Chief Financial Officer Resume Example & Writing Guide

Write a chief financial officer resume that gets more job interviews. This step-by-step guide includes a CFO resume example and simple templates you can copy and adapt. Get expert tips for highlighting your most impressive achievements and skills. Learn what hiring managers look for in CFO resumes so you can position yourself as the ideal candidate.

A well-written resume is essential for chief financial officers looking to advance their careers. As a CFO, your resume must highlight your financial expertise, leadership skills, and key accomplishments in a way that grabs the attention of potential employers. However, crafting an effective CFO resume can be challenging, especially if you're unsure about what to include or how to structure it.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of creating a powerful CFO resume. We'll start by examining a real-life CFO resume example to give you a clear idea of what a successful resume looks like. Then, we'll break down each section of the resume and provide practical tips on how to write compelling content that showcases your qualifications and experience.

By following the advice in this article, you'll be able to create a CFO resume that effectively communicates your value to potential employers and increases your chances of landing your dream job. Let's get started!

Common Responsibilities Listed on Chief Financial Officer Resumes

  • Financial strategy and planning
  • Cash flow management and forecasting
  • Financial reporting and analysis
  • Budgeting and cost control
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Treasury operations and banking relationships
  • Investor relations and capital raising
  • Regulatory compliance and tax planning
  • Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures
  • Financial systems and controls implementation
  • Leadership and team management
  • Strategic decision-making and business partnering
  • Corporate governance and board relations

How to write a Resume Summary

A clear, concise, and strategic summary/objective section in your resume can convey exactly the sort of professional you are; it acts as the proverbial handshake, if you will. Especially so, for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role, this section often holds more weight than for other positions, considering the substantial responsibility that comes with the title.

Tailoring Your Summary/Objective Section

A cookie-cutter summary won't do justice when you are a seasoned professional, such as a CFO. The importance of creating a personalized, relevant objective section cannot be overstated. Remember to focus on your key qualifications, hard skills, unique selling propositions and the value you have previously brought to companies. Put these aspects under the spotlight.

Highlighting Key Qualifications

As a CFO, numerous qualifications might have played a role in your journey so far. Nevertheless, probe more profound and identify which among those have made a genuine contribution to your progress or those that are very unique to you and have been of significant value to your previous employers is rather constructive.

Showcasing Hard Skills

The hard skills that set you apart should have a strong prominence in your summary. Make sure they are not buried within lengthy jargon-filled sentences. CFOs will inherently have superior skills in financial management and strategy. So, providing detail on those skills you are most proficient in, will assure the recruiter of your capabilities to handle the role's responsibilities competently.

Projecting Unique Value Proposition

As a CFO, having a unique value proposition can be remarkably beneficial, separating you from other candidates vying for the same role. You might want to take some time and think hard about what you bring to the table that others might not. This could be in the form of extensive experience in a niche area, an exceptional record of generating profits, or your ability to guide corporate strategy beyond the financial perspective.

Proving Past Value

Tying this all together, is the need to prove the value you have brought to your previous workplaces, which provides future employers proof of potential future success. Use concrete and quantifiable results so the potential employers can comprehend the depth, extent, and consequence of your leadership and decisions.

Bear in mind these simple, yet effective points while writing a summary/objective section for your resume, and you will enhance your credibility, value proposition, and consequentially your chances of landing the role. While using uncomplicated language and illustrating authentic, quantified instances from your professional experiences, you inherently make an invaluable impression on anyone reviewing your resume. Remember: factual clarity and brevity are your allies in this endeavour.

Strong Summaries

  • Dynamic and result-oriented Chief Financial Officer with over 15 years of progressive experience in strategic financial planning, budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, and financial analysis. Proven track record of maximising profitability and improving operational efficiencies in diverse industries.
  • Accomplished Chief Financial Officer with a distinguished career leading the fiscal management of multinational corporations. Noted for expertise in the development and implementation of financial strategies that drive business growth, capitalise on market opportunities, and enhance shareholder value.
  • Visionary Chief Financial Officer combining business acumen with financial expertise to increase organisational productivity and revenue. Skilled in driving operational efficiencies, initiating cost-saving strategies, and invoicing.

Why these are strong?

These examples highlight the individual's skills, experience, and achievements, making them good examples of a professional summary for a CFO. They provide concrete evidence like '15 years of experience' and 'multinational corporations' that shows the individual's depth of experience, proving their competency for the role. They also focus on the impact the person has had, mentioning ‘maximising profitability’, ‘operational efficiencies’ and ‘enhance shareholder value’, which are key goals for a CFO. These different approaches present the person as dynamic, accomplished and visionary which would make a strong impression on the recruiter.

Weak Summaries

  • My name is John and I want the position of CFO because I have been handling financial documents in my previous company, and I think I will do okay here.
  • I'm a Chief Financial Officer. I am in charge of a lot of things related to finances. I'm here to boost your company's numbers and increase profit.
  • CFO here. I did my Bachelor's in Art but slowly shifted towards finance because it seemed challenging. I like numbers and managing money. Finances are fun.
  • I'm applying for the Chief Financial Officer position, my astrology sign is Capricorn which means I am good with money management.
  • I want to become a CFO for your company because my father always wanted me to be in finance. I may not have enough experience, but I have got an MBA degree.

Why these are weak?

The provided examples are bad practices for several reasons. Firstly, unprofessional language is used which doesn’t exhibit the candidate's ability and potential in a professional setting, like using terms 'I will do okay here' or 'Finances are fun'.

Secondly, irrelevant personal information (astrology sign, father's wish) was included, which has no bearing on the candidate's professional capabilities and suitability for the role of CFO.

Next, some examples show the candidate's lack of clarity towards the role of CFO like 'I am in charge of a lot of things related to finances'. It's extremely important to be specific and clear about one's skills, roles and results, especially in a leadership role.

Finally, the presence of less compelling evidence of pertinent qualification or experience was highlighted, like shifting career path due to finding it challenging or having a degree but no practical experience. Traits such as relevant qualifications, proven track record or strong skills should be emphasized.

A good CFO summary should strike a balance between showcasing financial expertise, leadership, experience, achievements and soft skills.

Showcase your Work Experience

When it comes to modern hiring practices, the Work Experience section of a resume often garners the most attention. This element of a resume, often perceived as a straightforward list of former jobs and responsibilities, is indeed a distillation of one's professional journey. As a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), this section is not only a chronicle of your career trajectory but also a showcase of competencies and strategic decision-making skills. Drawing the attention of potential employers to this aspect of your resume, while balancing complexity and brevity, requires a dash of creativity and a strong dose of candor.

Let the Journey Speak

The first step to conquering the ins and outs of the Work Experience section is acknowledging its chronological aspect. Let your portfolio of experience speak for itself, shining light on a path marked by growth and a diversity of challenges. A result-driven approach while communicating this journey will make it truly gauging for potential employers.

Prioritize Relevance

When faced with limited space, it is quite tempting to cram every last bit of experience onto the page. Resist this urge by diligently separating wheat from chaff. Include experiences most relevant to the position you are applying for, demonstrating how past undertakings have equipped you for future roles.

Expert Tip

Quantify your achievements and impact using concrete numbers, metrics, and percentages to demonstrate the value you brought to your previous roles.

Encapsulate Achievements

Demonstrating your contribution to past projects or companies in quantifiable metrics gives potential employers a scale to measure your abilities. Merging figures with narratives not only highlights your achievements but also fleshes out your role in a team setting, thereby underlining your collaborative approach.

Highlight Key CFO Skills

Despite refraining from strict job-wise breakdowns, ensure the skills particular to the CFO position are not overshadowed. Strategic planning, risk management, or fiscal competence are responsibilities unique to the role, and their representation adds weight to your credibility as a CFO.

Balance Novelty with Tradition

While attempting to break away from monotonous job descriptions, also remember the value of traditional formatting rules. Maintaining a clean, professional structure will make your resume easily scannable and distinctly understandable.

Remember, the art of designing a resume lies not only in what you include but also in how you present it. Navigating the challenges of the Work Experience section demands an understanding of your own professional background, an appreciation for the and the role you're interested in, and a keen eye for storytelling to captivate the potential employer's gaze. Your professional journey, thus well-described, underscores your aptitude, resourcefulness, and aspirations.

Strong Experiences

  • Led a successful financial restructuring process, reducing company debts by 40%.
  • Implemented a new financial software protocol which increased department efficiency by 30%.
  • Headed a team that managed a budget of $5 million, ensuring efficient allocation of resources.
  • Established and directed annual budgets of over $100 million, effectively monitoring expenditures and identifying cost-saving opportunities.
  • Secured various funding options for the company, raising over $200 million in capital.

Why these are strong?

These are good examples as they all demonstrate the financial acumen expected of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). They show leadership, strategic planning, ability to manage and allocate large budgets, expertise in finance, and knowledge of innovative financial tools. Each example is quantifiable, offering specific figures to underscore the scope of the candidate's capabilities. They also reinforce the value that the candidate brought into their previous roles as a CFO. This makes them an excellent practice in writing bullet points in a resume section.

Weak Experiences

  • Money stuff
  • Managed a big budget
  • Dealt with financial things
  • Oversaw finances and stuff
  • Did CFO things
  • Leader of money
  • Handled big financial decisions

Why these are weak?

These bullet points are extremely vague and fail to convey any real detail about the nature of the work completed or the skills involved. They lack specifics on numeric details, accomplishments, or implemented strategies. Terms like 'stuff' and 'things' are not professional and do not give potential employers a clear idea of career accomplishments or responsibilities held. These fall short of selling the candidate's experience and may lead the hiring manager to not understand the depth and breadth of the candidate's ability. It's always better to clear and concise in a professional resume.

Skills, Keywords & ATS Tips

When crafting a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) resume, focusing on the skills section is essential. The right balance of hard and soft skills can make all the difference. Here, let's break down why these skills matter and how they tie in with keywords and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

Hard Skills are Your Foundation

Hard skills relate to technical knowledge and training; they are your concrete abilities. For a CFO, hard skills could include financial analysis, budget management, or strategic planning. They are quantifiable and often acquired through education or on-the-job experience. Your hard skills reveal what you're capable of in the professional spectrum and are crucial for your resume.

Soft Skills Showcase Your Personal Attributes

While hard skills display your technical prowess, soft skills show your personal traits. Soft skills cover attributes such as leadership, teamwork, or communication skills. They signify how you interact with others and solve problems. Although these skills may seem less concrete, they are vital. As a CFO, your ability to lead a team, make strategic decisions or handle stress are all reflected in your soft skills. Including these in your resume can help paint a holistic picture of your capabilities.

The Power of Keywords and ATS

Applicant Tracking Systems (only known as ATS), are software tools used by recruiters to sift through resumes. The ATS scans for keywords relevant to the specific job description. It helps employers gauge whether your skills match the job requirements. To make it past the ATS, you'll need to include relevant keywords in your skills section.

These keywords include both hard and soft skills. For instance, if the job demands strong leadership and financial analysis, ensure these terms appear in your skills section. However, remember to be honest and only list the skills you truly possess. Trying to "trick" the ATS with false skills could backfire in an actual interview.

Making the Connection

All these elements - hard skills, soft skills, and keywords play symbiotic roles. Your hard and soft skills prove you're qualified and adaptable. By using keywords, you ensure the ATS recognizes these skills. This balancing act is vital to crafting a competent CFO resume. It's not just about listing what you can do, but also demonstrating how your abilities align with the specific role in question.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all format for a resume. Tailor your skills to the job you're applying for, using keywords from the job description. In doing so, you'll maximize your chances of impressing both the ATS and the human reviewer. It underlines the relevance of your skills to the prospective role, enhancing your chances of securing the position.

Taking the time to thoughtfully compose your skills section can set you apart in the CFO landscape. It might be the deciding factor that lands you your next leadership role. Be meticulous, be sincere, and most importantly, be yourself. In the game of job hunting, authenticity coupled with strategic planning often carries the day!

Top Hard & Soft Skills for Full Stack Developers

Hard Skills

  • Financial Analysis
  • Budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • Financial Reporting
  • Strategic Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Financial Modeling
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Cost Control
  • Investment Management
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Tax Planning
  • Audit Compliance
  • Financial Systems Implementation
  • Capital Budgeting
  • Soft Skills

  • Leadership
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Problem-Solving
  • Decision-Making
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Integrity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Strategic Vision
  • Team Management
  • Negotiation
  • Stress Management
  • Ethical Judgement
  • Time Management
  • Innovative Thinking
  • Top Action Verbs

    Use action verbs to highlight achievements and responsibilities on your resume.

  • Analyzed
  • Managed
  • Forecasted
  • Reported
  • Planned
  • Implemented
  • Evaluated
  • Optimized
  • Advised
  • Negotiated
  • Led
  • Monitored
  • Audited
  • Developed
  • Collaborated
  • Innovated
  • Budgeted
  • Controlled
  • Solved
  • Communicated
  • Strategized
  • Prioritized
  • Assessed
  • Directed
  • Facilitated
  • Evaluated
  • Complied
  • Managed Risk
  • Forecasted Trends
  • Allocated Resources
  • Identified Opportunities
  • Implemented Strategies
  • Optimized Processes
  • Recommended Actions
  • Negotiated Contracts
  • Led Teams
  • Education

    In your resume, create a section titled "Education and Certificates". Here, add your degrees in reverse-chronological order, stating the degree, the institution, and the year of completion. For certificates, mention the certification, issuing authority, and date received. If you're a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), include it after your name at the top. As a CFO, your advanced degrees and financial certifications are essential to showcase your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness to your potential employer. Always aim to keep it concise, yet informative.

    Resume FAQs for Chief Financial Officers


    What is the ideal length for a Chief Financial Officer resume?


    The ideal length for a Chief Financial Officer resume is typically 1-2 pages. It should be concise yet comprehensive, highlighting your most relevant qualifications and achievements.


    What is the best resume format for a Chief Financial Officer?


    The reverse-chronological format is generally recommended for Chief Financial Officer resumes. This format lists your work experience in reverse chronological order, with the most recent position first, and emphasizes your career progression and accomplishments.


    How should I structure my Chief Financial Officer resume?


    A well-structured Chief Financial Officer resume should include sections such as a professional summary, core competencies, professional experience, education, and relevant certifications or licenses. Tailor the content and order to best showcase your qualifications for the specific role.


    What should be included in the professional summary of a Chief Financial Officer resume?


    The professional summary should be a concise paragraph that highlights your most relevant qualifications, years of experience, key achievements, and areas of expertise as a Chief Financial Officer. It should capture the reader's attention and demonstrate your value proposition.


    How can I effectively showcase my leadership experience on a Chief Financial Officer resume?


    Emphasize your leadership experience by highlighting your strategic decision-making abilities, team management skills, and successful implementation of financial strategies. Quantify your achievements with metrics such as revenue growth, cost savings, or process improvements.


    What are some common keywords to include in a Chief Financial Officer resume?


    Common keywords for a Chief Financial Officer resume include financial analysis, budgeting, forecasting, risk management, compliance, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, and leadership. Use relevant industry-specific terms and align your keywords with the job description.

    Chief Financial Officer Resume Example

    As the Chief Financial Officer, you'll be the strategic financial leader driving profitability and growth. Key responsibilities include directing all financial planning, accounting, reporting, and treasury operations. To craft a standout CFO resume, clearly showcase your finance mastery, business acumen, and ability to develop long-term strategies. Highlight expertise in forecasting, risk management, and regulatory compliance. Most importantly, quantify your major achievements to demonstrate tangible impact.

    Beatrice Chapman
    (412) 749-1764
    Chief Financial Officer

    Results-driven Chief Financial Officer with over 15 years of experience in strategic financial planning, risk management, and business growth. Proven track record of optimizing financial performance, driving multimillion-dollar cost savings, and leading successful M&A transactions. Adept at building high-performing teams and fostering strong relationships with stakeholders. Committed to delivering exceptional results and propelling organizations to new heights of financial success.

    Work Experience
    Chief Financial Officer
    01/2019 - Present
    Global Tech Solutions
    • Spearheaded financial strategy, resulting in a 25% increase in revenue and a 15% reduction in operating costs within the first year.
    • Led successful $500M acquisition, expanding the company's market share and diversifying its product portfolio.
    • Implemented a robust risk management framework, mitigating potential financial risks and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
    • Optimized the capital structure, securing $250M in financing to support strategic growth initiatives.
    • Mentored and developed a high-performing finance team, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.
    Senior Vice President of Finance
    06/2015 - 12/2018
    Innovate Financial Group
    • Played a key role in the successful IPO, raising $750M and positioning the company for long-term growth.
    • Implemented a data-driven financial planning process, improving forecasting accuracy by 30% and enabling better decision-making.
    • Led cost optimization initiatives, resulting in $50M in annual savings across various business units.
    • Established a robust internal control framework, enhancing financial reporting accuracy and reducing audit risks.
    • Collaborated with executive leadership to develop and execute strategic growth plans, driving a 20% CAGR over three years.
    Vice President of Finance
    03/2012 - 05/2015
    Vertex Systems
    • Spearheaded the implementation of a new ERP system, streamlining financial processes and improving operational efficiency.
    • Led the financial due diligence for a $250M acquisition, ensuring a smooth integration and realizing synergies.
    • Developed and implemented a comprehensive budgeting and forecasting process, improving accuracy and alignment with strategic objectives.
    • Optimized working capital management, reducing days sales outstanding by 20% and improving cash flow.
    • Provided strategic financial guidance to senior management, supporting key business decisions and driving profitable growth.
    Director of Financial Planning & Analysis
    09/2008 - 02/2012
    Spectrum Financial Services
    • Built and led a high-performing FP&A team, delivering insightful financial analysis and decision support.
    • Implemented a rolling forecast process, improving agility and responsiveness to changing business conditions.
    • Conducted comprehensive profitability analysis, identifying opportunities for margin improvement and cost optimization.
    • Partnered with business unit leaders to develop and monitor KPIs, driving accountability and performance improvement.
    • Played a key role in securing $100M in debt financing to support strategic investments and growth initiatives.
  • Strategic Financial Planning
  • Financial Analysis & Modeling
  • Risk Management
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Capital Markets & Financing
  • Budgeting & Forecasting
  • Cost Optimization
  • Working Capital Management
  • Financial Reporting & Compliance
  • ERP Systems & Financial Software
  • Team Leadership & Development
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Business Partnering
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Change Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • International Financial Management
  • Education
    Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance
    09/2006 - 05/2008
    Harvard Business School, Boston, MA
    Bachelor of Science (BS), Accounting
    09/2002 - 05/2006
    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA