Skip to main content

How to update your CV when looking for a new position

Published on: 21 Oct 2022

Employers and hiring managers are regularly looking at resumes when looking to recruit new talent into their businesses. By updating your CV, it’ll increase the chances that a hiring manager will read your CV and consider you a potential applicant for that job opportunity you’ve applied for.

Even if you are not looking for a new position, it’s good practice to update your CV once a year, particularly on your professional website and LinkedIn. This will make it easier for employers to find information about you, your relevant experience and skills that you have as a finance and accounting professional.

We have some tips that can make the CV updating process easier for you so that you can land your next accounting or finance position.

How to update your CV

Photo: Christin Hume, Unsplash

Ensure that your CV is easy to read

Employers spend on average six or seven seconds looking at a resume, but this can vary from employer to employer. You want to make sure that the design of your CV is both easily readable and scannable for the employer or hiring manager. It’s worth including a mixture of bullet points and sections to clearly identify your work experience, contact details and achievements.

If an employer has a small number of applicants, then the hiring manager is able to go through every job application for that role. If you have tens, if not hundreds applying for one position, then a hiring manager may use an applicant tracking system or hiring manager to review all the CVs for the position being advertised on their site.

Optimise your CV for applicant tracking systems 

When you are updating your CV, you should make sure that it’s optimised for applicant tracking systems (ATS). You should make sure that you add relevant keywords that are specific to the position you are applying for. By doing this, it’ll make it easier for the ATS to scan your CV.

Since more employers are automating the job screening process, it’s essential that you have an ATS-friendly CV. When you put your application in for a job, you want to make sure that your resume is in an extractable format. You should make sure that you send your CV in a Word document and not in a PDF for every position you apply for.

Show, don’t tell with the skills section

Having a skills section is a great opportunity for you to showcase how you have used those skills with your previous employers on your CV. It’s a good idea to list out the skills you are proficient in, from data analysis, managing budgets to project and time management. 

If you are multiskilled in many areas, then it’s worth breaking the skills up into categories. Having the skills section near the top of your resume will make it easier for the hiring manager to find out about your best skills. You should remember to include keywords from the job description on your CV to make it more appealing to applicant tracking systems.

Check your CV over and over again for spelling and grammar

Before you decide to send your job application on an employer’s careers website, it's worth checking your CV multiple times for spelling and grammar errors. If the CV you’ve updated has lots of typos and poor grammar, a hiring manager is most likely to put your application in the bin.

When it comes to proofreading your CV, it's worth having a friend or family member proofread your resume from start to finish. If you don’t spend the time looking over your CV for spelling and grammar errors, then it’ll make it difficult for you to land a new accounting or finance position.

Utilise action words throughout your CV

Rather than use passive words, you should utilise action words throughout the CV you are updating to make your application stand out from other candidates. It’s worth looking at your current CV and going through each section (skills, education, etc.) to remove any passive words or sentences and replace them with action words and sentences.

Instead of saying “After I became a junior accountant, profits grew by 20%”, you could say “I helped increase the company’s profits by 20% in three months as a junior accountant”. By showing that you contributed to the company’s growth in your current or previous position, a hiring manager will be impressed with how you achieved this target.

How ICAEW Jobs can help you secure your dream job

When you are updating your CV, you want to make sure that all the information in the document is both relevant and up-to-date. We hope some of the tips we’ve listed in this piece will make the CV updating process less time consuming and more straightforward so that you can land a new position.

Are you looking to make the next step in your finance and accounting career? You can check out our latest job listings and careers advice on the ICAEW Jobs website today.