crafting finance cv

Five soft skills your finance CV needs to demonstrate for an interview invite

You find the perfect job, spend hours crafting a CV detailing why you are the one they are looking for. Then check your emails a gazillion times a day for that all-important interview invite. But it doesn’t arrive. What’s that all about? You are the cake to their custard, so why did they not call you up? One common reason is not demonstrating soft skills appropriately within your CV.


Show your softer side

Recruiters want to hire people who can get the technical element of the job done as well as being a good team fit. To demonstrate the kind of soft skills being searched for in finance roles I searched a jobsite for ‘Finance’ vacancies in the UK which were offering a salary of £25k+. All the roles that came up had soft skills in their essential criteria. This means that whether you are a Finance Director or a Management Accountant your CV needs to demonstrate that you have the soft skills or you don’t qualify.

The key skills that were mentioned within the roles were (in order of how often they were mentioned) team player, relationship building, good communication, analytical, organised and innovative.


Show don’t tell

How do we included soft skills in your CV though? Well to start off with I will tell you how not to. The amount of CV’s I see where candidates just right ‘good team player’ or ‘organised’ in their key skills makes me want to pull my hair out in frustration. The first rule of writing, and yes folks a CV is written piece of sales material, is ‘show don’t tell’.

I am not going to believe you if you tell me your ‘organised’, however if your CV says historic process of achieving payment on outstanding invoices, organised invoices according to buyers and embedded a system of regular reminders which resulted in 70% of the outstanding invoices being paid.’ Boom. I read that and I think you, my potential employee, are organised.

Let me show you some examples on how to include the other key soft skills as well.




Team player

In this situation, the employee is looking for someone who can work collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organisational aims. For instance:

‘Collaborated with colleagues to achieve month end; involved working together to ensure all the necessary information is collated and accurate.’

‘Developed an analysis on spend against budget for four departments; Sales, HR, IT and Estates and shared with colleagues to produce an overall management report pack.’


Relationship building

Developing relationships with suppliers, buyers, other internal team managers is key to most financial roles. So, for instance your CV could include:

‘Cultivated relationships with six suppliers; held regular meetings to discuss process improvements, review invoices received and address any queries’


Good communication

Now for communication you must remember to demonstrate both written and spoken communication. Part of your ability to communicate effectively will be assessed by the employer when reviewing your CV. If the content of your CV is not succinct and clear it may give the indication that you are not a good communicator.

Firstly, thoroughly check your CV for long wieldy unclear sentences. Then get a friend/ colleague to do the same. Sometimes when you write you know what you are trying to say but what’s on the paper doesn’t actually say that. It’s important to get a second person to have a looksee. Examples of points you can include in your CV include:

‘Communicated effectively with managers and presented progress updates in monthly meetings’

‘Worked with departmental heads to develop a business case for a new IT System; process involved understanding the information they required from the finance team and presenting it in an easy-to-read format.’


Analytical

The ability to analyse trends and variances in data is key to any financial role. You can demonstrate this several ways in your CV. The important thing is make sure you reference analyses within your personal profile and your work experience section. An example of the kind of information you could include is:

‘Analysed spend against forecast for the previous three years in the HR department, found a consistent overspend of £20k due to use of agency admin staff, analysis was utilised in a business case from HR to recruit a permanent HR admin staff member’


Innovative

Employers want people who can think outside the box. Who can highlight areas for development in their work processes and come up with pragmatic solutions. If an employee is looking for someone who is innovative, then there’s higher scope for career progression within that organisation. You could include examples of anything you have done differently while in the role. For instance:

‘Highlighted a database to Management which allowed Departmental Heads to input data directly and then automatically produced the monthly reports this reduced workforce requirements and improved information accuracy.’




Author’s Bio: I am Emily, a professional CV Writer and content contributor at CV Folks. My interests range from career consultancy to reading anything inspirational and controversial on the internet. I am also a digital media enthusiast.




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