CV format: How to make your CV stand out for a finance or accounting role, as companies reveal they review 21 applications on average before extending an offer

 
Hayley Kirton
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One in 20 companies will sift through 100 CVs to find the right person (Source: Getty)

Want to bag yourself a new job in accounting or finance? You'll have to get in line – companies review an average of 21 applications for these roles before making an offer, according to research by recruiter Robert Half.

Some positions require an even pickier approach, with six per cent of companies confessing they wade through 100 CVs before deciding on who they want to hire.

However, some simple tweaks can help you to stand out from the crowd. Those looking to hire finance professionals are ten times more likely to review the skills and experience section first before moving onto education and qualifications, suggesting that would-be employees would fare better by focusing more on the former and less on the latter.

"Showcasing skills and experience to employers is more important than prominently listing academic accomplishments as soon as candidates move past graduate positions," added Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK.

Read more: These are the most LGBT-friendly employers in the City

There's also bad news for those who have hopped from one job to another, as constantly moving between different roles was rated as a reg flag by many recruiters and the length of tenure in each position is something that a quarter look at straight away.

Sheridan points out that those who think their CV is in need of an extra bit of help could approach a recruitment firm they are working with for advice on what credentials they should be highlighting.

Research by recruiter Michael Page released last month revealed that recruiters place much less weight on personal interests and hobbies than we think, so it's probably best to reign in the descriptions of your weekend adventures. However, those needing more space can breathe a sigh of relief as the same research revealed that the two-page maximum rule is also a myth.

Of course, even if a recruiter takes a shine to your CV, you'll probably still have to wow them at the interview stage. You might want to take some time to think about how you might answer questions on what the title of your autobiography might be or whether there should be more hours in the day.

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