We understand that creating a CV can be challenging, especially in a field as detail-oriented as financial control. To help you, we’ll provide clear instructions and real-world examples. Whether you’re updating your current CV or starting from scratch, our aim is to make the process simpler and more straightforward for you. By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to present your skills and experience in a way that stands out to potential employers.
- 1 Read The Job Description / Advert
- 2 Research The Company
- 3 Find A Good CV Template
- 4 Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
- 5 Detail Your Employment History
- 6 Detail Your Education History
- 7 CV Structure
- 8 WHAT NOT TO DO
- 9 Financial Controller CV Tips – Recap
- 10 Financial Controller CV Sample
Read The Job Description / Advert
The first step is, of course, to read the job description. We need to know what the firm is looking for so that we can properly highlight these characteristics in our CV. So read back over the job description and try to pinpoint the important points. A lot of times a firm will call things “required”; if you see this, you need to make sure you include that in your CV. Similarly, if certain things are repeated throughout the advert, this indicates they are of high importance, so we will want to make sure our CV shows that as well.
When performing this analysis, take care to copy the ‘exact’ words and phrases that are being used by the hiring manager. We will want to pepper these into our CV later.
Financial Controller Job Description Example
Financial Controller Position Available
We are seeking an experienced and highly skilled Financial Controller to join our dynamic team. The successful candidate will play a pivotal role in our company’s financial management, driving the financial strategy and ensuring robust financial health.
- Oversee all aspects of financial management, including corporate accounting, regulatory and financial reporting, budget and forecasts preparation.
- Develop and maintain internal control policies and procedures for budget audit, cash, and credit management.
- Coordinate and direct the preparation of the budget and financial forecasts, report variances, and prepare financial and management reporting.
- Advise on long-term business and financial planning.
- Ensure compliance with statutory law and financial regulations.
- Develop financial reviews and provide investment advice.
- Work closely with management or executive teams to share reports and analysis findings.
- Enhance and implement financial and accounting systems, processes, tools, and control systems.
- Manage and oversee the entire accounting team.
- Conduct analysis to make forecasts and report to upper executives.
- Ensure legal compliance on all financial functions.
Qualifications and Skills:
- Proven experience as a financial controller, accounting supervisor, or chief or senior accountant.
- Thorough knowledge of accounting principles and procedures.
- Experience with creating financial statements.
- Excellent accounting software user and administration skills.
- CPA or CMA preferred.
- Strong leadership, communication, and decision-making skills.
- Ability to manage, guide, and lead employees to ensure appropriate financial processes are being used.
- Strong understanding of financial statistics and accounting principles.
- Working knowledge of all statutory legislation and regulations.
- Competitive compensation package.
- Opportunities for professional development.
- Collaborative and supportive work environment.
- Comprehensive benefits package.
We are committed to fostering a culture of excellence and seek candidates who are ready to drive financial efficiency and growth. If you have the skills and experience we are looking for, we would love to hear from you.
Research The Company
Time to put on your detective hat and do some research on your target company. Look at their website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. You are looking for any piece of intel that will give you the leg up.
- Find out about recent work/projects they have undertaken or will be embarking on (highlight your experience in these areas on your CV)
- Find out what software/processes they use and make sure you include your proficiency in them in your CV
- Learn what interview questions you might expect should you make it that far
See if you know anyone who works there and/or connect (LinkedIn) with people ahead of the interview. A little nepotism could never hurt, and you might be able to glean more information about the role/hiring process in the meantime.
Find A Good CV Template
When selecting a CV template, it’s essential to opt for a simple design and structure. Not only are straightforward layouts more compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), but they also make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify and understand key details. A clutter-free and organized CV ensures that your most important information stands out, facilitating a smoother review process for potential employers.
Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
A handy approach is to craft three sentences: the first highlighting your qualifications and experience, the second showcasing your biggest professional achievement, and the third detailing your most recent experience.
Financial Controller Professional Summary Example
- With over 12 years of experience in financial management, holding CPA and CMA certifications, expertise lies in strategic financial planning, budgeting, and implementing robust accounting systems using software like Oracle and SAP.
- Notable achievement includes leading a financial turnaround strategy at a previous company, resulting in a 25% increase in profitability within the first year through cost reduction and revenue optimization strategies.
- Recently focused on integrating advanced financial analytics tools into the workflow, improving forecasting accuracy by 30% and aiding in more data-driven decision-making processes.
Detail Your Employment History
Begin by listing your employment history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent role. This allows potential employers to see your recent experience upfront, which holds greater value. Keep in mind that brevity is key.
As you go further back in time, reduce the level of detail to ensure your CV doesn’t exceed two pages. Employers are less likely to read lengthy CVs.
When writing about your responsibilities on your CV, focus on how you’ve excelled in those roles. For instance, rather than simply stating “Managed financial operations,” enhance it by saying “Expertly managed financial operations for a $10 million annual budget, achieving a 20% cost reduction without impacting operational efficiency.” This way, you’re not just listing a task; you’re demonstrating your capability in handling significant financial responsibilities and your success in improving financial performance.
Detail Your Education History
Keep your CV concise, aiming for a two-page limit. The education section can often be streamlined.
Highlight the most relevant qualifications. For instance, if you have a degree, your A-levels become less significant. Similarly, if you’re in the U.S., having an MBA overshadows your high school GPA.
Unless an older educational milestone is crucial for the job or highly pertinent, focus on showcasing your Bachelor’s degree, post-graduate studies, or professional certifications. If you lack these, mention your latest qualifications. Remember, having a Master’s suggests you’ve finished school, so no need to state the obvious. Only include your educational background if it’s pertinent to the job.
Tactically structure your CV to the ‘most wanted’ attributes of the job description. For example, if the job description values “qualified”, then place your qualifications first; if they want someone with RECENT experience, put your last job up top. If they want multiple years of experience, highlight your tenure.
We always recommend that you have a Professional Summary up top (after your name/contact info), as it will be the first thing that anyone reads. As discussed earlier, this should be tailored towards the job advert and showcase your experience and skills in what the employer is looking for.
A fairly typical structure would go:
- Name and contact info
- Professional Summary
- Current (or most recent employment)
- Education & Professional Qualifications
- Employment History
WHAT NOT TO DO
Now that we’ve discussed what you should be including in your CV, let’s look at some things that you should avoid doing.
- Do not include personal history or likes. Employers are not going to care about your hobbies, so unless you have some inside information that the hiring manager only hires people who play a particular sport, for example, then leave your extracurricular activities off your CV. This does not extend to things like volunteer or charity work. Definitely include that if you have the space.
- Do not list your skillset and the tools/applications you have experience with. It takes up valuable space and is often obvious (Skilled in Excel…?). Instead, include these in your achievements section (Example: “Used Asana to manage and coordinate tasks for a remote team of 25 members”).
- Do not include references or “references available on request”. If employers want a reference, they will ask you for them; otherwise, this is just wasted space on your CV.
- Do not include a photo of yourself unless specifically asked. In many countries, including the UK and US, you should not include a photo of yourself on your CV/resume. Companies don’t want you to do it, as it opens them up to liability, and there is absolutely nothing for you to gain by doing so – plus, you are making it easier for firms to discriminate against you, either implicitly or explicitly.
- Do not use any fancy graphic or artistic CV format. Most CVs come in a standard format, allowing Application Tracking Software, recruiters and hiring managers to easily pick out the key pieces of information they need quickly based on their experience. If you throw them a CV in an artistic format, they are more likely to get annoyed and throw your application away. This is not a situation where standing out is good. You want your skills/experience to be noted, not your CV format.
- Do not include your previous salaries. This will severely impact your negotiation abilities down the line.
Financial Controller CV Tips – Recap
Let’s recap what we’ve discussed so far:
Understand the Role and Tailor Your CV Accordingly 🎯
Ensure you have a clear understanding of what a Financial Controller does. Tailor your CV to highlight relevant skills and experiences that align with this role. Emphasize aspects like financial reporting, budget management, and strategic planning.
Highlight Key Qualifications and Certifications 📜
Clearly mention any relevant qualifications like a CPA or CMA. If you have completed any specialized courses in financial management or related fields, include these as well.
Showcase Your Technical Proficiency 💻
Financial Controllers need to be proficient in various financial software and tools. Mention your experience with tools like SAP, Oracle, QuickBooks, or any other relevant financial software.
Quantify Achievements 🔢
Whenever possible, use numbers to quantify your achievements. For example, “Improved financial reporting efficiency by 30%” or “Managed a budget of $5 million.” This provides concrete evidence of your capabilities.
Demonstrate Leadership and Management Skills 👥
If you have experience leading teams or managing departments, highlight this in your CV. Show how your leadership contributed to your team’s or company’s success.
Be Concise and Clear 📌
Write in simple, clear language. Avoid jargon and keep your sentences short and to the point. Your CV should be easy to read and understand.
Proofread and Edit ✅
Always proofread your CV multiple times. Spelling mistakes or grammatical errors can be a red flag for employers. If possible, have someone else review it as well.
Include Relevant Extracurricular Activities 🌟
If you have any relevant extracurricular activities or volunteer experiences, especially those demonstrating leadership or financial skills, include these to provide a more well-rounded picture of your abilities.
Stay Updated With Industry Trends 📈
Show that you are updated with the latest industry trends. Mention any recent workshops, seminars, or conferences you’ve attended related to financial control.
Use a Professional Format 📄
Ensure your CV has a professional look. Use a clean layout, a professional font, and a format that is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
Financial Controller CV Sample
Below is an example CV from someone with a number of years experience in the field. For an editable .DOCX version, click here.