CV and Social Media - How to stand out?

As a recruiter part of my role is providing people with advice on their CV and how to stand out in a competitive market. In my role I have read and reviewed thousands of CV’s and there is one CV that I will always remember. It was given to me in Perth by a candidate called Greg. The reason it stands out is because it’s the only CV I have ever read that came in a landscape format. This is not your usual Accountant CV and therefore it stood out to me as someone that was able to think outside of the box and use their initiative while taking risks. We managed to place Greg into his role and he did exactly what his CV had suggested. He took risks and came up with new ideas that the business embraced and implemented making him a very integral part of that business.

I am not suggesting that everyone should have a Landscape CV format but the point I am trying to make is that you must stand out from the crowd and sometimes take risks. While your CV should be informative, concise and to the point it should also show some of your personality and this can be difficult to get onto paper.

The role of Accountant is ever changing and due to increased use of ERP systems and automation of more of the statutory side of accounting, candidates are being forced more towards what I call the value add side of accounting. Gone are the days when the accountants sat in the corner and pumped out the numbers and data. They are now, ever more, a critical part of the business and should be at the forefront of commercial decisions. This is what your CV should show and with this you need to show what value you have added over and above preparing the stat accounts.

The most important part of a CV is the key achievements section which should be listed under each role. After explaining what you do on a day to day basis (similar to other candidates at your level) you need to sell your value add proposition. This is the part of the CV that separates out candidates and shows to the potential employer what else you can add outside of your core skills. This is where you can be slightly more imaginative and really sell your creativity and outside the box thinking. Companies are very much focussed on the following areas:

  • Cost reduction
  • Process/Systems improvement
  • Streamlining and efficiency of reporting
  • Business partnering with ‘non-finance stakeholders’
  • Staff management and development of teams (senior roles)

When reviewing your achievements make sure its is clear what the issue was that you addressed, how you managed to fix it, and what was the overlying benefits to the company. For example: I identified a stock management issue which meant we had to hire three data entry clerks to manage stock. I implemented a new Excel model which solved the issue leading to a reduction in headcount saving the business £.

The final point I would like to add is the impact of technology on recruiters and how recruiters source top talent using job boards and social media. The ever-changing technology within recruitment is at times hard to keep up with especially if you don’t work within the industry. The use of LinkedIn has become invaluable to recruiters and if you are looking for a role you must make sure that your profile is up to date and matches your resume. Recruiters use key words to search for certain skills, systems and industries. If key words such as: Manufacturing, Oracle, Stock & Inventory are not on your profile or CV you will not be found by the recruiters doing that search and you could miss a role you may be perfect for. Not only recruitment companies are using this technology, internal teams are starting to cotton on and are using these tools themselves to pick the best talent in the market.

Writing a CV is not simple, and we have developed what we call a CV ‘cheat sheet’ to assist candidates where possible. If you are not sure just ask and we are always happy to give our honest feedback and let you know our thoughts. Be bold, be concise, be informative and be sure to sell yourself. What is your value add proposition to your next employer compared to your peer group?
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