Job Description Decoded: Senior-Level Finance Position

In this week's "Job Descriptions Decoded," I feature a position in the Atlanta area for a Controller. This is the second in a series – last week I examined a tire maintenance job listing – where I analyze a live job listing in a different industry from AOL Jobs and guide you through how to apply for the job and how to interpret what the hiring authority wants to know.

When you apply for a position that doesn't list the company's name, you will not be able to rely on research about the organization for your application. Instead, everything you know will be from the job description itself, which can be useful (as it is limited and you can't be responsible for knowing about an anonymous company's culture).

Accomplishing business plans and identifying risks and opportunities is a #1 goal for a Controller. You should use this in a headline. Think about your best call: what decision did you make that resulted in your organization winning an opportunity or avoiding a risk?

These could be headline topics for a "Highlights of Qualifications" section you list at the top of your resume. You may want to list accomplishments related to (1) financial management, accounting and reporting, (2) treasury and (3) Human Resources.

Be sure to include specifics about your experience developing budgets and presenting to the board. Do not assume the recruiter will give you credit for doing things you do not outline on your resume. Be clear and incorporate what skills you used and results of your work. For example, "Use analytic and communication skills to create targeted, succinct and impactful presentations to board members, resulting in (fill in a major accomplishment here)."

This is getting at the nitty gritty of the job description. There are so many keywords in this description, your toughest job is incorporating as many as possible in a meaningful way that does not sound like a list of nothing but keywords.

Make sure you include results to describe how you've addressed all of these items. The description calls for a "no surprises" approach, which may suggest something about the organization's history. Did a past Controller keep secrets? You should be sure to subtlety incorporate your history of reporting and keeping superiors in the loop regarding problems and plans. This may be a topic to explore with a recruiter to find out why this is specifically mentioned if you're called in for an interview.

Again, the communication piece seems very key. Don't underestimate how important it is to add details about how strong your communication skills are and how well you've been able to use them in previous jobs for positive results. Show, don't just tell. The recruiter will be most impressed when you incorporate details and accomplishments for this item.

You can use all of these items to support the highlights of qualifications headlines referenced above.

More good fodder for your bullet points in your job descriptions. The ideal candidate will be able to support being able to oversee and manage all of these items. Just because the job description does not specify much regarding each item does not mean that you should not be detailed in your descriptions. Don't just list "revenue analysis" on your resume; note how you have addressed a company's needs regarding that and other items listed here.

This means that you may never hear back regarding your application. If you are not perfectly qualified, with the exact skills and background listed, your resume will go into the "black hole" of applicants. In other words, if you want a call back, make sure your address all of the specifics listed in the description.

You can consider contacting this recruiter via LinkedIn, but don't call.

Don't expect relocation expenses to be covered.

These details should be woven directly into your description of how you have accomplished the other items listed in this description.

Most of these are "soft skills," which you should illustrate in your resume. Do your best to "show" how well you grasp these skills. Provide accomplishments related to successes in these areas.

Don't waste any time if you are interested in this job. Do you get the idea that this recruiter does not want you to call him?

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