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Chief Financial Officer Sample

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Career advice featured in – Forbes, Glassdoor, Reader's Digest, MarketWatch, The CheatSheet
Career advice featured in Forbes, Glassdoor, MarketWatch, Reader's Digest, The CheatSheet

You’ve finally reached the point in your career when it’s time to climb to the top rung of the financial leadership ladder and become a Chief Financial Officer or CFO. As you’ve worked through the ranks, you’ve honed skills like strategy, risk management, and resource allocation. You probably also have quite a few certifications under your belt, like Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA or even Certified Public Accountant or CPA. 

It is critical that a future hiring manager understand everything you bring to the table. Because of that, you need a compelling Chief Financial Officer or CFO resume that speaks to your qualifications and experiences but also conveys the value you can add to the prospective employer’s organization. Your resume should talk about your skills as a financial leader and how you use the strategies you’ve learned during your career to ensure financial success. 

To help you do this, we’ve constructed a Chief Financial Officer or CFO resume example that you can use as inspiration when writing your own. You’ll also find some useful tips and tricks in this article that will help you wordsmith your experiences in a way that resonates with executive hiring managers. 

Without further ado, let’s set you on the path to a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position. 

How to write a CFO resume

Some of the first questions that people ask when faced with the prospect of writing their new resume are:

When you get to the executive level, the answers to those questions are important, but the content of your resume has to go beyond formatting and structure, though we still touch on both of those in the “Write a powerful resume” section below. Aside from formatting and structure, you want to get clear on your goals and the story you want to share, while also appreciating the importance of using your resume to network. 

What are your goals?

By figuring out your career goals — is CFO the final stop on your career journey, for example  — you can have a clearer picture for shaping the direction of your resume. It’ll also help you tailor your resume to a role based on how it fits within your career objectives. 

On top of that, you can see how your skills and experiences are relevant to your job targets. Relevance is the key to catching a hiring manager’s attention because you can show that what you bring to the table is aligned with what they need. 

At the end of the day, you have to be able to present yourself as a candidate who is not only qualified for the position but also committed to the specific path you are pursuing as that will make you a more engaged employee. 

Tell a story

Avoid making your resume into a laundry list of jobs you’ve held. Rather, write your resume in a way that tells a story about what you’ve accomplished in the past. You’ve likely heard about using the STAR method to answer behavioral interview questions; well there is a similar process for discussing achievements on your resume. It’s called the CAR (Challenge, Action Result) method. 

As you talk about challenges you’ve overcome in your career and the results you’ve achieved, remember to use numbers to demonstrate value as often as possible. Those numbers can include percentages, money, or metrics – anything that demonstrates tangible impact. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Executed cost-saving strategies that reduced operating expenses by 20%, saving approximately $2 million annually. 

  • Directed CAPEX project that increased revenue by 15% and improved the company’s position in the market.

Those two bullet points are chock full of keywords – cost-saving strategies, market position, CAPEX, projects – and they each paint a picture in the head of a hiring manager who is skimming through your Chief Financial Officer (CFO) resume. They understand that you know how to save money and improve revenue – two of the major things that organizations want CFOs to do!

Write a powerful resume

Once you’ve clarified your goals and begin crafting the story you want to tell, it’s time to incorporate those into a well-drafted resume to stand out, focused both on the right formatting and optimal content. 

Formatting your resume

In terms of formatting your resume, it’s best to use a reverse-chronological layout, which you’ll see is most-often used in CFO resume examples, like the one included here. A reverse-chronological format shows your most recent work history first, which is most relevant to employers. 

Additional formatting considerations include resume length, font type and size, margins, and section headings. As an executive-level, since you have ample experience that you may want or need to highlight, you could get away with having a three-page resume, though standard practice is to aim for a two-page resume for experienced professionals. 

There are several font types to choose from for resumes, which you can review in more detail in “The Best Fonts and Size to Use on a Resume.”

Your font size should be anywhere from 10 to 14-point. In terms of margins, standard is one-inch, though you can go as low as 0.5-inch all around, which you might choose to use if your resume needs to be shortened. 

For section headings, the standard choices that are a must to include are Work Experience and Education, with Additional Experience, Projects, Skills, and Certifications being some of the optional sections you might choose to include. 

Between your contact information and Work Experience section, you’ll include a strong Resume Summary that summarizes your key accomplishments relevant to the job you’re applying to, with a Core Competencies list just below it. 

Writing your resume

Here are some some CFO resume tips to consider when writing the content of your resume:

  • Use action verbs. Powerful action verbs should begin each bullet point within your Work Experience section. You’ll also use action verbs in your Resume Summary. 

  • Provide results and quantifiable data. You always want to showcase the results you achieved for each position you list. When doing so, use as many numbers as possible to describe those results. Data helps show the employer your ability to succeed. 

  • Be concise. Brevity is your friend when writing your resume. Provide just enough information to indicate what you achieved, and leave off anything that’s irrelevant, overly wordy, or doesn’t add value. 

  • Use keywords. Review the job description and incorporate keywords that align with your experience. Keywords in your resume stand out to hiring teams and help you bypass an employer’s ATS or applicant tracking system

Use your resume to network

You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know but who you know.” That is so true when it comes to executive-level job searching. Your network is going to be one of the keys to helping you propel your career forward. 

Did you know that the percentage of jobs filled through networking is astronomical? It’s 85%! Once you perfect your resume, don’t just throw it out there to recruiters, headhunters, and hiring managers – use it to leverage your network, too. 

Of course, you shouldn’t be walking up to the people in your network with your hand out. Take the time to build genuine relationships and show a willingness to collaborate with them before asking them for something. Keep in mind that the best way to get is to give.

CFO resume example

To drive all of these points home, we have a CFO resume example that we’d like to share with you. This example contains all of the essential elements of a successful CFO – their achievements, leadership, and financial acumen. As you review it, watch how the story unfolds and how there are real achievements listed that signify quantifiable results.


City, State or Country if international

Phone | Email

LinkedIn URL

Chief Financial Office Professional

Detail-oriented, driven CFO highly regarded for leadership and specialized excellence in all areas of Finance. Exceptional analytical skills, with the ability to examine and understand business needs and deliver comprehensive reports for external groups while exceeding stringent expectations. Accustomed to managing multiple projects simultaneously in fast-paced, deadline-driven environments. Strong collaborative skills with experience working in a team environment, able to work effectively alongside individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Core Competencies

  • Financial Accounting

  • Balance Sheet

  • Business Acumen

  • Financial Statements

  • Accounts Payable

  • Accounts Reconciliation

  • Leadership/ Coaching

  • Market Analysis

  • P&L Analysis

  • Cash Flow Projections

  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Process Improvement

  • Accounts Receivable

Professional Experience

Company | Location | Year to Year

Chief Financial Officer

  • Manage financial planning and budget (with focus on growth) for company with annual revenue of $1M+

  • Collaborate extensively with other executives to define and improve company mission

  • Implemented cost-saving initiatives and productivity tools, including streamlined internal audit procedures and use of SAP ERP software company-wide

  • Established competitive quotas and bonus program for sales department, increasing YoY revenue 10% in most recent fiscal year

  • Managed budget and vendor relations for company with 500+ employees

  • Spearheaded expansion of HR and accounting teams to keep up with company growth, assisting with recruiting of top talent

  • Financed a $35 million capital expansion project with Canadian Ex-Im Bank that provided unconventional financing that went beyond machinery financing to include soft costs, facility costs, and tooling. This financing package improved initial operating cash flow by $9 million and delivered ongoing savings of 11/2% for the cost of capital.

  • Obtained stretch financing for closing one Canadian plant and consolidating it into the remaining two plants.

  • Created common operating metrics for all plants that led to improved accountability for operations.

  • Initiated mid-month and last day of month flash reporting to the parent company.

  • Successfully directed all of the Y2K activities.

Company | Location | Year to Year


  • Led successful effort to re-engineer the publishing business unit. All facets of publishing including revenues, costs, product mix, philosophy, and frequency of publication were addressed. The publishing business unit became more focused, achieving bottom line improvements of $500k annually.

  • Key member of the management team that successfully completed the sale of the publishing business unit to new ownership

  • Implemented internal audit procedures which identified $100k in annual cost savings and revenue opportunities

  • Designed and implemented a new billing review process to ensure efficiency and accuracy

  • Negotiated cost savings and new vendor terms reducing operating costs by $50k, and improving cash flow by $150k

Company | Location | Year to Year

Accounting Manager

Responsible for day to day operations of the accounting department including treasury, safety, audit reviews, health insurance, and risk management. Manage a staff of three.

  • Consolidated departmental responsibilities and streamlined accounting system, reducing staff from five people to three, saving $75,000 annually.

  • Reduced time necessary to file quarterly and annual payroll tax returns, monthly, quarterly and annual financial statement from 20 to 15 days.

  • Spearheaded changes in safety program, resulting in a reduction of Worker's Compensation cost by $25,000 annually, a 10% savings.

  • Improved information flow to external auditors, reducing audit costs by $10,000 annually, a 25% savings.

  • Reduced Worker's Compensation experience rate by nine percentage points within 12 months.

  • Negotiated with insurance company and generated competitive bids to reduce insurance cost $20,000 annually, a 15% savings.

  • By establishing and maintaining a strong working relationship with the bank, converted $1.5 million line of credit to $1 million 4-year note and $500,000 line of credit.


Complete School Name, City, St/Country: List Graduation Years If Within the Last Ten Years
Complete Degree Name (Candidate) – Major (GPA: List if over 3.3)

  • Relevant Coursework: List coursework taken (even include those you are planning on taking)

  • Awards/Honors: List any awards, honors or big achievements

  • Clubs/Activities: List clubs and activities in which you participated

  • Relevant Projects: List 2-3 projects you have worked on

Feel free to use this CFO resume example as inspiration when you write your own or just as a template so you know how to lay out the information in your resume. 

CFO resume: key hard & soft skills 

There’s one more vital piece of knowledge you need to have about writing your resume and that’s the fact that you need a good mix of hard and soft skills. Employers want to know that you can create financial strategies and model forecasts, but they also want to know that you’ll be able to guide your team to financial success. 

  • Hard skills are things you know how to do because of education and experience. Hard skills are measurable.

  • Soft skills are characteristics you possess that make you good at what you do. Soft skills are necessary for success, though are not easily measured. 

As you review the CFO resume example provided, you’ll notice it includes a combination of hard and soft skills. It is a balancing act, but you have to be able to show future employers what you’ve done in the past and how you’ve done those things, too. 

CFO resume hard skill examples:

  • Financial analysis

  • Strategic planning

  • Budgeting and forecasting

  • Risk management

  • Regulatory compliance

  • Financial technology

  • Tax accounting

CFO resume soft skill examples:

  • Leadership

  • Communication

  • Collaboration

  • Adaptability

  • Problem-solving

  • Ethics

  • Conflict resolution

  • Organization 

So while your resume needs to tell a story about the achievements you’ve had during your career, you can’t forget to write about how you guided your team and what ethical considerations you may have had to make to get the results. When you incorporate both types of skills, you present yourself as a well-rounded financial leader. 

CFO resume: summary & last words

Before you put your foot on the next rung of the career ladder, you have to write your career story. A story that paints you as a leader who can embrace processes, emulate resiliency, and approach organizational finance with confidence. 

Of course, the best way to do that is by talking about past achievements and how your vision of the future aligns with the goals of a new company. You are a remarkable financial leader, the right resume will help prospective employers see that. 

Introduction to ZipJob: Professional Resume Writers

Considering the impact that your resume has on your career and your life, it may be a good idea to let the professional resume writers at ZipJob handle it for you. The writer that you’ll be paired with has years of experience working with executives and understands how to comb through your career history to pull out the most compelling achievements that will help you stand out from the crowd of other Chief Financial Officer job seekers. 

Why you should make use of our Resume Writing Services to land your next job as Chief Financial Officer

ZipJob’s resume writing services use the same technology that companies use to weed through candidates, ensuring that your resume won’t get hung up in the applicant tracking system (ATS). Yes, even executive resumes get pushed through these systems! 

Outside of getting you past the ATS, your writer knows what the hiring managers want to see from an executive-level resume. Your final document will resonate with those employers and increase your odds of receiving that coveted interview offer. 

Resume Writing Service for CFO: Let us write your resume

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t updated your resume in 10 years or have already started on a new one, we can work with you wherever you are in the process. Your value as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is unique and should be reflected as such in your resume. Your success is within reach and your next opportunity is one resume away.

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