Writing Your Sales or Purchase Ledger Clerk CV
The roles of the sales and purchase ledger clerks are closely linked: the sales ledger clerk manages all the information relating to sales invoices produced by a company, while the purchase ledger clerk looks after the invoices that the company owes money on.
The sales ledger clerk deals with existing and new clients, setting up accounts and chasing money that is owed. The purchase ledger clerk liaises with providers and vendors of products and services bought by the company. Both are responsible, to varying degrees, for the allocation of cash, banking and reconciliations within the accounts department. The extent of that responsibility varies according to the size of the organisation and the number of people within the department.
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Applying for a sales or purchase ledger clerk role requires you to demonstrate that you are numerical and accurate, trustworthy and reliable, with the potential to advance within the company. Indeed, you need to show that you can be a genuine asset to the company. The challenge is that this job does not need a high level of qualifications, so you are likely to be competing with many similarly qualified candidates.
This means that it is important that you differentiate yourself from those other candidates. Why should the employer ask you to interview, instead of them? This is what you need to identify and communicate in your CV; so that the employer is left in no doubt that they should shortlist you.
To do this, you need to convey not only your general ledger 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 within just 30 seconds. So, how do you start the process of identifying your most desirable traits as an employee?
Typical Duties of the Ledger Clerk
Employers will usually be seeking individuals who have performed the following tasks and display knowledge and experience in the following areas.
Purchase ledger clerk:
- Generating internal invoices to authorise payments to external creditors.
- Coding and checking invoices.
- Calculating VAT contribution in overall costs.
- Issuing electronic payments and preparing cheques.
- Reconciling vendor and supplier statements against invoices.
- Liaising with suppliers and vendors
Sales ledger clerk:
- Producing and issuing invoices for all sales made by the company.
- Calculating VAT due on sales.
- Setting up accounts for new clients.
- Banking inward payments made against invoices.
- Producing statements to show sales income over certain periods.
- Chasing outstanding debts.
Sales and purchase ledger clerks:
- Undertaking filing duties.
- Recording transactions via data entry and undertaking database management
- Identifying any deviation or variation from the approved payments.
- Undertaking banking and reconciliation to account for every penny.
- Responding to queries from other staff members within the organisation.
These are all areas where accuracy is critical, in order to assist with smooth functioning of the finance or accounts department. You need to communicate your efficiency and reliability throughout your CV, as well as any experience you have with a particular industry or sector. If the employer is convinced at this stage that you can bring high standards to their kind of organisation, because you understand and can respond to the needs both of the role and the employer.
A CV writer from Bradley CVs can analyse your duties, skills and achievements and produce a CV that will win you the job interviews that you want.
The Employer's Concerns
Ledger clerks are a necessity within organisations, essential to their smooth financial operation. The employers' primary concern is always going to be 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. Errors can win or lose customers, suppliers and critical deals. The employer's concerns are going to be along the following lines.
- Can you assist the finance team in ensuring that organisational policy is reflected in smooth, problem-free administration?
- 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 over months or years to come?
- Ultimately, are you dependable and risk-free?
- Are you likely to contribute to improved efficiency, now or in the future? What more can you offer?
All of these questions must be addressed in your CV. 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 concerns and needs, before stating how you can address them.
Always remember that your CV is a selling document. Like all sales documents, it must be focused on the reader, rather than the writer. Stick to this guiding principle and your CV will stand a far greater chance of being successful and gaining you an interview.
So, you need to target your CV to the individual employer. Be prepared to amend it each time you submit an application, ensuring that your understanding of the employer's concerns is reflected in every line. The point is to make your CV absolutely relevant to that vacancy and that vacancy alone.
What Makes You Individual?
It is your attributes as an employee, over and beyond your regular duties as a ledger clerk, that will make an employer really want to meet you. These often coincide with what are known as 'transferable skills' - i.e. abilities that are valuable in any job, not just the type of job you are applying for. Here are some suggestions for personal qualities that are relevant to your role. These need to be emphasised throughout your CV, as the individual mix you offer are what will make you stand out.
- A logical, organised approach to mathematical and administrative tasks.
- High level of accuracy and a methodical approach, being well organised with a strong attention to detail.
- Great interpersonal and communications skills.
- Self discipline and the ability to tackle routine (or boring) tasks diligently.
- Good team working skills.
- A systematic way of working, always being one step ahead.
- Desire to constantly improve ways of completing tasks.
- Ability to work without supervision.
- 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.
- Readiness to undertake additional training.
- Trustworthiness, integrity and respect for confidential information.
Some relevant skills and abilities:
- Experience of bookkeeping.
- Managing payments, whether chasing invoices or prioritising outgoing payments.
- Respect for regular deadlines.
- Aptitude and experience in accounting software (including Excel, Sage, etc.).
- Matching, batching and coding invoices or orders.
- Performing reconciliations.
- Handling clients, supplier and internal staff respectfully yet effectively.
Create Impact With Your Profile on Your Sales or Purchase Ledger's CV
Right from the very top of your Sales or Purchase Ledger's CV, you must communicate the ways in which you meet the employer's requirements. Your Profile section must instantly grab the employer's attention.
This means that you must immediately emphasise your solid purchase or sales ledger skills. Which sector or industry have you gained these skills in? What are your main skills or most solid areas of experience? Decide upon three of each that will sell you most effectively. Your experience areas might be keeping the ledger in particular industries or for certain sized companies. Your skills might be proficiency in a particular accounting software, such as Excel or Sage. Additionally, think of your three strongest personal attributes when it comes to work. What do you bring to your work, as a person? Be sure to refer to your main transferable skills and aptitudes.
You need to include these top strengths in your 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.
Pinpoint Your Achievements
In the Achievements section of your CV, you can impress the employer by highlighting the ways in which you have added more to your job - or another area of activity - in the past. 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, such as an interest group, 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 have worked in other areas alongside sales or purchase ledger administration, or taken on additional duties due to short staffing - quantify the time you spent in this role and the volume of work you handled.
- You mastered a software program 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 the sales ledger 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.
- You maximised efficiency through your use of accounting software - say how much time you saved.
An Outstanding Career History
Your Career History should not just be a list of duties and responsibilities. Continue to use as many achievements as possible as you describe your duties and responsibilities, aiming to show in each one how you made a difference through your personal efforts.
Keep returning to those employer concerns we mentioned earlier. Is there any risk involved in appointing you? They need to know how quickly you would fit in and how you could benefit their organisation.
You need to continually communicate your skills and abilities, knowledge and attributes. Here is a checklist of the information you should ensure is included for every job that you list. Your bullet points should not be paragraphs, but you can make them two sentences long without losing impact.
- Name of the employer and your job title.
- A brief description of the employer's business activity, if this is not well-known.
- The number of staff in the accounting team you worked within.
- Your role and general responsibilities, particularly with regard to financial systems and processes. These should be presented as sentences with bullet points.
- 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, practices and techniques you were involved in setting up, also described alongside bullet points.
For each bullet point, always say what you did, how you did it and what the outcome was. It is important with your employment history that you are specific, as 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.
Verbs, or action words, add a great deal to your CV by making it a more interesting read. Such words can also give the employer a better sense of you as a person.
Some obvious examples of verbs you can use in a ledger clerk CV are 'implemented, analysed, generated, and programmed'. Others that are not so obvious are 'allocated, appraised, measured, balanced, assessed, and retrieved'.
Keywords are also important, as these are often used when employers scan CVs using specialised scanning software. Some of the keywords will be included in the job description and person specification, so it's a good idea to borrow some key phrases from the literature for the individual vacancy you are applying for. These can influence whether your CV helps you to get shortlisted or not. However, do use them carefully and ensure that they do not stand out amidst the flow of your content. Do not compromise quality by inserting too much repetitive jargon. Look on numerous CV writing websites for hints on which words are worth using.
Your Education and Training / Qualifications
In a sales or purchase ledger role, you are likely to have taken or be studying for your AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) exams. This information should come first in your Qualifications section, as it is likely to be of most interest to the employer.
Relevant IT software training should come next, as this has considerable relevance to the job. Provide details of the software, where you did the training (which organisation) and when. Packages might include Sage, Great Plains, Microsoft Dynamics and Excel.
Education in colleges and schools should be presented in reverse order - i.e. the most recent first.
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.
If you have attended a further education college, list it next. 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.
You can also list your school and say how many GCSE passes you have, along with grades for mathematics and English.
Make Sure Your Presentation is Excellent
The formatting of your CV should make it is easy to read, because it is well laid out and presented. It should look like a business document.
It is important to write in a quietly confident tone. The employer should get the impression that you know what you are doing and are confident in that, but not that you are over-enthusiastic or too individualistic. You should use clear, specific and positive language, adding impact to the statements you are making. Every word should support the core message of your CV: that the recruiter should invite you to interview because you are the best candidate for the job.
To make your Purchase Ledger Clerk's CV a bit more interesting, you can add 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 - team sports or community interests always go down well, whereas solitary hobbies such as plane spotting do not. Use your judgement on this point and never mention politics or religious interests - there is too much for employers to react against.
Other pages a Sales or Purchase Ledger Clerk may want to view:
- Need a good sales or purchase ledger CV? A CV writer from Bradley CVs substantially improve your CV and help you get the interviews you want.
- CV Examples
- Free CV Review
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- Accounts Assistant CV
- Assistant Accountant CV
- Financial Accountant CV
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- Finance Manager or Finance Director CV