A guide to writing your newly qualified ACA CV

Charlie Buddery our consultant managing the role

You've secured your ACA qualification and now you are a newly qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountant. You might be wondering what’s next. 

The great news is that there are a number of career paths following your exams as this is a globally recognised certification - you may be considering a new career in banking, commerce & industry or even progression in practice. 

Whichever route in accounting and finance you take, creating a professional ACA CV is the first step to success.

Why do you need a CV? 

Your CV is a representation of you. The information must be honest whilst selling your skills to prospective employers. 

You may need to tailor your CV to specific applications; however, a good CV should demonstrate your capability, knowledge and experience without too much waffle! 

A great CV can help you stand out from the competition and get your foot in the door. We’ve got 4 other ways you can maximise your accounting and finance job search too! 

What to include in your ACA CV

In the guide, you'll find a 5-step approach to your CV with what to include in each section: 

  • Personal details
  • Professional profile 
  • Professional experience
  • Education
  • Extra achievements

Personal details 

Sounds obvious but every year we receive CVs that don’t include this information. Always include an email address – most of you won’t be able to answer the phone during the day, in which case we may send information to your email so you can review and return the call when it’s more convenient. You should include: 

  • Full name 
  • Current address 
  • Mobile number
  • Email address

Professional profile 

Employers are looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd, your professional profile is a great opportunity to sell yourself and give your CV some personality. This an area to sell yourself. 

Things to consider: 

  • What specific skills have you learnt? 
  • What are you looking to do next? 
  • What are you passionate about? 

Example of a professional profile: 

Professional Profile ACA qualified with three years auditing experience from {EMPLOYER}. Clients range across natural resources, property and construction, with exposure to listed and privately owned companies under IFRS, FRS 101/102 or UK GAAP respectively. Strong appreciation of financial instruments with an in-depth knowledge of IFRS 9. Now looking to utilise experience within the natural resources industry as a financial or technical accountant. 

Professional experience 

This is where you should highlight what you have been doing over the past three or four years. 

You should clearly indicate: 

  • The dates of employment 
  • The employer 
  • The position 
  • Industries you have worked in

Example of professional experience: 

Date: 2021 - Current 

Employer: {CURRENT EMPLOYER} 

Position: Graduate through to assistant manager 

Industry exposure: Natural resources, property and construction

Placing an emphasis on your skills and responsibilities before client information ensures your CV has the necessary punch to make an impact. 

You should always avoid repetition where possible. Here you want to demonstrate continued skills across clients such as IFRS, SoX, risk/controls, staff management etc.

Example of skills and responsibilities in the professional experience section: 

  • Performed financial statement audits in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Auditing Standards. 
  • Produced financial statements in accordance with IFRS. 
  • Researched and provided technical advice (IFRS 9) and guidance to clients, recommending accounting treatment and disclosure for financial statements. 
  • Performed detailed strategic analysis of client businesses, including obtaining an understanding of how they manage their strategic business risks. 
  • Established/agreed deadlines and drove engagement teams to meet these deadlines. Supervised and led audit engagements with a team of up to three people, including mentoring and motivating staff. 

Making your professional experience stand out 

As many of your peers will have a similar skill set, your client exposure will separate you from the competition

Clients will vary in size and so will your responsibilities depending upon the audit. We suggest placing your three main clients here. 

Each client should have a brief description of what they do and an idea of turnover. Once you have given this basic information, this is your chance to highlight your specific actions.

Education 

This information is very important to prospective employers. You should include all subjects, grades and places where you studied from school through to university. If you undertook a placement year in industry or a Masters degree, you should include this information here. 

Example of an education section: 

  • 2012/16 - ACA (ICAEW) – First time passes 
  • 2009/12 - Reading University, BSc Mathematics with Mathematical Physics, Classification 2:1 
  • 2005/09 - Reading Grammar School, 

3 A Grades at A Level

A* to C Grade - 8 GCSEs including Maths, Science, and English 

Extra achievements 

This section is for adding some more personality to your CV. Think about stages in your life where you have performed well, taken initiative or sacrificed personal gain for the good of others. 

Example of extra achievements section: 

  • Spent the summer of 2009 working as a volunteer for Action Aid in Africa. This taught me how to live independently whilst developing my communication and teamwork skills. 
  • Raised £8,000 on completion of the London Marathon 2016 
  • Member of University 1st XV Rugby and Athletics team Krav Maga (Member of IKM UK) Five-a-side football

Find your next ACA opportunity with our help

Now that you know how to write a stand-out newly qualified ACA CV, the next step is to start your search - and this is where we can help. 

Learn more about the next steps as a newly qualified ACA in this blog. 

The newly qualified ACA job market is fiercely competitive, differentiating yourself from your peers is essential to access the best positions. 

With over 25 years of experience helping candidates like you, this guide will ensure you stand the best chance of securing interviews. 

Additionally, our candidate care is a top priority, so we'll make sure you have the support you need to make a lasting impression on your interview


Explore finance and accounting job opportunities with Marks Sattin today. Or read more about accounting and finance trends, and job opportunities.

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17/05/21
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