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Employers looking to recruit for a new job role now consider a candidate’s technical ability as ‘a given’. So how do you sell your value and make yourself stand out from the accounting crowd as the candidate of choice against fierce competition? This is a common question asked by those who are searching for new job opportunities, either with a move from practice into industry, or to further their accounting career within a commercial environment.

Key Accounting Skills

Within the accountancy job market, the key skill base that employers are looking for is a good solid academic grounding, in addition to the industry standard qualifications of ACA, ACCA or CIMA. Almost all applicants will have this type of background, making it evident why these additional qualities are so important – they are what recruiters want to see from the best candidates.

Communication skills are key in Accountancy

The ability to confidently communicate with others at different levels within the organisational hierarchy is key. Just as important (if not more so) is the ability to communicate technical accounting information in a manner in which others without an accountancy background can understand and assess, in order to make strategic commercial decisions.

This is much easier to demonstrate through the interview process than on paper, interviewers will commonly attempt to assess your interpersonal skills by posing probing questions about your experiences that reflect the manner in which you deal with divergence, and interact within a team environment.

Interpersonal skills on an Accounting CV 

While interpersonal skills are much more efficiently demonstrated during the interview process, it is possible to reflect these abilities on your CV in order to make your listed technical skills and experience stand out. Highlighting your reporting abilities and any management experience acquired through the implementation of your duties will show evidence of your communication and teamwork experience.

The focus on the importance of these additional skills is not to belittle how crucial technical expertise and the extensive associated skill set is. Rather, it is to highlight employers’ awareness of the need for well-rounded individuals with commercial acumen in positions of responsibility, and that in clearly demonstrating such during the application process, you will present yourself in the most attractive light and therefore maximise your chances of achieving your goal – the job