Payroll Specialist Resume Examples

Payroll specialists handle payroll administration for employers, making them absolutely essential personnel within any business or organization. With 149,800 payroll and timekeeping clerks employed in 2019 (along with those of the 666,500 employed HR specialists and 18,000 compensation and benefits managers who also handle employee payroll), there’s a significant position of the U.S. workforce dedicated to making sure every worker gets properly paid.

Our payroll specialist resume example was written by our team of certified resume writers to help applicants learn what goes into getting hired for this position. Below we’ll break down what goes into writing a resume that’s likely to impress recruiters.


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What is a Payroll Specialist ?

A payroll specialist is responsible for managing all aspects of payroll and related taxes for a business or organization. They may be in charge of preparing tax information, recording attendance of hourly workers, distributing paychecks and ensuring compliance with labor laws. Payroll specialists work in almost every industry, and are most commonly employed by local governments, schools, employment services, accounting firms and other private businesses.

To qualify to become a payroll specialist, most job seekers usually only need a high school diploma or GED, but a number of employers hire candidates with associate degrees, or at least some college education.

What Makes This a Great
Payroll Specialist Resume Example?

Submitting a well-written resume is the surest way to grab a recruiter’s attention. Our payroll specialist resume example, crafted by certified resume writers, was built around job-specific language to demonstrate what employers expect. Study our examples to learn how to write your own impressive resume.

Here’s how our payroll specialist resume example helps get you hired:

  • Expert-level writing: Your payroll specialist resume needs to include the right terminology to show recruiters you’re familiar with your field. That’s why our resume writers included industry-specific phrases like “data entry skills” and “deduction and contribution forms” in this example. Borrow keywords directly from our examples, or use our Resume Builder’s pre-written content for additional, customizable suggestions.
  • Demonstrating proper format use: Choosing the right format is vital to ensuring your resume is organized in the most impressive way possible. This payroll specialist resume example wisely uses a chronological format to showcase the applicant’s many consecutive years in their industry. An entry-level candidate, however, should probably use a skills-focused functional resume format instead.
  • Picking the right template: Your resume template determines the look of your resume, which itself should match the company culture of your future employer. Since payroll specialists and other HR professionals typically work in more traditional office settings, one of our traditional resume templates would best communicate you’re right for this role.

3 Payroll Specialist Professional Summary Examples

A well-crafted professional summary should immediately and succinctly show hiring managers you’re the most qualified for a job. Follow our payroll specialist resume example for resume-writing inspiration or take advantage of our Resume Builder’s pre-written suggestions for even more expert help.

Here are some professional summary examples that our builder might suggest:

  1. Organized and efficient payroll specialist highly experienced in accounting and account reconciliation. Detail-oriented with excellent problem-solving skills. Possess extensive payroll software knowledge, including QuickBooks and ADP payroll, with proven track record of supervising finance and HR personnel at two Fortune 500 companies.
  2. Professional payroll specialist with strong analytical and administrative skills. Accurately processed payroll for over 200 employees for five consecutive years. Three-time recipient of inter-department awards for outstanding performance in accounting and finance roles.
  3. Data-driven payroll specialist with eight years of experience processing and analyzing timely and accurate payroll. Proactive with strong communication skills. Able to adhere to strict timelines and comply with regulatory guidelines. Promoted a positive work culture by supervising and coaching new payroll associates.

3 Payroll Specialist Work Experience Examples

Your work experience section should communicate specific, measurable accomplishments achieved for past employers. Follow our resume examples as writing guides this section, or let our Resume Builder guide you with pre-written content suggestions, which you can easily customize with your own metrics.

Here are some work experience examples you could find on a payroll specialist’s resume:

  1. Efficiently administered payroll and benefits for over 600 employees each month.
  2. Maximized department productivity through streamlined training and performance monitoring, reducing payroll processing time by 15%.
  3. Recorded wages, deductions and other tax data in collaboration with HR department personnel.

Top Skills for Your Payroll Specialist Resume

Recruiters hiring payroll specialists look for resumes with the right accounting, tax management and communication skills needed to get the job done. Use our examples as a jumping-off point when brainstorming your own skills, or make use of skills suggested by our Resume Builder.

Here are some of the hard and soft skills we might recommend for this section:

Hard Skills

  • Licensed payroll certification specialist 
  • Complex mathematics skills
  • QuickBooks and ADP
  • Data entry and analysis

Soft Skills

  • Honesty and reliability
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict resolution
  • Written and verbal communication

Building Your Payroll Specialist Resume with Our Builder:

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Payroll Specialist FAQs

Which industries hire the most payroll specialists in the United States?

Big and small businesses of all types employ payroll specialists. However, they’re mostly likely to be found working within HR departments to help oversee payroll management for clients and employees. Industries like accounting, healthcare, education, social services and more are among those who employ the most payroll specialists.

What are the qualifications and certifications required for a payroll specialist?

Payroll specialists may need an HR-related bachelor’s degree to qualify for their role. Additional certifications will also boost your odds of employment. For example, becoming a Certified Payroll Professional, a distinction awarded by the American Payroll Association or the Society for Human Resource Management, may better qualify you for these positions.

What is the most useful software for a payroll specialist?

For candidates applying to work for smaller businesses, familiarity or proficiency with Intuit Payroll or Paychex Flex can be useful. Larger organizations typically use accounting software like Wave, QuickBooks or Priority AccountEdge for administration, automatic calculation, and auditing.