What to Include in an Accountant Resume
- Professional History
- Educational Background
- Industry Certifications
- Technical Skills
As you put your accountant resume together using good accountant resume samples, you will need to choose between a chronological and functional format. The chronological format lists your experience in order by date, and is the most common format people use. The functional resume highlights your career accomplishments and spends less time on your professional experience.
Accountants who are just entering the job market, or have long gaps in their employment history, will want to use the functional resume to show off their abilities. But if you have been building a strong career in the accounting field, then a chronological resume would suit you best.
How to Write the Accountant Resume Summary Statement
If you write a strong summary statement, then the hiring manager should be interested in continuing with the rest of your resume. Here are a couple of summary statement samples to help you understand what you are trying to accomplish with this part of your resume:
Dedicated forensic accountant who has spent years studying a wide variety of accounting methods, including complex bank reconciliations and false P&L reports. A hard worker who puts in the hours necessary to deliver the information that is required for each project. Experienced in tracking accounts payable and receivables, comparing audited books from year to year, analyzing annual reports for errors and tracking incorrect calculations to their origins.
Reliable staff accountant with experience working on payroll, accounts receivable and inventory. Developed a strong background in customizing inventory software platforms to meet the needs of the logistics and inventory control groups. Extensive experience in working with third-party payroll providers and auditing payroll records to ensure accuracy.
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How to Write the Accountant Education Section
If you finished with a cum laude designation or any similar honors, then include that in your education section as well. You will want to leave your professional certification history for a separate section.
How to Write the Accountant Work Experience Section
When it comes to the accounting field, most potential employers will be interested in what you have done in the past 10 to 15 years. Accounting methods and tools change so much that anything you did 20 years ago may no longer be relevant to the employer. While you should list all of your professional experience in your work history section, you will notice that many accountant resume samples only want you to offer detail for the last 10 to 15 years. Any jobs that go beyond that time frame can be listed without any extra details.
Employers want to see how creative you can be when solving accounting problems, and they want to see professionals who can streamline operations to save the company money. For example, your ability to shorten the bank reconciliation process by a week each year is valuable because it gets results while saving the company money. You will also want to include your ability to develop effective processes to ensure the accuracy of spreadsheets and financial books.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Accountant Work Experience Section
How to Write the Accountant Skills Section
When you list the software you have worked with, you can see from various accountant resume samples that it is important to be very specific. Instead of grouping programs under the Microsoft Office name, separate them and mention them individually. Other accounting software names that get attention are Oracle, Hyperion, SAP, Quickbooks, Crystal Reports and Xero. You can also list every individual type of software you have worked with as well. For example, your experience with Oracle 11i software will give a hiring manager a precise representation of your technical background.
How to Write the Accountant Industry Certifications Section
Your certifications should be listed by the year they were achieved, the certifying organization, where you earned your certification and the certification designation. A sample listing would look like this:
1978 – American Institute of CPAs – University of Georgia – CPA
Should I Include References in my Accountant Resume?
On your separate references page, it helps to have a variety of people who can speak about your professional skills. You will not need any personal references for an accountant resume, unless the company requests them during the interview process. A good array of references includes former managers, former clients (if you ever worked as a private contractor), co-workers you used to have regular contact with in a professional capacity, former vendors or bank representatives you worked with and third-party service providers (payroll companies, for example) that you used to work with on a regular basis.
Accountant Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- Your resume is too focused on your professional experience and not your specific accomplishments. Hiring managers want to see what you have done in your career to benefit past employers, and they want to talk to you about how you will bring those skills to their company.
- If you write a generic objective statement in your resume, then it is as if you are wasting the hiring manager’s time. The hiring manager wants to see specific career objectives you have, and how you will benefit the company as you achieve those objectives.
- You present a resume that is the wrong length. Too many accounting professionals leave out some of their accomplishments just to get their resume down to one page because they heard that one-page resumes are required. Then there are the accountants who write too much and give information the hiring manager does not need. Do not be afraid to go more than one page if you are offering concise, valuable information. At the same time, do not be intimidated by a resume that appears to be too short. The hiring manager is more interested in the information on your resume than how long it is.
- Personal pronouns in an accounting resume will make the hiring manager put you in the pile of people not to be called. Never use the words “I” or “me” in your resume because they take away from the professional tone of your qualifications.
Job Prospects in the Accountant Industry
Entry-level accountant positions, such as auditing clerk and bookkeeper, will experience similar growth through 2022. On average, 20 percent of all accounting professionals work more than 40 hours per week, with severe spikes in work hours at the end of each year due to companies closing their books for the year and the beginning of tax season.
Use our accountant resume samples to create a resume that will include all of the information hiring managers need. Be sure to highlight your strongest qualifications, and remember to include all of your professional certifications.
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