How CFO’s Can Avoid Looking Overqualified on Their Resume

One struggle that many CFOs face when looking for a new position is representing themselves as overqualified on their resume. Common advice suggests hiding some of your accomplishments and job history. But the reality is trying not to look overqualified can sometimes lead to a slippery slope as well. After all, you don’t want to accidentally sell yourself short either. Use our tips to ensure your CFO resume not only showcases your talents, but also adds a buffer so you don’t look like you’re overqualified for the job.  

Make Your Resume Easy to Read

CFOs deal with analytical financial jargon on a daily basis. It’s a part of their job and it becomes second nature. As such it’s of no surprise that sometimes this jargon finds its way onto their resume. The problem is the person reading your resume may have no clue what you are talking about. Or, they may not understand it the same way you do. You may know how ROI, finance capital and accounts payable affects a company on a purely financial level, but it doesn’t mean the CEO does. In order to combat this, CFO.com suggests cutting the overly financial jargon like “working capital” and replacing it with simple phrases like “cash on hand.” It means the same thing, but it’s much easier to grasp. At the end of the day all the CEO cares about is how you’re going to make their lives easier. So tell them in a way that’s easy to read!  

Use “Prior Positions Held” Heading

While putting jobs you held 15 years ago may not help your cause in trying not to look overqualified, the truth is you also don’t want to run the risk of not mentioning relevant work history - especially when you’re dealing with something as important to a company as cash flow. In the case of a CFO, you may have to do a little digging to see what kind of financial personnel the company works with. That way if they have a CPA you’ll know that you should probably mention that you worked with a public accounting firm at some point in your career. Of course, you wouldn’t have to mention the exact dates if it was early on. Instead you can use a Prior Positions Held section and list the relevant but distant positions under it.  

Use Quantitative Examples That Work for That Particular Company

CFOs have the opposite problem of other executives looking for a job. While everyone else forgets to use numerical examples, a CFOs accomplishments are completely drowned out by them. A CFOs resume shouldn’t just rely on a bunch of numbers. It needs to be written with the right numbers in mind as they are balanced with other skills. This is why you must ensure that you are using quantitative examples that are in alignment with the company you are looking to work for. You don’t run the risk of using numbers that are too big or too small. You also don’t want to overshadow other accomplishments that may come with the job such as working with sales teams, hiring new personnel or analyzing marketing strategies. Click here to see a resume sample for a Chief Financial Officer to see what we mean.  

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