CV writing for Payroll Vacancies

There's a lot to think about when you search for a payroll vacancies, and many who are new to the process understandably find it a little bewildering. In particular, we often hear that people don't know where to start with a CV.

As the only recruitment agency recommended by the Chartered Industry of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) Portfolio Payroll has been working with candidates and employers for over 20 years to help match CVs to the job.

On this page we cover the general elements which recruiters look for in a CV, and by following this advice you may find it easier to gain payroll employment.

To help you know just what to include in your CV let's look at a role which we often work with: a payroll clerk, also known as payroll administrator.

Get it together

A payroll clerk has a number of important duties, which recruiters look at CVs to see evidence of. Obviously then, you want your CV to show you are right for the job.

Think about it like this: If you go into a computer shop and the person behind the till looks like they belong in a fashion shop, something would feel wrong to you, and you might even lose trust in the person behind the till.

We're not saying that this is right, only that the best way to get through the goal posts is to match the expectations and use common sense to help you land the role. That is: a computer person should be working in a computer shop. And a payroll clerk should have a payroll clerk CV.

What to show recruiters

  1. Contact details: put this at the top of the CV and include your email address. This should ideally be a professional one, such as, and not something like, for obvious reasons.
  2. Employment: include relevant payroll employment history from most recent going backward. Try to have a maximum of two pages, but if you have a long history sometimes up to four is ok. Remember the more information you present the more difficult it gets for the reader to understand, so try to make a little go a long way.
  3. Valuable knowledge: list all your qualifications and the grades you achieved. Pay special attention to qualifications which show you have the right skills for the industry – such as IAB Level 1 Certificate in Payroll, IAB Level 1 Award in Bookkeeping, or AAT Certificate in Bookkeeping.
  4. Extra: include anything extra that represents you as a payroll clerk. If you have helped out with the bookkeeping for a charity, or if you have won an award that shows hard work, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Also, while it can add personality, hobbies and interests only boost your CV when they suit the role.

To help you to remember what order to put these on your CV think of it this way: Contact details, Employment, Valuable knowledge, and Extras gives you the acronym C.E.V.E.

Find payroll employment with Portfolio

When you want the perfect job match, Portfolio Payroll can help.

Using a recruitment agency gives you a team of experts who for years have helped to match employers with talent, and have helped thousands to use that talent in their career in payroll.

To find out more about jobs in payroll email us at, call 020 7247 9455 for permanent recruitment, or for temporary recruitment call 020 7247 2882.

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