New year, new CV

content paint brush new year new cv

Many of us use the New Year as an opportunity to hit the reset button in our lives.

It is a great time for trainee accountants to evaluate their career, starting by refreshing and updating their CV.

Bear in mind that many companies approve their budgets in the New Year (including their recruitment budget), so your dream job could come to the market in January or February. 

At a minimum, you should consider updating your role, skills and qualifications. These details will almost certainly have changed since you last dipped into your CV.

Lee Owen, director at Hays Accountancy & Finance, says: ‘Even if you are not looking for a new role currently, when the time comes you will be grateful that you updated these areas now and you are less likely to forget to include certain pieces of information that could sell you as a candidate.’


Another way to refresh your CV is to replace any clichés with action verbs.

Any claims like being ‘a strong team player’ or ‘effective people manager’ need to be backed up by proof, or else they are meaningless.

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It is usually better to use action verbs, which are also backed up with evidence. For example, say you ‘motivated’ or ‘united’ a team – and how you did this.

Owen adds: ‘In tandem with your CV, it is a good idea to take a look at your online profiles too. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile mirrors your CV and that you are expanding on your network and engaging with content and insights regularly.’

Free time

One outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic for some may have been additional free time. This may have been as a result of being put on temporary leave, or simply due to the restrictions on movement. But it could be the perfect opportunity for you to get some new skills on your CV and pre-emptively give your career a boost.


If your career is one of your new year’s resolutions, have a think about what skills you have and where you want to take your career. Consider what type of companies your skill set might be best suited to.

Are you looking to take a step up or a sideways move to shift industries or gain some new experience?

Consider what is really important to you and perhaps write out a list of what is vital with any move and what is a ‘nice to have’ – it will help you to be clear with any recruiters you speak to and make sure you are moving for the right reason.

It is important to be realistic in your job search and to understand what pay you can expect and how likely you are to find a new role and in what timeframe.

This article was first published in Student Accountant in January 2021

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