How to Write an Accounts Assistant CV
When applying for jobs as an accounts administration or accounts assistant, you face a particular challenge: while showing that you have sufficient numerical experience, you also need to impress the employer with the fact that you are an employee who will be an asset to the company or organisation.
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It is important that you differentiate yourself from the other candidates who apply for Accounts Assistant Jobs, as many of them will have a very similar level of skills. Why should the employer ask you to interview, instead of the others? This is what you need to tell them in your Accounts Assistant CV, so that they are left without any doubt.
To do this, you need to convey not only your financial or accounting skills and experience, but those aspects of your personality and approach to work that will make the employer want to meet you. Your CV, when it is picked up by an employer, will have to impress the reader within less than half a minute. So, how do you start the process of identifying your most desirable traits as an employee?
Overall Direction for a CV for an Account Assistant
Above all else, your Accounts Assistant CV needs to communicate the fact that you have contributed to your employers' smooth functioning in the past.
Finance and accounts is an area where accuracy, efficiency and reliability are paramount. These are values that you need to emphasise throughout your document, so that they leap out.
If you are working within a particular industry or sector, your knowledge and understanding of that sector's needs also needs to be stressed when you are applying for accountancy jobs.
What the Employer Cares About on an Accounts Assistant CV
Accounts administration staff are a necessity within organisations. The employers' concern is, above everything, that there is no risk at all in making this appointment. Financial information has a huge impact on current performance, as well as on future decisions. The employer's concerns are going to be along the following lines.
- Can you assist the accounts team in ensuring that organisational decisions are reflected in good accounts administration?
- Can you assist in maximising profits by supporting the organisation in meeting financial goals through effective, accurate accounting?
- Will your actions assist in the smooth running of the organisation's overall administration?
- How soon can you make a difference and will your motivation continue?
- Are you dependable and risk-free?
- Are you likely to contribute to improved efficiency, now or - if you remain with the company - in the future?
All of these questions can be addressed in your professional CV and you should ensure that they are. What's more, they can be substantiated with evidence of your performance to date, adding weight to the employer's belief that you can help to consolidate the organisation as it moves forward.
This is the crux of writing your CV - you must think about the employer's requirements, not what you would like to be doing.
Remember that your CV is not an autobiography; it is a document that sells you by addressing the above concerns. Do not deviate from this and your Accounts Assistant CV will stand a far greater chance of being successful and gaining you an interview.
While addressing these concerns, you need to target your CV to that particular employer. This means doing your research into their activities, before illustrating how you have the potential to help them move forward or grow. As you apply for different jobs, you will need to angle your CV to different employers, so be prepared to amend it each time you submit an application. The point is to make your CV absolutely relevant to that vacancy and that vacancy alone.
What Will Make Your Account Assistant CV Stand Out?
It is your attributes as an employee, over and beyond standard accounting administration experience, which will really make an employer want to meet you. These often coincide with what are known as 'transferable skills' - i.e. capabilities that are valuable in any job, not just the ones you are applying for. Here are some suggestions for personal qualities that are relevant to an Account Assistant CV:
- Ability to work within the broader accounts team, sharing workloads and helping your colleagues.
- Ability to prioritise your work and to consistently meet deadlines where required.
- High level of accuracy and a methodical approach, being well organised with a strong attention to detail.
- Ability to work without supervision.
- Strong communication skills, both verbal and written.
- Ability to record messages or information accurately.
- Flexibility, both in taking on tasks at short notice and fulfilling other duties when required.
- Commitment and enthusiasm, while still being willing to address routine tasks.
- Mixing well with other employees and outside contacts, in person, by email and by telephone.
- Readiness to undertake additional training.
- Trustworthiness, integrity and respect for confidential information.
Grab Attention With Your Accounts Assistant CV Profile
You must communicate the ways in which you meet the employer's requirements right at the top of your CV, in the Profile section.
So, you must immediately emphasise your solid accounts administration skills. What are your main skills areas or most solid fields of experience?
Decide upon three of each that will sell you most effectively. Your experience areas might be payroll or invoicing systems, collecting debts or general accounts. Your skills might include proficiency in a particular accounting software, such as Excel, Lotus, Class or Peachtree accounting.
Additionally, think of your three strongest personal attributes when it comes to your working life. What do you bring to your work? Be sure to refer to your main transferable skills and aptitudes.
You need to include these top strengths in your Accounts Assistant CV Profile, always ensuring that they reflect the priorities of the employer you are applying to. For this reason, you may need to rewrite your Profile for different job applications, as employers may be looking for different strengths.
Highlight Your Achievements on Your Accounts Assistant CV
This is the section of your Accounts Assistant CV where you can, if possible, introduce figures. Achievements are evidence of areas of work where you made a difference, rising above and beyond the regular job description to make a contribution that helped your employer.
Alternatively, your performance in some other area may show that you have the potential to help your future employer. Achievements are compelling and do more to sell you than perhaps any other part of your CV. For example, an achievement might show that:
- You worked in every area of accounts receivable and payable, due to another member of staff being off sick long-term - quantify the time you spent in this role and the volume of work you handled.
- You mastered several accounting programs by learning in your spare time at home - say which and how long you spent studying each week.
- You organised an area of work that was outside your designated responsibilities, assisting the department during a major project - again, quantify the scale of the project and your contribution.
- You supported a senior member of staff, liaising with other professionals on their behalf - be specific in saying which kind of professionals, how many and how often.
- You improved the accuracy of data records, enabling reports to be produced at very short notice upon request from senior staff - say how much time you saved the team each week.
- Your excellent work on accounts payable resulted in a reduction of debt of a certain amount over a certain period of time - say how much, over how long.
- You were named 'employee of the month', due to the managers recognising your outstanding efforts and good relations with other employees - be specific as to why you received this award.
- How you implemented the administrative and financial policies of the organisation through your work - how much work have you handled each week and what was its value (without breaking the confidence of your current employer).
- The ways in which you maximised efficiency through your use of accounting software - say how much time you saved.
A Solid Career History
As you work through your Career History, continue to use as many achievements as possible in order to outline your duties and responsibilities. Each should show how you made a difference through your personal efforts.
Remember, you have to address those employer concerns over and over: would they be taking any risk in appointing you? Will you fit into the administration team swiftly and with little training? Is your work accurate?
So, instead of simply listing duties and responsibilities, you need to communicate your skills and abilities, knowledge and attributes at every opportunity. Here is a checklist of the information you should ensure is included for each employment listed. Your bullet points should not be paragraphs, but you can make them two sentences long without losing impact.
- The name of your employer and your job title.
- Your responsibilities, particularly with regard to financial systems and processes.
- Details of any special projects you worked on, such as assisting during a period of change, helping during a change to new software, etc.
- Details of any new systems, processes and practices you were involved in setting up.
It is important with your employment history in your Accounts Assistant CV is as specific as possible, because this will help ensure that the employer trusts what you are describing. Always be positive - even if describing a negative situation or a challenge, you can turn this into details of your positive response.
Use verbs (action words) to describe the way in which you undertook your duties. This not only makes your CV more interesting to read, but provides the employer with a better sense of you as a person. Some obvious examples of financial verbs are: administered, allocated, appraised, measured, balanced, assessed and retrieved.
Keywords can be important, as employers may scan CVs using specialist scanning software. Keywords can be found in job advertisements, job descriptions and person specifications. But, you need to ensure that you don't 'stuff' to many keywords into your CV.
Education and Training on a CV of an Accounts Assistant
As a general rule, you do not need to include every school you have ever attended in an Accounts Assistant CV.
If you have taken a vocational course or training after leaving school (e.g. NVQ 2), list it and give the name of the institution where you studied, along with dates. Also list your school details, GCSE passes, etc.
If you have attended a further education college, list that, along with your qualifications. You can also list your school and say how many GCSE passes you have, along with grades for mathematics and English.
If you finished a university or higher education college degree program, list the institution, the title of your degree, the class you achieved and the finish date.
Training in accounting software can also be included here, along with dates you achieved the certification.
Presentation is Everything
The formatting of your CV should be excellent, so that it is easy to read, being well laid out and presented. It should look like a strong selling document.
It is important to write in a confident tone in your Accounts Assistant CV, but not to sound too over confident.
The employer does not want to employ someone who is such an individual that they will not be willing to follow the systems that have already been set up.
Each sentence on your should support the core message of your Accounts Assistant's CV: that an employer should invite you for a job interview, because you're the best candidate for the job.
Finally, consider including some personal details in the form of interests, within a final section called Other Information. Although this isn't really required on today's CV, doing so will also convey a sense of your personality.
Be careful to only include interests that are looked on favourably by most of the population - train spotting is unlikely to win you much popularity with potential employers!
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