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A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the key to a company’s success. As a CFO, you are the leading role of the company’s finances and financial reporting, and you should assess financial opportunities and risks, set financial goals and budgets, and lead lower-level financial managers and accountants to optimize the company’s profitability.
Since CFO is crucial to a company’s financial performance and operations, most recruiters set a high bar in the recruitment process. To apply for a CFO position, you should have a well-written CFO resume and cover letter to showcase your professional capability and experience to stand out from a ton of competitors.
Below are 6 essential steps to follow while writing a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) resume.
Generally, recruiters will ask applicants to provide a CFO resume or a CV in the recruitment process. Hence, applicants need to understand the differences between these documents.
CV stands for “Curriculum Vitae,” which refers to “course of life” in Latin. It’s generally a 2- or 3-page long document describing the genuine and throughout course of the applicant’s professional background in detail. It contains the applicant’s work experience, education background, publications, or accomplishments.
Unlike a CFO CV, a CFO resume is a 1-page overview of the applicant’s background regarding your work history, educational background, or projects that are relevant to the requirements of the opening position.
In general, there are 4 commonly used formats for applicants to choose from.
A chronological CFO resume lists down the applicant’s work history in reverse chronological order.
✨ It’s recommended for applicants with solid work experience to showcase their professional background.
It’s a skill-based CFO resume focusing on the applicant’s professional skills rather than work experience. A functional resume shows the applicant’s skills instead of job titles in the first section.
✨ It’s suitable for career changers and applicants with a long period of unemployment.
A hybrid/combination CFO resume is a hybrid of the chronological resume and functional resume. It shows the applicant’s skills in the first section, then lists down the work experience in reverse chronological order.
✨ It’s a popular format for applicants to showcase their professional background, yet not suitable for people with no work experience.
A targeted resume is a resume tailored for a specific company or opening position. It’s highly recommended since recruiters are more likely to be attracted by a tailored CFO resume instead of a generic one.
To create a targeted resume, applicants should research the company and job opening to understand what recruiters are looking for. Despite the huge amount of time and effort it takes to finish a targeted resume, applicants are more likely to get an interview for it.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Before writing the resume, applicants should look up CFO resume templates and examples to understand the industry terms and trends, as well as figure out their strengths compared to others. Cakeresume and Linkedin are frequently used websites to search for CFO resume examples.
A tailored CFO resume is more attractive to recruiters compared to a generic one. Apart from the opening position, applicants are highly suggested to research the industry, company, and the department of the position to tailor the resume and increase your chances of getting an interview.
When receiving application documents, a CFO cover letter is the first to come into a recruiter’s sight. Hence, it’s crucial to craft a cover letter to briefly explain your professional background, personality, and reasons that make you a good fit for the job.
Before submitting your documents, it’s recommended to proofread your CFO resume and cover letter to minimize errors. Applicants could use online grammar and spelling checkers like Grammarly and GrammarCheck to check for errors and polish words.
Below are 8 standard and optional sections to put on a CFO resume.
A CFO resume profile provides a summary of an applicant’s information like full name, job title, email address, location, and phone number.
Applicants are also suggested to list LinkedIn URL, personal websites, and social media accounts on CFO resume to share more about your work.
A CFO resume headline is a title summarizing the whole resume. Applicants could use strong, catchy words and outline their greatest achievements in this section to show their value.
Financial CFO Resume Headline Examples:
A CFO resume summary refers to 2 to 3 sentences outlining an applicant’s work experience, academic achievements, or skills to show why they’re qualified for the position.
Startup CFO Resume Summary Examples:
A CFO resume objective means 1 to 2 sentences introducing the applicant’s career goals. It helps the applicant capture the attention of the recruiter and showcase their passion.
CFO Resume Objective Examples:
A CFO resume skill section shows the applicant’s professional skills that are relevant to the opening position.
A CFO resume work experience section shows the applicant’s work history including company names, job positions, job duties, project achievements, and work period.
CFO Resume Work Experience Examples:
CFO, ABCD Company
May 2015 - Aug. 2021
CFO, EFGH Company
Jan. 2022 - Dec. 2025
A CFO resume education section lists down the applicant’s educational history including the highest degree, year of graduation, majors, and year of graduation. You could add the GPA to the CFO resume as well.
💡 Tips: If you don’t have a college degree, you could list down self-learning experience or online courses you’ve taken as your educational background.
CFO Resume Education Example:
ABCD University, New York City, NY
May 2011 - Jan. 2016
A CFO resume additional information includes professional accomplishments like certifications, projects. Applicants could add hobbies or interests when they are relevant to the opening position or the company.
CFO Resume Hobbies or Interests Examples:
Below are 5 useful tips to writing an impressive CFO resume that makes you stand out from competitors.
A customized CFO resume undoubtedly increases your chances of getting a job interview. To write a customized CFO resume, you can first list down your most relevant experiences related to the opening position, then select the catchiest accomplishments to write on your resume.
To write a competitive resume, it’s recommended to quantify achievements on your resume. For instance, instead of saying “I raised the revenue heavily,” you could say “I raised the revenue by 30%” to make the outcome more appealing and objective. You could find CFO achievements examples on websites like CakeResume and LinkedIn.
ATS is a system frequently used by big companies to sort out unqualified resumes for opening positions. Therefore, it’s crucial to write an ATS-friendly CFO resume especially for applicants who are applying for positions in big companies.
👍🏼 Pro Tip:
An ATS-friendly resume should be written in a neat and clean format. Graphics and charts should be avoided since they may be unreadable for the system. Please also note that you should send the CFO resume in a PDF file to preserve the formatting.
It’s recommended to use action words to highlight the applicant’s accomplishments in a CFO resume. You could search for action words from CFO resume examples on platforms like CakeResume and LinkedIn.
A CFO is a leading role in the company. Hence, it’s crucial to show your leading capacity including your leading experience and skills. Applicants could write down the number of staff members or scale of projects they had managed and quantify the outcome.
CakeResume provides the right resume templates & formats for CFO candidates to show their skills and experiences. Sign up to create and download the best CFO resume for FREE!
A CFO cover letter is the key to distinguish yourself from other competitors. Below are 5 standard parts for a successful CFO cover letter.
Part 1: Contact details
In this part, you should write your personal information including full name, mobile number, and email address.
If you have fan pages, social media accounts, or personal websites like CakeResume, Linkedin, and Medium, you could put links in the CFO cover letter to impress the recruiter.
Part 2: Introduction
An introduction part includes greeting and stating the position you’re applying for.
You could write down “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern” in the greeting sentence if you don’t know the full name of the recruiter.
Part 3: Motivation (Intention to apply)
In this part, you could explain your motivation for the job application. You could also elaborate on your understanding of the company and position to showcase your efforts.
Part 4: Qualification
This part is the highlight of the CFO resume. You could describe your top work achievements and academic performance to show your qualifications for the job.
📌 Remember to write experiences related to the opening position, and elaborate on the value you can bring to the company!
Part 5: Closing
Moving to the closing part of the CFO cover letter, remember to thank the recruiter for reading your resume, and mention if there’s any resume, portfolio, or relevant documents attached.
New York City, NY, 00926
Detail-Oriented and Data-Driven CFO with more than 8 years of finance experience. Increased company’s annual revenue from $2 million to $4 million by redesigning marketing and financial plans.
CFO, KKCake Inc., New York City, NY
Nov. 2021 - Feb. 2023
CFO, ABCD Inc., New York City, NY
Jan. 2017 - Aug. 2021
--- Originally written by Naomi Lin ---