How to make your application stand out

Rachel Meredith

Interested in a career with EY? Here are 5 tips for CV success from Recruitment Advisor Rachel Meredith

With an increasing amount of qualified accountants on the recruitment market, the importance of having a strong CV that makes you stand out from other applicants is paramount. Having worked in professional services recruitment since 2016, I review hundreds of CV’s weekly, the majority of which are for roles within our audit team. There are many factors to consider when writing an eye-catching audit CV but here are my top 5 tips:

1 – Be concise

Varying advice can be found online around the ideal CV length (two pages being the most common) and whilst I don’t believe this should be a hard-and-fast rule, I do think there is a lot to be said for a concise and to the point CV. Despite the temptation to include as much as information as possible about every project or engagement you have worked on to demonstrate the skills you have, it is more effective to keep it simple and relevant.

Summarise your relevant skills, qualifications, industry sector experience in an easy-to-read way and the rest can be discussed further in interview.

2 – Show off

If you’ve got specific technical skills, training or unique project experience, then show it off! So many audit applicants will forget to include key information such as IFRS and UK GAAP which are key skills that EY and other audit companies will be looking out for.

Use powerful and positive vocabulary when detailing your achievements and skills such as ‘front-line role’, ‘motivating’, ‘launched’, ‘significantly’ etc.

3 - What do you want?

Being clear about exactly what you are looking for will set you apart and show a drive and motivation. If you know the industry sector you want to work within then make sure you include it. Recruiters will be able to pick this out easily and it will also show industry-specific audit teams that you have a commitment and drive to their area of expertise.

Include a short motivation statement. This may change from application to application but tailor it to show an enthusiasm for the role you are applying to.

4 – Personality is key

The world of audit is changing rapidly with innovations to the way that traditional audit work is done. Increasingly, employers are looking for candidates who can offer more to the table than being a number cruncher. If you love problem solving, analysing data or selling to clients then include this information. Likewise, if you have any interesting hobbies or side-projects including these could help make your application stand out.

5 – Back to basics

It should almost go without saying but check and re-check your CV again before every application. An auditor should have a good eye for detail and so it can be very hard to look past a badly written CV with spelling mistakes. Ensure dates are correct and that the CV flows chronologically with the most recent, relevant experience first.

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