What to Include in Your Audit CV
It may seem like the simplest part to getting a job in audit, but the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your CV is arguably the most critical element. It’s the first impression a recruiter gets of you that makes them decide whether you’re worth their time, and with reams of CVs in their inbox you need to make yours stand out… for all the right reasons.
It should go without saying that all CVs regardless of industry should be headed up with your name and contact information but what comes after?
Lee Hine, Director APAC at KPP Search suggests a brief summary of what you’ve done so far. “Nothing too extensive, just briefly cover the type of work experience you’ve done, the types of projects you’ve worked on, any relevant expertise and niche skills that may tie into the particular role you’re applying to,” he says. “If you have international experience with some of the organisations you’ve worked with, include that too.”
At this stage, it’s also important to include your level of experience so as to direct a recruiter or hiring manager to the level of role you’re targeting.
Next up is a clearly formatted run down of your professional work history, within which you should be sure to include a clear understanding of the responsibilities you undertook for each role, as well as the dates of each employment or engagement.
If relevant, it would be useful to include certain key words and phrases from your experience that reflect the language of the job description. Pay attention to the key skills and duties listed in the job description that may align with your resume and make sure to highlight those. In fact, as job descriptions may vary between different organisations and industries it is worth tailoring your CV each time to fit the specific role you’re applying to.
“If the job ad is asking for experience with IFRS and you have that experience, put that in there, that’s gold,” says Hine. “Just be aware that you could be questioned about anything you include in your CV, so be honest.”
Depending on the specific job and seniority of the role, recruiters looking to place candidates in audit jobs will be looking for things like people management experience, any hands-on work experience you’ve had in particular industries and any elements and components of technology you’ve dealt with, such as data analytics, cyber security, IT risk management, ITGC controls and so on. So, if you have those areas of expertise, include them in your CV.
This is also the place to highlight the types of industries you’ve had exposure to, whether it’s mining, FMCG, if you’ve worked with any type of financial products and the types of engagements you’ve worked on – defining the balance between operational, financial and compliance.
For Big Four auditors making their first step into professional practice it can also be a good idea to include the types of clients you’ve worked with. Demonstrate your technical knowledge, with regards the industries you’ve worked across, exposure, the types of financial standards you’ve worked with, any compliance or controls, any consulting work you’ve done, experience leading projects and particularly any experience you’ve had dealing with senior stakeholders.
You may be tempted to name drop, particularly big clients you’ve worked on projects for, however confidentiality is key. Hine advises a different approach, “for example if you’ve worked on a project for BP, the world leading oil company, you could instead refer to it as a ‘FTSE 100 oil and gas company’ that way you’re not breaking confidentiality.”
This section could include anything from the ratings you’ve received from internal reviews to an award you’ve received from a CFO or partner, or you could even mention a process you improved.
The types of skills recruiters are looking for here when it comes to audit candidates are things like:
- IT competencies
- Standards - if you’re a Big Four auditor it’s critical for you to possess fluency in the most updated financial standards and regulations
- Types of industries you’ve worked in
- Particular languages, if relevant to the role
“If they’re working with US clients, I’d be looking for US GAAP or SOX experience,” says Hine. “Also, if a candidate has had secondments, working outside of audit that’s a great thing to include as it shows they’re well rounded and have done different things.”
Once you have a certain level of experience, your education becomes less important. Include it in your CV but place it near the end as really you want to be listing the information in somewhat of a chronological order. As an auditor, if you have a CA or CIA or other relevant industry certification you should definitely include it, some clients will look for it and some won’t be as fussed.
“A CV that will grab my attention is a clean resume that’s relatively stable, I can see good professional work experience that’s relevant for the role, and a solid education,” says Hine. “Format is important and so is good spelling and grammar.”