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Skills-based CV

Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted RegularRegistered Posts: 479
Hi,

I'm facing redundancy this spring, so it's time for a rewrite of the CV and preparation for the job search. The classic way to write a CV is reverse-chronological work experience. It's the one expressed here www.cimaglobal.com/Documents/Professional Standards and Conduct/CIMA prescribed CV format v.2 21.03.11.pdf and it shows emphasises the job title and how long you've been there.

I feel that this is not the most relevant for my current situation. This is especially true thinking about how vague a lot of low to mid level accounting job titles are. Accounts assistant and assistant accountant cover pretty much anything. The title is much less relevant that what you actually did. So I'm looking at the major alternative style, the skills-based CV.

However, when I've done some research on examples they tend to come across as personal/character/soft/social skills based. eg Timekeeping, negotiation, communication. Whereas I want to write my CV focusing at least as much, if not more, on technical skills; purchase ledger, bank reconciliations, VAT reporting etc.

Is that a valid way to write a CV? Let's take this random advert as an example http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/assistant-accountant/22462853 It's not one that I'm specifically applying to (I'm not in London), but it's a good example of the type of role I'd be going for.

My idea is that after the personal details section, the first thing they see is Skils Summary, which has subheadings of
Accounts Payable,
Nominal Ledger,
Banking - and goes into appropriate detail.

Rather than a list which reads
Worcester Widgets 2010-2013
Stratford Sprockets 2009-2010
Gloucester Gewgaws- 2006-2009 and the relevant work experience is buried within each one, and may be duplicated. I've never done exactly the same job twice, but there's a lot of shared experience, which is probably true of a lot of people.

Naturally an employment history would need to be included, but later on in the document.

I have heard people knock skills-based CVs, but it's usually been on the basis that the skills are vague and ill-defined. What I want to express is a breadth of relevant technical experience and not emphasise the chronology so heavily.

Have you had success doing that as an applicant? What do you as a recruiter think about skills-based CVs - can they be done well?

Comments

  • BIG WALBIG WAL Well-Known Registered Posts: 133
    Check out the AAT website. As a member you can access the online Career Help section, where there's a section on
    "Create a Winning CV"
  • T.C.T.C. Experienced Mentor Registered, Tutor Posts: 1,448
    I always believe a cv should have a good mix of skills and personal qualities. Don't under-sell yourself by not including something you feel it relevant, eg people skills. So long as the cv is written in a way in which the reader can easily check the skills before it looks further, then I would always say a comprehensive cv is best. Good luck.
  • Laura8192Laura8192 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 95
    I am being made redundant and the company I work for paid for an external company to help us with our CVs, I have redone my CV as a "Skills based" CV, they called it a Functional CV. I have had mixed messages from recruiters to be honest, some loved it but one in particular wanted me to put in brackets which company I was working for when I obtained each "skill" or piece of experience.

    That said, I have now been extended at my current employers for another few weeks, and am also setting up as a Member in Practice, so my job hunt is very much on hold at the moment anyway.
  • Bookworm55Bookworm55 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 479
    Laura8192 wrote: »
    ... I have redone my CV as a "Skills based" CV, they called it a Functional CV. I have had mixed messages from recruiters to be honest, some loved it but one in particular wanted me to put in brackets which company I was working for when I obtained each "skill" or piece of experience.

    That was one of my main concerns with the approach. Actually I tried it, using the CV builder help section in the members area of the main site. Aside- that's a really useful resource which is quite deeply buried. Have a browse around the members area, there's some amazing things there.

    It was a useful exercise, but I think I'll stick with the reverse-chronological format for now. There's relatively little I want to draw attention to from previous employments that I'm not also doing in my current one, and this has really helped me see that.
  • Paul CPaul C Well-Known Registered Posts: 193
    There has been lots of CV material circulated on the various AAT media sites recently. So there is probably lots in the AAT CPD section, pod casts, vodcasts etc. I think there are also national AAT CV / careers cpd events coming up? I will have a look and post a link.

    Best wishes
    Paul
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