Write a CV for an Accounting Assistant
A curriculum vitae (CV) is similar to a resume. It presents your experience, professional accomplishments and education related to the job you are seeking. A CV is often more detailed and a bit longer than a standard resume. It is often used in academic fields but can be used by anyone seeking to track life's accomplishments.
Deciding What To Include in the CV
- Provide your name and contact information. Your name, address, phone number and email address should be placed on the top of the CV.
- You may choose to emphasize your name with graphics. Use a professionally designed larger or bolder font for your name.
- Your full street address can be written on one line, or it can be written with the street address on a line, followed by the city, state and ZIP code.
- The employer will most likely use your phone number or email to contact you. Make sure these are easily read, and graphically emphasized in your design.
- Decide whether you want to include a career objective or a statement of purpose. A typical CV does not have a career objective, while a resume does. You may choose to include this statement on your CV, but it is not required.
- The career objective is one sentence that sums up what you are looking for in an accounting assistant position. A career objective is a simple statement of purpose: "I am looking for an accounting assistant position at (your company)." While it might not hurt to add this, it doesn't add anything new.
- The career objective might be used to state what you might bring to the position of accounting assistant. This is an opportunity to let the company know about your own skills and abilities.
- An example of a career objective statement for an accounting assistant CV might be: To obtain an Accounting Assistant position with (your company) where my knowledge and experience of managing accounting systems is actively used to manage effective work flow of (your company's) accounts.
- List your areas of professional interest or "career profile." While a resume includes a career objective or statement of purpose, a CV will include a listing of the applicant's areas of academic or professional study.
- Tailor your list of interests to the job for which you're applying. Research the company you're applying with, and include the professional interests which the company is most likely to recognize and be interested in.
- Be specific and concrete. If you've had specific experience creating and maintaining databases, for example, say exactly what you did to do this.
- List the special skills, certifications or licenses you hold. For example, if you are pursuing your CPA license, you should include this information in this section.
- Decide what your CV should emphasize. A CV can either emphasize employment history or educational background, depending on both the prospective job and on the strengths of the individual. Whatever you decide to emphasize will come next on your CV.
- When applying for employment in an academic setting, it makes sense to emphasize education, but for most accounting assistant jobs, employers will be most interested in your work history.
- If you're just starting out in the accounting field, you may not have much employment history. In this case, highlight your educational background.
- If you've had a great deal of work experience, but relatively little formal educational training in the field of accounting, emphasize your work experience first.
- Summarize your education credentials. Start with your post-high school education, and continue through your most advanced educational experience.
- List the degrees you have received and the colleges or universities you attended. Include your dates of attendance and graduation, if applicable.
- Include bullet points that highlight special achievements. This would be a good place to share scholarships, awards or honors that were won. Be sure to mention any research you completed in the field of accounting.
- List your employment history, starting with your current or most recent employer and job title.
Again, this information should be individualized to the prospective employer. You'll only want to include the employment history most relevant to the job of accounting assistant.
- Put the name and location of the employer, as well as the city and state where that employer is located. List your job title.
- Be thorough in reviewing the work you've done, particularly if you are newly starting out on your career. If you held any teaching or tutoring positions while in school, list these here as well. Internships and volunteer work relevant to the job of accounting assistant should also be included. While honesty is essential when crafting a CV, you don't want to overlook any activity that might help a potential employer better understand your qualifications for the job.
- For each position, use bullet points to highlight your specific responsibilities and major accomplishments. Each job should have bullet points such as "managed accounts payable" or "input employee payroll" to describe what you do, and bullet points such as "reduced delinquent accounts by 50 percent" or "reduced credit period from 60 days to 45 days" to demonstrate your achievements.
- Update your computer skills. Familiarity with computers and software is essential for accounting positions. Employers will want to know if you are familiar with the software and programs they use.
- In addition to Quickbooks and Microsoft Excel, you may be expected to have working knowledge of Zoho Books, Wave Accounting, or Freshbooks, or others. If you do your research, you'll know what programs you'll be expected to know.
- If you need to brush up on your computer skills, or learn new software, consider taking an online course. Many times, these courses are free or low-cost, and can be done at your own pace.
- If you've received special certification in any particular computer area, list this here. Employers are always in need of additional IT experts.
- List professional references. A professional reference is someone who can speak to your qualifications on the job.
- The ideal job reference will be able to address any questions regarding job capabilities based in his own knowledge of your workplaces skills, qualifications, and behavior.
- If you are new to the job market, you may include college professors or other university personnel who can testify to your work skills and professional potential.
- Some CVs have separate pages with reference information. Your list may have as few as three names, or up to a full page.
Reviewing Your CV
- Proofread your CV. In particular, you want to make sure it's free of any typos, spelling or grammatical errors. Dates should be accurately stated, and contact information for all references updated and accurate.
- Ask yourself: is the information included in this CV relevant to the position of accounting assistant? If irrelevant information is included, it may detract from the CVs overall strength.
- Did you omit anything that should be included? Be thorough in reviewing your education and work history. You want to make sure that your CV includes all experiences you may have had relevant to accounting.
- The first page of your CV is the most important. A potential employer may not read more than one page. Keep your writing concise, clear, and focused.
- Ask a mentor or a professional colleague for feedback. Many times, other people can see what you can't. A second set of eyes will catch typos, grammatical errors, unprofessional presentation, or other errors.
- If you know someone who frequently sees CVs in the accounting field, ask them to review your CV. Because they will have seen many different formats, they can offer advice and feedback regarding the choices you have made.
- Read a few sample CVs to get an understanding of how they are formatted. Any Internet search will provide you with examples. Remember that there is no single way to write a CV.
- Update your list of references. Nothing will turn off a potential employer more than finding a wrong number listed among your list of professional recommendations. Make sure all contact information is up-to-date and accurate.
- Always make sure that your job references have agreed to be contacted on your behalf, and are aware of the job position for which you're applying. Unless they know that you're applying for a position as an accounting assistant, they won't know what information to share with the potential employer if he should call.
- Reorder your list of references based on the job your CV is being created for, with the most relevant job references at the top.
- Never use family members or close personal friends who can't speak to your job qualifications for job references.