CVs – A Capital Issue
in Articles, CV Writing

CVs – A Capital Issue

Recruitment Consultancy – Predictable?

The life of a recruitment consultant is not a predictable one. Candidates never cease to find ways to surprise us, from the inventive excuses they make for dropping off the radar after expressing initial interest in a role to the great masterpieces of fiction that constitute some CVs. However, one thing that can be relied upon in accountancy recruitment is the inability of many candidates to get to grips with capital letters.

Bouncing Cats

We trawl through hundreds of CVs each week. Some good, some bad, some downright incomprehensible. While consistency of style is not a strength we find common amongst accountants, one thing they do seem to be exceptionally good at is allowing a cat to bounce up and down unheeded on the caps lock while they’re composing their CV.

The Misuse of Capital Letters

Let’s take duties/responsibilities as an example. When listing the tasks that they regularly carry out, a candidate might choose to capitalise each one, like so: Bookkeeping, Sales/Purchase Ledgers, Management Accounts, Audit, Bank Reconciliations, Tax Returns, Payroll. Or, they might choose to keep it all in lowercase, for instance: bookkeeping, sales/purchase ledgers, management accounts, audit, bank reconciliations, tax returns, payroll. Either of these is fine because there’s consistency.

However, what we more often see is something like this:

book Keeping, sales/Purchase ledgers, management Accounts, audit, bank Reconciliations, tax Returns, payroll.

It’s no less irritating when it’s in bullet points:

• Bookkeeping
• sales/purchase Ledgers
• management accounts
• Audit
• bank Reconciliations
• tax returns
• Payroll

This isn’t limited to responsibilities, it is far too often a theme of the entire CV. So we have, under IT Skills, for example: sage Line 50, xero, quickbooks, vt Transaction, word, and Excel. Under interests, we might find: reading, playing Rugby, spending time with Family and friends, going to the Gym.

Random Capitals = Hard to Read CV

While this might seem like a minor gripe – and it is, in the grand scheme of things, we accept that – it nevertheless makes a CV look messy and inconsistent. One of the most common strengths we find listed on accountancy CVs is “attention to detail” – a key skill for any accountant, as I’m sure we can all agree. However, randomly inserting (or omitting) capital letters when putting together a CV is the very opposite of attention to detail. Is that really the impression candidates are hoping to make when they apply for a role? We suspect not. So the next time you’re writing or updating your CV, check your capitals, pick a style, and stick to it. Your recruitment consultant will thank you.

Just don’t get us started on candidates who can’t even be bothered to capitalise their own names…

Emma Ireland is our specialist accountancy recruiter with a particular annoyance at poorly written CVs, an ongoing issue in the world of accountancy recruitment!

Emma Ireland

Emma Ireland is a failed novelist and accidental poet who writes mostly about politics and social issues. She's either a bloody commie or a bourgeois sell-out depending on whether you listen to her Dad or those who strongly disapprove of Waitrose trifles. After studying law at university she chucked it all in to move to Italy and teach Italian business people how to do their jobs in English. After ten years of wine and sunshine, she returned to the UK and is now a recruitment consultant and freelance writer. At least until that unfinished novel makes her a millionaire.