Here’s six things that accountants should showcase on their CV to make their job search as quick and pain-free as possible. 

6 things we want to see on an accountant’s CV 


The feared two letters that send dread through the minds of most job seekers. 

We appreciate that CV writing isn’t the most thrilling task in the world. However, the importance of a well-structured CV can’t be understated.  

Your CV is more than just a document. It’s a celebration of your achievements; an open invitation for employers to see exactly what you have to offer. It’s your opportunity to parade your skills, flaunt your experience and really sell yourself. 

So why not take crafting a CV as a unique opportunity to show firms exactly what they’re missing out on? 

Here at Public Practice Recruitment Ltd, we read hundreds of CVs every week. Trust us when we say – we know the difference between a good one and a bad one. As the largest recruitment agency hiring exclusively into public practice across the UK, we know first-hand what firms are looking for. 

With that in mind, here’s the six things you should showcase on your CV to make your job search as quick and pain-free as possible. 

Quite simply – a little bit of effort!  

If there’s anything you take away from this blog, let it be this: make an effort. 

You’d be amazed by how many candidates reach out to us to tell us about the many perks they’re after and why they think they deserve a top tier salary, but they haven’t even gone to the trouble of drafting a CV, let alone putting together a really polished one. 

If you don’t have a CV, you’ll get no further than the front door. It’s a standard requirement for pretty much every job in every industry. Without one, your job search will remain stagnant. 

In the same way you’d make an effort for a first date, make an effort with how you showcase yourself on paper. Your CV forms the first impression an employer will have of you. If your document is littered with typos, missing sections or limited information, an employer will immediately write you off as a potential candidate.  

After all, why should a firm take the time to read your CV if you haven’t even put any effort into it? It’s a fair question that heralds only one answer, so make sure you come to your job search armed and prepared with an impressive resume.  

Focus on content, not formatting 

Your CV isn’t an opportunity to show off your graphic design skills.  

Jazzy formatting won’t impress your employers – the content will. Your CV should be a concise list of the things that really matter.  

Avoid adding bright colours, fancy icons and images to your CV. It only distracts from the main point of your CV, which is your skills, experience and qualifications.  

Also, a lot of employers will immediately stop reading your CV if it includes a photograph of yourself. It goes against anti-discrimination laws and may even be considered as unprofessional by some firms. It’s not about what you look like – it’s about what you have to offer to strengthen the firm’s workforce. That’s what the content of your CV should focus on.  

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Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation 

There’s no margin for error on a CV. 

Attention to detail is one of the most important attributes that an accountant can showcase. A huge part of your job is working with numbers, analysing documents and spotting discrepancies.  

99.9% of our clients list “excellent verbal and written communication skills” as an essential skill. Therefore, failure to use correct grammar throughout your CV will have potential firms breaking things off before they’ve even begun.  

In terms of formatting, consistency is king. If you’re using full stops at the end of bullet points, make sure you do consistently throughout your CV. As mentioned in our first point, effort goes a long way.  

If spelling isn’t your strength, that’s okay! Ask a friend or colleague to proofread your CV before you start sending it out. A fresh pair of eyes should spot those pesky typos to ensure that your CV is grammatically sound and ready to leave the door. 

Keep it authentic 

AI isn’t something that both employees and employers looking to recruit should fear. Modern technology, such as ChatGPT, is an incredible tool that can really help the CV writing process. However, that doesn’t mean that candidates should solely rely on AI.  

Instead, ChatGPT should serve as a source of inspiration and a broad blueprint for the basic structure of a CV. Candidates should not be copy-and-pasting information from GPT. But unfortunately, some do, and it’s always glaringly obvious when a CV is AI-generated. Tell-tale signs of an AI-created CV usually include American spellings, asterisks in random places, irrelevant copy, and phrases that don’t sound natural.  

While we appreciate that writing a CV is a time-consuming process, candidates need to make the effort to craft a CV that authentically and accurately represents them. Firms are smart and will know when a CV has been ghost written by a robot. But if, by some miracle, your AI-written CV isn’t detected during the application process, it’ll become obvious at interview or once you’re in the job, which will most likely cause you big problems with your employer. 

Therefore, we advise all our candidates to harness AI as an informative tool to get the creative juices flowing, but don’t rely solely on it for CV writing.  

Want to learn more about the AI revolution. Discover how modern technology is breaking new ground within public practice. 

Less is more 

Yes, it’s a cliche. But when it comes to crafting a CV, the ‘less is more’ approach is the most effective.  

Your resume should be no longer than two pages long. Firms don’t need to see pictures, company logos or irrelevant qualifications.  

We’ll even go as far as to say that including your hobbies is a waste of time. Your personal interests won’t make a difference to a potential employer. Instead, use that space to display things that enhance your employability. 

Keep your sentences as short and snappy as possible to really grab the reader’s eye. Only include the most important, impressive things about your professional and educational history. Employers won’t care about the first job you had at 16. Keep your information relevant to the job you’re applying for.  

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Shout about the things that matter! 

If you’re the person for the job, prove it.  

Employers want to know why they should hire you. So, if you were instrumental in winning a huge client in your last role, or you currently manage a team in your existing job, firms will want to hear all about it. 

Likewise, if you’re managing a client with a huge turnover, that’s something that will really impress prospective employers.  

One final tip… 

Make sure your email address is appropriate for professional use. isn’t going to win you any hot dates (interviews) with the employer of your dreams. Don’t forget your professionalism! 

Are you an accountant looking for a new job within public practice? Do you need help kickstarting your job search and securing the best opportunities? 

Here at Public Practice Recruitment Ltd, we know the value of a well-written CV more than most. But we also appreciate that CV writing isn’t everyone’s forte. When working closely with a candidate, we advise on what skills, experience, and attributes they should be shining a spotlight on to secure the right role for them. 

Need a little help putting pen to paper? Get in touch with our team today or upload your existing CV for our review here.  


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