One of the only things certain about long-term financial forecasts is the uncertainty of market volatility. This might account for the seemingly recession-proof job prospects that will make a superior finance director resume essential in the foreseeable future.
Resume.io can help with everything you need to market your expertise, including more than 300 occupation-specific writing guides and free resume examples.
If you’re ready to confidently stand out in any crowd of sterling job candidates, let’s get started. This resume writing guide, along with the corresponding finance director resume example, will cover these topics:
- Role of finance directors and the job market outlook
- General writing tips for a finance director resume sample
- The best format for structuring your finance director resume
- Advice on each resume section: header, summary, work history, education and skills
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a finance director do?
A job title that ascribes senior executive-level rank and responsibility is what distinguishes finance directors from other financial professionals. Decision-making and oversight authority extends to operational and strategic roles supporting an organization’s financial health.
Candidates for any given finance director job will have varied educational and career backgrounds. For ideas that might be applicable to your situation, check out these accounting and finance resume examples and writing guides: senior accountant, compliance officer, investment banker, financial analyst and financial advisor.
Financial management spans a vast occupational spectrum of jobs, organizations and industries. Typically it entails preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities, and developing long-term financial plans.
The BLS projects a 15% increase in jobs for financial managers from 2019 to 2029, almost four times faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. Particularly strong demand is expected for these services: coordinating investments; cash management, risk management and the planning, directing and coordinating of investments.
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How to write a finance director resume
Your finance director resume should fit on a single page and include these elements:
- Employment history section
- Education section
- Skills section
Before looking at each of the other resume sections, one at a time, let’s make sure they will all add up to a flawless, appropriately tailored document that scores high on all successful counts.
- You need to ATS-proof your finance director resume so it has every chance of being read at all by a human recipient. ATS stands for applicant tracking systems, which most larger organizations rely on to screen dozens of electronically submitted applications for any given job. Only resumes that rank high enough for keywords reflecting specific job requirements will pass through the ATS filtering software for review by recruiters.
- Repeat, reuse and recycle NEVER applies to your resume! Every job application requires a new version, tailor-made for the specific position and hiring organization. Any hint of copying and pasting generic text could cost you any chance of being taken seriously.
- The trickiest part is to also sound fresh and authentic, with resume wording that’s jarring in a good way. Put your own twist on buzzwords that hiring managers expect to see.
Optimizing and customizing your finance director resume sample go hand in hand for optimal results. The two overlapping objectives are to:
- Use enough keywords to pass through the ATS screening software.
- Come across as the perfect job fit by speaking directly to the employer’s needs and wants.
It all starts with the listed job requirements in the career ad. ATS-optimize your resume wording by closely matching the same keyword-rich terminology. Further customize the overall content and language to the position and employer, based on the job listing and additional research you undertake using every possible source.
Choosing the best resume format for finance directors
Most occupations and career paths lend themselves to the chronological resume format, which is why it’s the most commonly used way to organize job-related achievements and other content. Chances are, it’s the best structure for your finance director resume too.
But other resume formats can be worth looking at. Having a consulting background of contract work might be a reason to consider a functional resume structure, focused on an area of professional expertise or industry. Hybrid (combination) resume formats are another versatile option. Perhaps start with a skills or experience section that stands out for a specific job application, preceding the conventional employment history.
Resume summary example
The summary of your finance director resume instills confidence that recruiters are onto a lucky find. It’s your chance to outshine other candidates by speaking the hiring organization’s language. It’s where the lengths you’ve taken to tailor your resume to this position and workplace are first noticeable.
The compact space occupied by your resume summary (sometimes called “profile” or “personal statement”) belies its vital purpose. With concise and precise economy of words, it hits the high notes of who you are, what you’ve accomplished and why this employer should hire you.
Take advantage of the leeway you have to infuse personality and purpose. Facts and figures add “wow” substance to the free-form style, so this employer starts picturing you as its perfect finance director.
Use descriptive and dynamic action verbs, and modifiers sparingly for added punch. Don’t go overboard or exaggerate. Sound energetic and self-assured but not arrogant.
Below is a finance director resume example summary you can customize.
Skilled and effective Finance Director adept in leading and developing internal teams to support the areas of: finance, business planning and budgeting, IT and purchasing. Committed to partnering with leadership in strategic decision making and operations to develop and lead programs and operations related to finance function.
Employment history sample
You may need to make judgement calls in creating the employment history section of your finance director resume. With all of the work experience that qualifies you for such a high-ranking position, it’s a matter of selecting the choicest nuggets for the employer’s spotlight.
Again, your careful analysis of job requirements and additional homework about the organization are pivotal to showcasing your most directly relevant accomplishments in terms that resonate. Recruiters are much more interested in your potential contributions as a future employee, than they are in your past job titles and duties.
Below the employer heading for each of your previous jobs, list three or four compelling achievements in bullet points. Distill this information into one-liners containing three parts: an action verb, a specific task completed and a tangibly beneficial result. Ideally, quantify profit or savings outcomes as dollar or percentage figures.
Suppose you are tailoring your finance director resume to these listed job requirements: monthly financial reporting, overseeing company-wide budgets, market trend analysis and regulatory compliance. Below are some accomplishments you might quantify in the employment history section:
- Prepared monthly financial reports encompassing five divisions in a fast-growing biotechnology firm.
- Flagged 11 unprofitable projects worth $1.7 million in seven department budgets.
- Market trend analysis informed strategies to boost sales revenue by 16%.
- Implemented seven updates needed to bring corporate financial practices in line with 2019 regulatory changes.
Below is a finance director employment history resume sample you can use while writing your own.
Finance Director at BXTI, Austin
January 2017 - June 2021
- Planned, directed, managed, supervised, and coordinated all operations of the Finance Department.
- Prepared financial statements and cost reports at regular intervals.
- Led and expanded the finance function within the business.
- Worked closely with the President to ensure strong performance towards financial metrics.
- Managed and improved the annual budgeting process and provided ongoing guidance.
Finance Director at Emkee , Austin
October 2014 - December 2016
- Produced monthly and annual financial reports in an accurate and timely manner.
- Strategized with the CFO regarding the future of the organization.
- Coordinated and led the annual audit process.
- Managed organizational cash flow and forecasting.
- Effectively communicated important financial matters to the President/CEO and board of directors.
Finance director resume education example
The education section of your finance director resume should be straightforward. Relevant college degrees should be listed in reverse chronological order, from highest to lowest level. Include scholastic awards or other special achievements and honors.
Depending on the position requirements and your background, you may have professional certifications and/or licensing credentials that also belong here.
Be sure to mention additional training or professional development programs you have completed as a previous job requirement or on your own. From learning new systems or technology applications to leadership or management skills, these knowledge investments count.
Add professional memberships if they demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning, and possibly contributions that these groups have recognized.
Post-secondary education that is not relevant should take lower priority or be omitted, and you can skip your high school listing.
Below is the education section from a finance director resume example.
Master of Science in Accounting, Texas State University, San Marcos
September 2012 - May 2014
Bachelor of Economics, University of North Texas, Denton
September 2008 - May 2012
CV skills example
We’ve emphasized the importance of tailoring your finance director CV to the opportunity you’re pursuing. We pointed out the need to be selective in cherry-picking the accomplishments you highlight in the employment history section. Now, the same goes for the mix of hard skills and soft skills you list. And yes, you do need a careful blend of both. Don’t make the mistake of short-changing your “people skills” just because your number-crunching and technical skills are so obviously important.
It makes sense to incorporate keywords in the CV skills section for ATS-proofing purposes. But use discretion. Don’t squander valuable page space by repeating skill descriptions found elsewhere. Don’t mindlessly lift skills from any generic lists you come across — even at Resume.io. Do try to put your own spin on vague or overused skill jargon such as “detail-oriented” or “team player.”
Check out a finance director resume sample for the skills section below.
- Financial Accounting
- Financial Reporting
- Ability to Work in a Team
- Budgeting & Forecasting
- Communication and Negotiation
- Accounting and Reporting Software
- Attention to Detail
Resume layout and design
At arm’s length, your finance director resume sample should look professionally polished and reader-friendly. These are not mutually exclusive goals for a document that’s also eye-catching. It’s putting your best face forward ahead of the in-person interview you aim to score.
For starters, don’t underestimate the necessity of a distinctive, well-designed header. The reasons are not just esthetic but vitally practical. The header clearly identifies who your resume belongs to, your occupation and your contact information so interested recruiters instantly know how to reach you.
The overall visual impact of your resume should be impeccably clean and neat. Go easy on the unbroken text blocks with a balance of white space in the page margins and line spacing. Make thoughtful decisions about font style and size, text formatting and color splashes. Creative flourishes should be sparing — always for the sake of reading ease, never to detract.
Save yourself time and indecision with Resume.io’s builder tool. Click to download your choice from our collection of field-tested resume templates. Replacing the sample text with your own is a snap. We take care of all of the design and formatting details for you.
Key takeaways for a finance director resume
- Dynamic job market growth for financial professionals increases the opportunities and in-demand qualifications.
- Gain the best competitive edge for the best jobs with an outstanding finance director resume.
- Matching your strengths and achievements to what the employer needs and values is how you strategically customize your finance director resume and optimize for ATS screening.
- Quantify your most relevant and impressive financial accomplishments in dollar or percentage terms.
- A finance director’s attention to detail should be reflected in your resume’s visual look. See our resume example for tips on professional design and formatting.