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The CV Is Dead – Long Live The CV!

Recruitment for accountants – does the CV still have a role?

Could it be true? Are the days of the CV in accountancy recruitment numbered? There are some who would agree. There’s an argument that CVs are one dimensional and provide no guarantee that today’s job seekers will land their dream role. Whether you’re an accountancy candidate or a from a firm of accountants, the issue is a pertinent one.

Business psychologist, David Royston-Lee claims, “Many acknowledge that the CV is no longer fit for purpose, yet it is still at the heart of the way in which we recruit. With increasing complexity in the world of work, the speed of change and the resulting skills shortages, we are looking beyond the boundaries of the CV and what someone has done in the past. Employers need to know the potential someone has now and for the future.”

Finding qualified talent isn’t easy

These days, candidates seem to be increasingly adept at manipulating – you might say ‘gaming’ – their CVs so that they bear little resemblance to the individual they represent. In its 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey, Deloitte found that 61% of employers surveyed judged that their biggest recruiting challenge was finding qualified, experienced people. It seems that large numbers of college graduates are missing skills in complex thinking, collaboration, teamwork and communication. Finding qualified talent is increasingly difficult.

The dangers of internal recruitment

Some might use these findings as an excuse for carrying out their recruitment internally. Is this always wise? Possibly not. Although Practice members might feel they know their own people sufficiently well to judge their suitability for a new role, the approach is fraught with danger.

  • You might know them a little too well and not be able to identify key weaknesses
  • Internal appointments can instil feelings of resentment from colleagues
  • There’s the expense of specialist training
  • You’ll still have the costs of recruiting a replacement

Read more about these issues in our blog from a few months back – Upskill and Recruit

Adapting the CV for the future

These issues have arisen because the CV was devised at a time when people rarely changed employers. Jobs were for life and the CV merely presented a snapshot of a person’s past. How they would progress in the future was left to guesswork.

The trick these days, as a candidate, is to structure your CV so that it focuses on the present and future just as much as on the past. The emphasis should be on your potential to develop with the company as it grows.  Make sure you give plenty of space to your current achievements and future ambitions. Include a section on how you will bring benefit to future employers. This is especially relevant if you’re a recent graduate – perhaps taking your first tentative steps towards a successful career in accountancy.

Make life easy for interviewers

You need to give interviewers every opportunity to make an informed decision about who to shortlist and what to ask at interview, saving them a significant amount of time.

It may well be that, through developments in AI, employers will one day be able to more accurately predict the potential value of candidates to their Practice. However, for the foreseeable future, an imaginatively structured CV, supported by the expertise, skill and diligence of a specialist accountancy recruitment agency will still be the cornerstone of a successful job application.

As specialist accountancy recruiters, we know how employers think – how their minds work. When it comes to applying for an accountancy vacancy, put yourself in pole position.

Call 0333 577 7787.

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