With the rise of the CFO, the finance department becomes more and more important for a company. Especially FP&A professionals, forecasting and budgeting appear as key assets for the strategic planning of future business. That’s why hiring managers and recruiters take an extra look on the CV of financial analysts.
How can you best present your soft and hard skills in a CV to really stand out from the crowd? Find out how a recruiter reads your curriculum.
1. Professional experience
Your potential employer will first glance at your previous career steps to get an idea of your expertise in the corresponding sector or industry. A few years of experience in controlling, planning and forecasting will benefit your CV. List your relevant previous jobs including the time range to give a clear perspective on your experience. Marta Kulik, Senior Consultant at Michael Page, reveals that “candidates coming from a BI background are also very welcome as they are used to create strategic analysis and work with data.”
2. Outstanding analytical skills
“As a FP&A analyst, you are responsible for the successful financial future of the business”, says Marta Kulik. How can you demonstrate your analytical skills on paper, though? Her advice: “Think of the tasks you were responsible for in the last job. Did you create and explain reports to your previous manager? Did you use specific tools to do so? Include this information in a few bullet points under the corresponding job.”
3. Advanced level in Excel
Just like a carpenter knows how to swing a hammer, a good financial planner and analyst knows the ins and outs of Microsoft Excel. If you’re able to complement your technical skills with Access, SQL and VBA amongst others, then you’re on a very good path already. Especially if you are working with a big database, a solid understanding of VBA can be useful to optimize efficiency at work. In case you lack the necessary know-how for these tools, make sure to fill these gaps by taking courses or ask current colleagues for help.
4. Presentational and social skills
Your CV is the first presentation you’re giving to your potential new employer. Make sure you also introduce yourself personally in two to three sentences. Marta Kulik explains the bigger picture, “As a potential employee in a large organisation with people from all around the world, you need to be open-minded, know languages, and understand cultures. Moreover, as an FP&A professional, you really need to show a business-driven attitude, be demanding and very patient.”
In the era of globalization and digitalisation, it goes without saying. Still – a fluency in written and verbal English skills is a must-have. More than that, you need to dominate the technical jargon of your profession. How do you prove that on your CV? If you have a LinkedIn profile, it probably is in English. Make sure it is up-to-date and include the link. Have you hold any webinars or presentations that are recorded on YouTube or Vimeo? Include the link if you think it’s relevant for the job description. Additional languages are a big plus as you might work in regional markets with their own local language.
6. Business-driven attitude
There are two key indicators that demonstrate your business-driven attitude. First of all, your photo gives a first impression to your attitude. Make sure your photo looks professional. Secondly, hiring managers and recruiters are very interested in knowing whether you have stayed in a company for more than two years. Other ways are to include projects you drove in your previous roles.
7. Knowledge of TM1 Cognos, Oracle and/or Hyperion
What kind of tools did you use for your reporting? You should cover the basic tools like Cognos, Oracle or Hyperion. If you know any additional programmes, it will of course make you stand out. But make sure to include the ones first that are relevant for the position.
8. University degree in Finance, Accounting, Economy or other related field
Last but not least, also mention your university degree in finance, accounting, economy or other related fields. If you don’t mention your degree, the recruiter might think, you don’t have one. But you do and you are qualified, so you should show that, especially in your CV.