The accounting field covers a large area of careers. From in-house accountants that specialize in one area, such as accounts receivable, to those working for a firm that manages the finances for multiple businesses, the key to writing a quality accounting resume is to use numbers to show you will be an asset to the company you are applying to.
Let’s take a look at a what a CPA’s resume might look like and why.
What this writing guide will cover:
As stated before there are many types of accountants. For the sake of this resume, our accountant is a CPA. He has a good amount of experience working for a firm that manages the books for businesses in the private sector.
Due to his experience, our applicant could have opted to open his resume with a professional profile, but instead he went with a simpler career objective. He chose this approach because he wanted to isolate the length of his experience right away,
Later, in the work experience section, he can get into more detail about what he has done. But as the position he is applying to specified several time that the successful candidate will have over 5 years of related experience, it was important to make sure a hiring manager can quickly see that requirement is filled.
The accounting field is a numbers based business. Don’t be afraid to take the same approach to your accountant resume that you do with your job.
In the work experience section, use quantifiable numbers to show what you have done for your previous employers.
Our applicant does this in one very noticeable way:
Mr. Harris did not use many more numbers, which most people should. But, because this number is very important, he wants it to stand out.
Like in the career objective, this one number is isolated so it really speaks volumes. Anyone that can save a small business the equivalent of one person’s salary while not negatively effecting the business is worth a closer look.
If you don’t have one really impressive statistic like this, then make sure to use more hard numbers to show the scope of your duties and abilities.
Sometimes your resume will need to get through an automated screening program that larger businesses and firms might use called an applicant tracking system. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to include a lot of industry specific lingo.
In the rest of his work experience section you can see Mr. Harris uses words like:
If you are applying to a specific department, spend a few extra minutes to make sure your resume contains the most common job related words for that department. If you don’t, your resume might never land in front of human eyes.
Our applicant also included one bullet point that while not containing any numbers, it shows both his expertise and his current employer’s trust.
Mr. Harris has earned the task of training new hires in how the company operates. That is a huge responsibility and something you absolutely want to include.
Furthermore, the applicant was an excellent student.
If you graduated with a high GPA (>3.5) or were awarded any type of honors, include it. While it’s generally not as important as the experience you can show in your work history, it won’t hurt.
And, don’t hold back on your other accomplishments. Here are a few extras you should consider including if they fit your background:
You want to sell yourself, so include anything relevant that makes you look like a valuable employee. Just remember, a little boasting is okay, just never ever lie.
In the day of advanced computing and software, when you apply to any business-related job you need to write your resume for both automating screening programs and human eyes.
Include all the typical industry jargon, paying special attention to mimic the vocabulary in any online job postings you have seen for the position. But, also make sure you include important details about specific accomplishments that will catch the eye of a human viewer.
Lastly, accounting is a numbers-based career, so use hard numbers in your accounting resume where applicable. A few well-placed numerical details go a long way in showing what you’re capable of.