Traditional CVs “still rank high in financial professional selection”

UK companies typically review 21 candidate curriculum vitaes (CVs) before extending an offer for an accounting and finance role, according to research by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half. However, one in 20 firms will review as many as 100 CVs before making a job offer.

The annual study, conducted by an independent research firm, is based on more than 200 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK. The research “highlights the importance many employers still place on traditional CVs and why candidates need to seek advice from recruitment companies on how to sell themselves on paper to stand out in the face of fierce competition,” the firm comments.

Ten times more finance professionals look at candidates’ skills and experience before reviewing their qualifications and education listed on CVs. Candidates should therefore focus on showcasing their expertise if they wish to stand out, as just 4% of those reviewing candidate CVs would look at qualifications first.

The average length of stay at each previous employer can significantly influence employability, as 25% of those recruiting accounting and finance professionals look at this first on a CV. Lots of short stays at multiple companies may be seen as a red flag for recruiters.

The most recent role and job title is the first item checked by 19% of recruiters. “This highlights the fact that job titles remain incredibly relevant and that it is not just a candidate’s salary that determines their perceived standing in the job market,” the firm notes.

“A high quality CV remains crucially important in the recruitment process and in many cases is still the primary factor as to whether an individual will even meet a representative of the company where they want to work,” says Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK.

“Showcasing skills and experience to employers is more important than prominently listing academic accomplishments as soon as candidates move past graduate positions. Candidates seeking to improve the content of their CV should look to the recruitment firms they are working with for guidance on how to best tailor their credentials.”


Related reading