and isn’t how the CV appears when printed out. There’s no need for such extreme spacing on your own CV! Keep some spacing but don’t overdo it.
Want a winning CV like the Accounting Resume Sample above?
As mentioned, many accountants and accounting professionals look really impressive when it comes to account handling and auditing of finances of big brands and large corporations. However, they seem to be quite challenged when it comes to presenting their skills and achievements in their resumes. These candidates can do a lot better than what they already have written in their CVs. It’s so important to showcase your contributions – your CV is a marketing tool, and must thus show your best side. If you’d like more in-depth reading, check out my Ultimate Guide to CV Writing – I go into far greater detail on each section of the CV there, and break down how you should write each part and how to combine them to achieve an effective resume.
If you are one of those professionals who need help crafting a well-written CV, here’s my guide on how to write an accounting resume!
CV Template and Formatting
I thought I’d touch a bit on this first. Nowadays, we’re seeing a lot of fancy templates and infographic-style CVs. On one hand, this helps you to stand out a bit, but on the other hand, the nature of the industry means that these funky designs aren’t looked favourably upon! Accounting is an industry rich in tradition with a very long history. It’s also notably professional and formal. As such, stick with a simple yet professional template like the one I’ve used.
Also, if you’re applying to the big 4 or a larger firm, chances are they’ll be using an ATS system. ATS is an automated CV scanning tool which reviews CVs from applicants and looks out for certain keywords. It then filters all the CVs which don’t meet its criteria. They’re pretty finicky – things like icons, pictures, etc. tend to mess up their programming and cause them to wrongly filter candidates. It’s a real pity to get filtered like that! I’ve had to be particularly careful – I’ve recently gotten access to a tool which acts like ATS and tells me what’s missing, and if ATS can read what I’ve written. I generally give my clients access too – it seems to be helping quite a bit!
Key Pointers Hiring Managers Look For in Accounting Resumes
- Your strong experience in financial, compliance, and/or controlling functions within SMEs and large corporations
- You being comfortable and confident in doing budget planning, forecast, and preparation
- Deep understanding of the financial market and trends in Singapore
- Proven expertise in using accounting and financial systems
This is not an exhaustive list of traits by any means. It’s what I see come up most frequently though.
Additional Accounting Resume Writing Tips
- Accounting is quite a broad field of knowledge that covers many different kinds of functions and responsibilities. It is always best to specify your area of specialization and tailor your CV according to this, in order to put a focus on your profile — rather than being a “jack of all trades” who may confuse hiring managers. You can do this in your executive summary and job title.
- Don’t forget to mention accounting certifications or licences you were able to acquire to help improve your resume and boost your career. These certifications could be things like CA/CPA, CFA, CISA, CMA, etc. They’re very nice bonuses to include on any accountant’s CV. Even if you’re still taking the qualification (i.e. you don’t have the paper in your hand yet) you can still list the certification on your CV – just put “In Progress (Est completion: X)” – this shows that you’re trying to improve yourself which is great :).
Accounting Job Opportunities
Make sure your CV is in order before you reach out to recruiters/headhunters. It’s the first impression you make, and it’s very important to be certain it represents you properly.
- Scour websites like JobsDB or Jobstreet for accounting jobs and opportunities. You may also want to check out our complete list of job sites in Singapore to help you get started (at the bottom of this page).
- Alternatively, you can reach out to these headhunters in Singapore to learn about any vacancies they may be trying to fill out.
- You can also try searching on LinkedIn. It’s an increasingly popular way to network. I’ve got a cool story about how I helped a client land a very prestigious role through exploiting the power of LinkedIn – read it here.
Job Hunting Tips from Our Resident Headhunter
- Create a winning cover letter and send it along your resume. The cover letter will serve as an introduction about yourself and is a great venue to answer the question “Why should we hire you?”
- Be active on social media, particularly on LinkedIn. Make sure to create a strong online profile that represents you and you professional experiences. Here’s our comprehensive guides on finding jobs through social media and writing a great LinkedIn profile.
- Keep working hard. Get ahead of the competition!
- Before you start sending out applications, get a free CV Feedback Session with our team.
- Not sure about your career and future path? How about a one-on-one, professional career coaching call from an expert career coach?
- People sometimes come here looking for finance CV examples too. I’ve written one recently – check it out here.
More Useful Tips
If you found this article on accounting CV writing and my accounting resume sample useful, you might also like these other articles. They’re pretty interesting reads!