As an accountant, you must show potential employers that you are accurate and precise. The first chance you’ll have to convince them you have those qualities is with your resume. When you choose the best resume format for an accountant, you are more likely to land an interview for that coveted position.
Functional vs. Chronological Resume
The first choice you must make is what type of resume you should use. The two main types of resumes are functional and chronological resumes. Functional resumes often omit dates of prior positions, emphasizing your skills. Functional resume format may also list work experiences in order of relevance as opposed to chronologically. If you have significant relevant experience that was some time ago, consider placing that experience high up on your resume. In business and finance, employers typically prefer chronological resumes over functional ones, so the best resume format for you to use will usually be a chronological one.
With a chronological resume, you list your prior positions in reverse chronological order. You also list the dates at which you worked at each position along with the name of the company and the duties you had. This provides the information that potential employers want to see. Even if you have a gap in your work history, a well-written resume may still result in your landing an interview. You can explain issues in your work history during your interview, and if you’re qualified for the job, the employer should be understanding about time spent unemployed or working in unrelated industries.
What Information and Sections to Include and Why
Every professional resume, including the best resume format for an accountant, should start with your name and contact information at the top. Instead of including the traditional resume objective statement in which you state what you want out of the organization, use a resume summary statement. A resume summary statement is a paragraph consisting of about four to six lines that serves as your elevator pitch. In your summary statement, include your main qualifications, which could be educational attainments, finely honed skills or significant experience in the field.
Your education section follows next. In it, list your degrees in reverse chronological order with the institutions you attended. In this section, also list any certifications you have received, such as your CPA. After the education section, describe your experience. This should again be in reverse chronological order. Under each job listing, emphasize the achievements you made while working at the position. Where you are able, use concrete terms. For example, if you improved a company’s financial efficiency, state it in terms of percentages, such as, “Improved efficiency by 22 percent”; this comes off more credibly than “Increased efficiency.”
Tips for the best resume format for an Accountant
As an accountant, having the correct sections and using a chronological resume is not enough to make it the best resume format for you. You must convey professionalism, and you can achieve that through your resume itself. Professional resumes should include good margins of white space around all edges of the document ranging from 0.75 to 1 inch. Do not use color, irregular or hard-to-read fonts or photographs anywhere on your resume, and make sure your font size is at least 11-point. Horizontal lines detract from your information, so don’t include them. After you have finished, proofread your resume carefully and have a trusted colleague do the same. Always use heavyweight paper for the best resume format for an accountant position.
For more assistance, LiveCareer has ample resources relating to the resume writing process.