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The CV is usually the first contact a prospective employer will have from you. They will use this 2/3 page document to decide if you have the skills, experience and attitude to do their job. Be sure to invest time in preparing it to a high standard.
Include your name, address, email (ensure this is professional – create a new one if not) and telephone number.
It is important to have an introductory profile on your CV so that prospective employers can get a quick snap shot of you. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader when writing this. If words used are generic or irrelevant then they are meaningless. This is your chance to sell, summarise and close. Don’t forget to highlight what makes you different eg. perhaps you are strong in communication, IT, client management, problem solving, business development etc. Spend time making this section engaging, relevant and concise.
Outline your academic history including dates and grades.
Note the computer packages and programs you have a good working knowledge of (eg. Excel, Sage, QuickBooks etc). If you have any other specific IT experience (eg. project work) outline same.
Summarise your career history in reverse chronological order (your most current post is noted first) ensuring your employment dates are correctly noted. For each post you have held, highlight all the relevant main duties and responsibilities undertook in bullet point format. Tailor how you relay your experience to the job at hand. Quantify your experience where possible by referring to client sectors and sizes or number of staff in team you run or size of budgets you manage etc. Include any non-standard experience to help differentiate yourself. Don’t assume that your reader knows what you do technically. Not all accountants are equal and some specialise in different areas so explicitly list your technical expertise (again ensure you have tailored same to illustrate you can meet the requirements of the job spec). Remember to use concise and direct language as often HR review your CV first so ensure it can be understood by a layman and is not jargon heavy. You want your points to paint a clear picture to the reader of where you work and what it is you specifically do in your role within the context of the wider organisation.
Comment on any other relevant business related key skills, experiences or achievements of note eg. courses completed, awards received, secondments undertaken, above average appraisal scores etc. If you are flexible with regards to any job travel requirements state same here.
This is intended to show your human side. Only include real things eg. sports you play, committees you are involved in, classes you attend, positions of responsibility held outside the workplace etc.
Employers are always keen to see your current/most recent references. Obviously references are available upon request so you don’t need to state this. Unless you can include the contact details of your current employer referee and another secondary referee then it’s perhaps tidier to omit the references section. Another suggestion would be to include a reference as an appendix.