How To Structure an Effective Finance Graduate CV in 9 Steps

Updated 10 November 2022

Graduating with a finance or accounting degree is exciting and signifies the beginning of your finance career. You need a well-written CV to help you find your first professional position. If you structured your CV focusing on content, format, length and style, it can help you stand out from your competitors. In this article, we consider how to structure an effective finance graduate CV in nine steps and an example of one.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Writing Your CV

How to structure an effective finance graduate CV

It is essential to include the suitable types and levels of information in your finance graduate CV. A concise but sufficiently detailed CV can help make an impression on a recruiter and to enhance your chances of receiving an invitation to an interview for the position you are targeting. Follow these steps to create a well-written CV for a finance graduate:

Related: How to Create an Effective Graduate CV

1. Have a header with essential details about you

Your CV needs to have a title. You can use the title to include your name and your current position. Having this detail in your CV's title can help a recruiter identify by just glancing at your CV whether they could consider you for a specific position and need to finish reading your CV. If you are a recent graduate and have not worked before, you can indicate that in your title.

Related: How to Write a CV Employers Will Notice

2. Start with a personal statement

Starting your CV with a personal statement or summary helps you avoid a generic introduction. Make sure that you tailor your personal statement to the position for which you are applying. Include relevant statements that show the recruiter you're suitable for the role. Your personal statement needs to answer questions such as who you are, what contribution you can make to the company, and your long-term career goals.

3. Provide details of your educational background

As a recent finance graduate, your CV needs to highlight your academic background. Write this section in reverse-chronological order by starting with the most recent qualifications and certifications. You need to include details of the finance or accounting degree you have completed in this section of your CV. Also, cover your A Level results and any other certifications or diplomas you have completed as long as it is relevant for the position.

4. Cover your employment history

As a recent finance graduate, you may not have much previous work history to include in your CV. If you gained relevant work experience through part-time work or volunteering, you can include this in your CV. Keep your employment history concise if you are early on in your graduate career. In this section, you can provide the name of the company you worked for, your job title and your employment dates. After this, include a brief paragraph with an overview of what your job involved. You can then use a bulleted list with your primary duties and responsibilities.

5. Highlight your achievements

If you had any significant accomplishments or achievements in your previous positions, include details of these under the relevant position in the employment history section of your CV. It is an excellent idea to include objective measures of your success, if possible. For example, if you earned an employee-of-the-month award several times while working as a waiter, include this in your CV as it shows that you have exemplary customer service.

Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your CV Stand Out

6. Highlight relevant skills

You may have learned relevant skills for the position while volunteering, completing an internship or working on part-time projects. Include details of these skills in your CV as it may help you stand out from other candidates if these skills relate to the position's requirements. Examples of skills you may have developed in a part-time job could include learning about customer service or building relationships. Most careers in the finance field are client-facing and building relationships with clients are essential for career success in the financial field.

Related: What does a financial modeller do?

7. References

You do not need to include the names and contact details of references in your CV. You can have a statement that you will make references available on request. Most companies will ask you for references when they check your work history with the employers you listed on your CV.

8. Include your contact details

You need to always have your contact details in your CV. The recruiter needs these details to invite you to an interview or notify you about an interview outcome. Always have at least a phone number and email address in your CV.

9. Keep your CV under two pages

Recent graduates rarely have much prior work experience. A two page CV should be sufficient for a recent graduate. It is vital to make sure your CV structure covers the essential elements of a CV without going into too much detail.

Finance graduate CV example

The following is an example of a finance graduate CV you can use as a guideline to create your own CV:

Mary Miller
Graduate Investment Analyst

Personal Summary
An energetic finance graduate who can provide excellent analytical support to investment managers. Ambitious and wanting to make a difference in an organisation's investment team to add value to clients. A high-performing individual with demonstrated drive, initiative and enthusiasm. Ability to work well under severe pressure with the ability to prioritise tasks to ensure I always meet deadlines. Accurate with the analysis of investments' performance. Experience with budgeting and drafting monthly financial reports. Currently looking to join a company offering long-term career prospects. Planning to become a CIMA member after completing the required qualification.

Academic Background

Manchester University 2016–2018
BSc (Hons) Accounting and Investment Studies, First Class

Bournemouth County College 2015 - 2017

  • Maths A

  • English B

  • History A

Areas of Expertise

  • Statistical analysis

  • Financial research

  • Data analysis

  • Data validation

  • Data manipulation

  • Portfolio management

  • Commercial acumen

  • Internal controls

  • Business analysis

Employment History

Marston Investments, Manchester
Graduate investment analyst: April 2019 - Present
Providing financial and investment analysis as input into portfolio investment decisions made on behalf of clients. Assisting with the development of daily analysis processes to improve the quality of management information. Received a performance bonus for improving the quality and delivery time of the investment analysis reports to senior management.


  • Supporting the portfolio managers with their daily and monthly investment analysis

  • Providing investment recommendations to portfolio managers

  • Preparing and delivering the management reports and investment analysis reports to senior management

  • Supporting the development of short- and long-term investment strategies

Environmental Charity, Manchester
Volunteer fundraiser June 2017–September 2018
Volunteered as an unpaid fundraiser on weekends and evenings for a charity focusing on preserving the environment. Mainly involved in raising funds by researching and cold-calling charitable trusts.


  • Assisting with innovative fundraising activities

  • Write proposals and bids for raising funds

  • Researched and learned about funding routes for grants

  • Involved in public awareness campaigns to raise the general awareness of the charity

  • Cold calling charitable trusts and other potential donors

  • Helped maintain the administrative system

  • Organised community events

National Supermarket–Manchester
Part-time cashier January 2018 - March 2019
Received the Employee-of-the-Month award six times.

Key financial skills

  • Knowledge of IT systems and finance packages such as Hyperion

  • Strong numeric and analytical skills

  • Advanced knowledge of Excel

  • Experience in Financial Accounting

  • Good IT skills with standard software packages for word processing and presentations

  • Budgeting

  • Resource planning

  • Preparation and reconciliation of the consolidated management accounts

  • Manipulation, analyses and interpretation of financial and business data

  • Participation in company-wide preparation of the statutory reports

Personal skills

  • Strong leadership and people skills

  • Excellent customer service skills

  • Outstanding communication skills

  • Able to work closely with customers and colleagues

  • Flexible and adaptable with the ability to work well individually and within a team

  • Ability to work well under pressure and to meet deadlines even when challenging

  • Ability to handle confidential information securely

  • Ability to interact with any level of staff, including senior management

  • Excellent attention to detail

  • A creative, analytical, practical and thorough approach to resolving problems and customers' concerns

Available on request.

Contact details
Address: 6 Potter Street Manchester M1 1AA
Telephone: 00 44 432 638 1105
Mobile: 07903 356219


  • Finance CV examples to use when writing your own CV

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