5 essential elements to include in a Finance Director CV

By Robert Half on 23 July 2023

Are you a finance professional who aspires to step up into a Finance Director role? To put yourself in contention, you’ll need extensive experience, a strong education and a winning resume.

Whether your background is in financial management or control, or you’re a Senior Accountant or professional in a related field, there are some essential elements to include in your Finance Director CV to set yourself apart from the competition.

So to save you time and ensure your resume not only makes it through the ATS scan, but also ends up at the top of the shortlist, read on to discover the key components to include on your Finance Director CV to highlight your suitability, so you can secure your dream role.

5 essential elements to include in your Finance Director CV

When crafting your Finance Director CV, it’s important that the presentation, content and key elements are all reflective of the skill required within this senior position. Any errors will most likely see you out of contention, so be sure to put your best foot forward and showcase the top attributes that will see you succeed in the role. Aside from the standard header with your personal details, your CV should include the following essential elements:

A summary that shines

While your summary only takes up a tiny percentage of the page, when written well it can have a big impact. Along with your cover letter, your summary offers a rare opportunity for recruiters to get a glimpse at what makes you different from the other applicants who have similar education and employment backgrounds. Keep it professional and on point of course, but try and inject some personality or insight into your ambitions and goals, while avoiding clichés and business jargon at all costs.

Employment history with metrics

In a senior role such as this, it is likely you will be up against other highly qualified and experienced professionals who have an impressive employment history in the financial services field. To elevate yourself and get noticed, be sure to include real results and metrics that demonstrate your past achievements and success.

Related and relevant education

To secure a Finance Director position a strong educational background is needed, so highlight this within your CV. Include details of your relevant degree, and also any financial certifications or additional training you have completed. Showing these specialised qualifications not only demonstrates your financial aptitude, it also highlights your commitment to career development and ongoing learning, an essential trait of leadership.

Critical skills that matter

Although they are relevant, when writing your skills section, aim to avoid focusing heavily on generic leadership and management skills. Instead put the focus on finance-specific skills such as forecasting or modelling, to further emphasise your experience as a seasoned finance professional.

Keywords to pass the ATS scan

These days, most large organisations use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen the many electronically submitted applications for advertised jobs. The ATS scans for keywords, and only resumes that rank highly enough will pass through to be reviewed by the recruitment team. Check the job advertisement for clues, and include the following commonly used keywords to be sure your Finance Director CV gets past the ATS:

  • Finance
  • Budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Financial reporting
  • Financial analysis
  • Financial planning
  • Managerial finance
  • Business strategy
  • Business planning
  • Internal controls
  • Change management

Other considerations

Any and every professional resume should be customised and created afresh for each role. While it’s acceptable to draw inspiration from CVs you’ve written for similar positions, avoid direct cutting and pasting. Instead, write your resume from scratch so that every word is relevant and necessary to the role you are applying for.

Including your authentic voice is another important element that will separate you from other candidates.

As Marco Tam, finance and accounting division director from Robert Half Hong Kong explains, ‘When recruiters are reading resume after resume that is jam-packed full of business buzzwords and jargon, a CV that uses real language, that sounds like an authentic human voice, jumps out. Avoid filling your resume up with words that you wouldn’t use in a real conversation. When you can find that balance between a professional tone and your own unique voice it is very powerful.’

Finance Director CV format and template

In addition to including the right elements, presenting them on the page in a logical and easy to read way is a must. There are various resume formats to follow, however, for a Finance Director CV, a reverse-chronological format is recommended as it will highlight your work experience so potential employers can immediately see you’re a good fit for the role. To give you an idea of how this should look, we’ve shared the following Finance Director CV template which can be customised to suit your needs.


Your Name

123 High Street, Central, Hong Kong Island

(001)1234-1234

[email protected]

www.linkedin.com/in/yourname

A finance professional with [number] years of experience in financial management roles, I now seek a new challenge as a Finance Director within [name of company]. [Add 1-2 sentences summarising the key strengths that set you apart, using keywords, in your authentic human voice]

Experience

2016–PRESENT

Finance Manager/[Name of Company], Hong Kong

  • Designed an automated system that streamlined payroll, saving the organisation 65% in payroll management costs per year
  • Launched an expense tracking system that reduce unnecessary spending across all company departments by $3M in 3 months
  • Performed monthly cash flow reviews and prepared and presented reports to senior management teams
  • Collaborated with the Finance Director to develop strategic plans across 17 financial operations, increasing revenue by 40% annually

Skills

Budgeting • Forecasting • Financial reporting • Financial analysis • Financial planning • Managerial finance • Business strategy • Business planning • Internal controls • Change management • Valuation • Bloomberg • S&P Capital IQ • Datastream

Education

MAY 2012

Master of Business Administration–Finance [University name], [Location]

Hobbies & Interests

Reading • Travel • Running • Basketball • Skiing

At Robert Half, we can help you land your dream Finance Director role. Talk to our experienced Hong Kong recruitment team today on +852 5808 6553 to learn about current opportunities or submit your resume and we’ll be in touch.

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