Writing/updating a resume can be one of the most tedious tasks when job hunting. A good resume will not only help you get past the portal document screening, but also will help a recruiter understand your skills and experience much better. This will allow the agent to ask more detailed questions and give a stronger introduction when endorsing you to a client.
If you are submitting your resume to a company through a portal or looking to speak to a recruiter, you want to include buzzwords in the resume you submit. These buzzwords are the words or phrases you see in a job description. Many portal systems have a scanning tool that will be looking at resumes that match closest to the job description. If the job description mentions SAP, make sure to include your SAP experience in the resume with the word "SAP" clearly written in your resume.
The importance of buzzwords for a recruiter is a bit different. It is said that a recruitment agent can evaluate a resume in less than a minute. That means the agent is looking for buzzwords. Some finance keywords that catch the eye are "consolidation", "SPC", "Cost-cutting", "Break-even analysis". These keywords along with the short description following them will make an eye-catching resume. We will dive into it further below.
What will cause decision-makers to give your resume a double-take?
Let me paint a scenario for you: A finance manager is looking to hire an FP&A analyst. After finishing a budgeting meeting on Teams, it is time to screen the resumes of candidates who applied. This manager has probably been looking at a screen for 3 hours or more. How can you grab their attention?
*Detailed tips will be catered for accounting and finance professionals
Structure/Format of the resume
The focus of the resume for an A&F hiring manager is to see the data. A standard flowing resume is what would work best. Resumes that have ledgers with personality ratings/scales, creative design, and the information a bit scattered are not recommended. I will be honest; I do think "wow, this person understands Microsoft Word well" but for understanding the A&F experience, it doesn't work well.
It is crucial to make sure your timeline is accurate, so your career flows smoothly. Having education or work experience first, isn't a big issue; the importance is not having timelines mixed. When writing work experience, keep all experience flowing from most recent to oldest. Resumes that have experiences separated by country, contract vs. permanent, or department specialization (ie. Sales, HR, Finance) are confusing.
Tangible achievements listed
Giving a general explanation of a role, will not go far in getting an interview. The hiring manager already knows what a financial analyst generally does. Writing achievements, data with actual numbers and scales will be more effective; after all, finance and accounting people will be looking at your resume – they love numbers, so why not use them?
Relevance of experience to the role
Cater each resume for each opportunity. I cannot tell you how many times there are applications for a role and the CV lists no relevant experience. For example, an accountant from a services industry applies for an FP&A role in a company with inventory. If there is no relevant experience such as cost accounting or financial analysis of sales numbers listed anywhere and with no quantitative measure included, that resume will just get blown out of the water.
Consistency and progress of career
This connects a bit to the structure point, but there is a higher focus on understanding the logic the person took in each career choice. For example, I look at a resume of someone in the Big 4; this person moves up to manager, and is working with auto manufacturing clients, then moves to an auto manufacturing company as an Accounting manager. This transition is very logical. The progress and consistency flows logically. This should be showcased as much as possible in a resume. You don't want to leave the hiring manager looking at your resume struggling to piece everything together.
For any specific questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear your feedback.