With PKF Francis Clark in its 100th year and having just opened its eighth office, in Bristol, opportunities to join the firm are abundant. How does an ambitious job seeker secure a position in this fast growing regional firm?

First impressions often start with a CV, so you want your CV to be an example of your best self. We’ve put together some things to consider when creating or updating your CV to help you to do just that.

Here are our top tips and things to look out for:

Check, check, and check again

This is a given, but can also be overlooked if you’re pulling together a CV for the first time in a while, or are in a rush. It’s often possible to miss your own mistakes so, if possible, get a friend or family member to check your CV for spelling and grammar mistakes. They can also check whether it’s easy to read and understand.

Why are you applying?

Whatever the reason, we’re interested in the why. Be honest. Some questions that we may have are: Why are you moving mid qualification? Why are you applying for a Tax role when you’re currently working in Audit? Why are you applying for a role in Torquay when you live in Manchester?

Use confident language and be proud of your achievement

Your CV is your sales pitch in writing. Be proud of what you have achieved and communicate it clearly. For example, instead of ‘worked to sales targets’, you could instead use ‘exceeded my sales target by 130%’. Use tangible examples that will resonate to your target audience.

Are you still studying?

Our recruiters and hiring managers will be interested in where you are in your study. It’s much easier to visualise and understand if it’s written down rather than having to scribble it down during your phone screen. These are sometimes done during your lunch break, for example, and we’d much rather be discussing the opportunity and your experience than exams (and I think you will too!)

Keep it professional

Little details count, use an email address that is as professional as the rest of your CV. Try Darren@gmail.com and keep DancingwithDarren@gmail.com for Friday night. Keep the font standard as well. Best to avoid Comic Sans and stick with a font like Arial.

It’s all about You

Be proud of what you have achieved and the experience you have gained. Use ‘I’ to showcase your contribution. Using the first person rather than the collective ‘we’ will help you stand out for your achievements.

Start with your current role

List your work and academic history starting with your most recent job and study. It reads better that way.

Tailor your CV to the job you are applying for

It’s good practice to consider who will be reading your CV. For example, if you’re looking to move from Audit to Tax, it would be best to say why, and note whether you have worked on much tax work so far in your career. This could be in your CV or cover letter.

Leave out unnecessary information

There are some things that don’t belong in your CV. For example, we would recommend leaving out your date of birth, a photo, marital status, number of children, or anything else that doesn’t affect your ability to do your job. There isn’t a set rule of how long your CV should be. It should be long enough to include all of the relevant information, and not too long that people will be put off reading it.