Career Pathway Case Study: Envision a Promising Future as a CFO

Career Pathway Case Study: Envision a Promising Future as a CFO

Would you like to make around A$256,067 up to A$772,128 yearly? Do you have a passion for driving value and love to be surrounded by money? Are you an accounting graduate dreaming of having a C-suite title seven to 10 years from now? Start making a path towards securing a Chief Financial Officer role in the future today!

From strategically overseeing an organisation to the meeting, greeting, and forming profitable alliances with successful executives, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the most influential financial specialist in a firm and is accountable for an organisation’s monetary or fiscal health. With midsize and even micro-enterprises adapting to financial trends, the need for CFOs constantly surges, especially amid the current global pandemic as companies do their best to protect themselves and workforces most economically.

To give you a peek at what Chief Financial Officers do, let us try to wear their everyday shoe! Here are some of the critical responsibilities CFOs possesses:

  • Spearhead the collective financial planning processes and align the fiscal and business procedures with the firm’s directions.
  • Inspire, oversee, and forefront finance and accounting teams of nearly four up to hundreds of members, depending on the unit’s size.
  • Spark and strengthen connections with multiple key partners, allowing them to build their reputation, continuously learn, and gain attention.
  • Identify and execute effective financial strategies; perfect for tactical thinkers who love facing challenges and finding the right puzzle pieces.
  • Keep a watchful eye on cash flow, produce financial reports, and ensure that the right amount of money goes to the right project.

Outside work, successful CFOs know how to have fun, too! For example, Tim Hudson, a reputable Chief Financial Officer of Etairos Health, possessing over 24 years in CFO roles for various companies, perfectly balances his work and leisure time. According to the article published by CFO, a business-to-business media brand for chief financial officers, Hudson also competed in the 2012 Ironman World Championship. Aside from him, other CFOs engage in various recreational activities, such as water skiing, mountain climbing, ice hockey, and seeing the world alongside their loved ones.

It reveals the beauty of securing a Chief Financial Officer role; you can have a taste of financial stability and live a life of liberty. However, a CFO role is not easy to acquire. The good news is that there are plenty of pathways to choose from; you need to find the perfect one. With that said, this case study is aimed to help recent graduates or those who are lost along their career paths towards toggling their way up the career ladder.

Kickstart your CFO Career

Business connoisseurs usually highlight the fruits of their successes, such as their financial security, uplifting a tier-one company’s net worth, or even touring from one country to another. But behind those big and small victories is a decades-long strategising and stress. You need to know that the journey to becoming a CFO is NOT EASY!

You will encounter a few imaginary barriers that might block you along the way. It may include lack of time or financial resources, alarm against failure or self-belief, and many more. Take, for example, Howard Schultz, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Starbucks Coffee Company from 1986 to 2000. Starbucks is famous for being the place-to-be to get your daily fancy coffee-fix, but did you know that Schultz never grew up in a posh life? As a matter of fact, according to an article published by CNBC, he was raised in a housing project in Canarsie, Brooklyn, a poor community where Starbucks does not even exist. But don’t be discouraged! Schultz and all the other CFOs ought to start somewhere, right? Therefore, no matter how big the hurdles are, securing this job is very DOABLE!

If you dream of becoming the Chief Financial Officer in the future, here is a checklist for you:

  1. Build a strong foundation by achieving a degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business.
  2. Fortify it by unlocking a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) or passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination.
  3. Secure accounting or finance internship experiences and entry-level roles, such as accounting assistant, staff accountant, and financial analyst.
  4. Don’t get stuck; aim for leadership opportunities within the financial departments.

Begin Your Streamlined CFO Journey

Since you have stuck around and read our blog a little further, it reflects how dedicated you are towards locking your CFO target. Give yourself a pat! Why? Simply because you are a step closer!

Knowing what you want to achieve gives you something to focus on and work towards. Now that you know your ideal endgame, it’s incredibly crucial to take the time to plan your career. By doing so, you can be very confident that you’re heading in the right direction and doing everything possible to reach your goals.

When taking public transportation, you are required to present a ticket to get to your destination. Bear in mind that your resume and cover letter shall be your first and often only chance to make a good impression on potential employers during your job search journey. Therefore, these documents are your golden tickets towards becoming a Chief Financial Officer! It’s essential to take the time to create a CV and motivation letter that showcase your skills and abilities.

Here are some must-have skills on a CFO’s resume and cover letter:

  • Financial Analysis and Reporting
  • Accounting and Forecasting
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Managerial and Corporate Finance
  • Internal Controls

As an aspirant, it will be difficult to acquire those aforementioned hard skills, especially if you are a recent graduate or an industry shifter. Despite that, you can still formulate attention-grabbing job search documents by including promising, finance-related skills, such as these:

  • Communication and Presentation Skills
  • Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Skills
  • Leadership skills, including the capacity to work with and inspire a team
  • Organisational Skills
  • Professional and Ethical

In addition to having a strong resume and cover letter in your job search toolbox, you must have a reliable support from people who know the in and out of the industry. But why?

In sports, each team player MUST be aware of the common goal – to win! Each member shall use the available resources, such as strength, time, and wit, to champion the match. Yet, behind every victory is a coach who dedicated energy and time to develop the team’s performance. As a job seeker or someone craving a job promotion, having a career coach or counsellor can improve your goal chances.

What does it mean to have a career counsellor? You will be receiving support and guidance from an industry expert who has encountered and overcame the challenges you may meet. According to Open Universities Australia, securing a CFO role can be a decade or more in the making… if you are a diligent worker. In the course of your quest, many questions and barriers will arise, which can prolong the process. Dealing with them alone can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming. But with a career expert by your side, you can reach your CFO destination sooner and way easier.

Our team, The Perfect Resume, is not only experienced with and dedicated to crafting effective application documents such as resumes, cover letters, key selection criteria, etc. We also take pride in our proven ability to help diverse job seekers strengthen their proficiencies and conquer their deficiencies through our career counselling services.

The career counselling services we deliver are tailored and unique to all aspirants’ requirements and goals. We look at each career history, identify what you have enjoyed and disliked, then set goals, guiding you on a pathway to a future that you can enjoy. We can also investigate the barriers getting in between you and where you want to be.

From Rookies to High-Paid Finance Cookies

There are no shortcuts to real success. However, you can figure out what is best for you by planning your career and having the right tools, resources, and support! With over 40 years of accumulated experience, The Perfect Resume has aided many finance industry newbies in Australia to secure better roles and head up above the career ladder, like Simon!

Simon has been toggling throughout his career until he sought help and met the team. Unhappy with how little he is earning and carrying his goal on top of his head, Simon eventually found the route for him after receiving the guidance of The Perfect Resume’s Career Counsellors.

“I had zero direction before the team came into my life. I hated my job, and I knew I was meant for more as a finance degree holder. At a shorter timeframe and because of my hands-on career counsellors from The Perfect Resume, I am no longer viewed as a rookie, but now a high-paid finance cookie!”
- Simon

How The Perfect Resume Can Help

Let The Perfect Resume help you save time by writing your cover letter, including handling your resume writing or LinkedIn profile upgrade! Feel free to give us a call at 1300 217 374 or email your resume to One of our Professional Resume Writers skilled in understanding the industry you are in will review it for FREE and offer helpful career advice for your dream CFO role as a starting point. Likewise, if you find this article useful, do not forget to share the tips and pass the kindness along to your fellow job seeker!