What to Look For in a Finance Candidate’s Resume

You’re out of your hiring freeze and looking to add a quality candidate to your team. There are more people looking for work than ever before, meaning there’s a massive pool for exceptional candidates ready and waiting to fill that role. But how do you know who to choose? CGI is here to help you make a smart, informed decision for your hiring process.

What to Look For in a Resume

If you’re a hiring manager, one of the more tedious parts of your job is undoubtedly reviewing resumes for hiring new candidates. How many single-sheet lists of similar-looking qualifications can you realistically look through before they all begin to blend together? But even if the stack of resumes gets taller (or the virtual stack in your inbox continues to grow), you have to remain diligent—it’s the small, minor nuances of a resume that can help indicate which candidate is right for the role you’re looking to fill. You’ll obviously want to know what to look for in a candidate during an interview, but the first impression they give you on paper is incredibly valuable in and of itself. 

In this blog, we’ll go over reviewing resume tips, how to sift through a high volume of applicants, and how to make sure the candidates you advance to the interview phase actually align with the role you’re trying to place someone in.

Identifying Skills in a Resume: What You Need to Know

If there’s one area in life where it’s truly OK to be as nitpicky as possible, it’s when evaluating resumes. Scrutinizing every last detail is how you separate leading candidates from the pretenders and the detail-oriented from the lazy and thoughtless applicants. You’re hiring for a role at your company—why shouldn’t you be a little picky? But it’s not just about over-analysis; it’s about finding simple, straightforward methods to get the results you want. Here are some key factors to consider when poring over the details of a candidate’s resume.


We’ve all seen examples of candidates describing a babysitting job they had in their teens as if they worked at NASA; and while they certainly get points for effort, you have to be able to see through any kind of inflation of the importance of their job history. If a candidate can clearly articulate what their job was and what they accomplished in that role, that’s as good a sign as any that they’re going to be competent in the role you’re hiring for.


This one should be obvious enough—if you want to hire a qualified accounting or finance professional, they need experience in the industry (or at least an educational background that makes them the right fit). Career transitions can happen unexpectedly, and a lack of experience doesn’t necessarily mean someone would be bad in a given role—it just means that they’re coming to the position with less qualifications than someone else, which means they’ll need more time for onboarding and training. 

That said, don’t discount people because of outside experience. If someone has experience in retail, they know how to work with customers; if someone has worked in journalism, they know how to meet deadlines. Some candidates can be greater than the sum of their parts.


This one can be tricky and isn’t a foolproof way of evaluating someone’s working ability. Candidates can stay 10 years at a job and plateau after year 2; candidates who only spent 6 months somewhere may have had extenuating circumstances that forced them to seek new opportunities. Job-hopping is more common now than it was a few decades ago, but look for candidates with at least 1-2 years at a given company. It’s a sign that they gave the job an honest try and their employer saw fit to keep them around.

Need Help Finding the Right Person?

If you lack the resources needed to make your candidate search truly impactful, it’s time to work with a recruiter who can help. At Controller’s Group, Inc., we’re always looking for new ways to help our clients find qualified candidates. To get started on your search, each out to our team today.

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