In my professional network, I know about a dozen CFOs, and as my ambitions after my MBA also go into that direction, I thought it would be a good idea to have a good look at their CVs. And…what better place to check people’s profile than on Linkedin? Thus, nerdy as I am, I copied their profiles and look what I got: Of course, I took out a lot of nonsensical stuff, names of people and places, and obvious terms like ‘Finance’ and ‘Management’. After this sifting, this is what I am left over with. Let’s have a decent view on what this tells us.
- Titles: Obviously, anyone’s keen to call themselves CFO. What is very clear in this picture, is that most CFO’s have had multiple roles. Most frequently as directors, sometimes as VPs or just ‘leaders‘, very often in a ‘group‘ function. What is quite baffling, is the low frequency of the ‘controller‘ profile, which is no more important than an ‘accounting‘ job.
- So 2 takeaways: if you want to become CFO: have some proof of leadership and seek to lead a ‘group’ of businesses.
- Skills: secondly, let’s look at the skills these people portray to have. Most prominent are ‘planning‘ and ‘development‘. Secondly, everything connected to ‘analysis‘ and ‘strategic‘ apparently adds to the CV as well. ‘Reporting‘ as well as ‘administration‘ seems to be a less crucial skill. Also ‘projects‘ rate alarmingly low on the CFO profile!
- So the takeaway from this is: make sure to be doing consistenly forward-looking tasks.
- Profile: finally, what else do we see? Hobbies seem to be absent in a CFO’s life, although that might be due to the discreet nature of the average finance guy. More importantly, a ‘University‘ degree comes in handy, as well as having done an ‘International‘, ‘Responsible‘ and ‘Technology‘ related role.
- Big losers in this popularity contest? ‘Legal’, ‘board’ and any mention of ERP systems. An occasional mention of sales or customer occurs but clearly the cross-over to other roles or functions does not happen. Also, any M&A related task seems to be less important as well.
There you go, now I shared my holy grail to pimp up that CV and get that CFO job. As usual, share, retweet and comment the h*ll out of this article. Let’s all learn something today!