When you’re hunting for accountancy audit jobs, you have approximately ten seconds to make a first impression. That’s about how long the average HR recruiter will look at your CV unless something on it catches their attention. In order to make it onto the interview list, you need a CV that will command attention for you in the first ten seconds. If you want a CV that will land in the contact list rather than the dustbin, there are some standard rules you should follow when writing a CV to apply for audit jobs.
1. Follow standard formatting
Your CV needs to accomplish three objectives: create a good first impression, detail your experience and qualifications, and get you an interview. If it accomplishes the first two, the third will follow. Keep in mind that HR assistants see dozens of CVs every week. They’re practiced at skimming them to get the information that they need to know. If that important information isn’t where it’s expected to be, you could lose out on a job contact.
2. Lay out your CV for visual appeal.
A CV that is easy on the eye is more likely to be read further. To make your CV more visually appealing, keep the following in mind:
- Use bolding judiciously to make section titles stand out.
- Don’t justify your text. Justified text looks mass produced and is more difficult to read.
- Use bullets and tabs to define sections and make it easy for the reader to pick out important details.
- Use a conventional, easy to read font like Times New Roman or Arial.
- Pay attention to white space. Too much white space makes your CV look sparse. Not enough makes it look dense and difficult to read.
- Don’t use fancy fonts, borders or photographs when applying for accountancy audit jobs.
- Keep the length to two pages at a maximum. One page is even better, particularly if you’re at an early career stage.
3. Include the right personal details up front
The first block of your CV for audit jobs should contain your personal details – name, address, contact information are vital. You may include marital status, visa details and nationality if applicable and your date of birth.
4. List your education and professional qualifications first
The more work experience you can list, the less important your educational information will be but do be sure to list all qualifying exams and certifications for audit jobs in this section. It’s a good idea to include any IT and software experience under qualifications and skills. Knowing that you’re familiar with the particular accounting and audit systems in use in the firm could be a tilting point in your favour.
5. Summarise your employment experience within each role you have held.
Adopt a standard format for listing your responsibilities and duties under each employer. Keep descriptions clean, clear and concise. Use ‘action’ words in your duties descriptions – ‘wrote and distributed daily accounting summaries’ is more compelling than ‘responsible for daily accounting summaries’. Use ‘I’ rather than the third person in summaries.
6. Double check for spelling and typos, and for accuracy.
Nothing ruins a good first impression more quickly than a glaring spelling error, especially in a word that’s used often in the industry. Spell check, and check all your dates.
7. Include outside interests, positions and avocations.
The personal section of your CV can add depth to the view of yourself that you present. If you belong to civic groups or other associations, list them here. If you hold elected office in any outside organisations, do include them and do use the word ‘elected’.
To look for a new audit job, visit CareersinAudit.com, the leading job site for auditing vacancies.