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What to Include in a Bookkeeper Resume

There is a lot of technical information in a bookkeeper resume, so it is important to use a format that allows your best qualifications to stand out.
Not to mention, a bookkeeper resume is unique in that it highlights professional accomplishments more than most other resumes do. When you look at bookkeeper resume samples, you can see a strong emphasis placed on listing accomplishments that either saved a company money, or helped to make an accounting process more efficient.
While the emphasis on accomplishments is important to a successful bookkeeper resume, it does not change the fact that every resume is different. You need to construct a resume that is designed for your specific career path and for the job you're applying for, and you can use bookkeeper resume samples to help you find the right format that would fit your career goals.
There are a few sections that every bookkeeper resume should include and they are:
  • Areas of Expertise
  • Career Accomplishments
  • Advanced Skills
You can use bookkeeping resume samples to help determine whether you should use the chronological or functional resume format. A chronological resume orders information from most recent to least, while a functional format focuses mainly on presenting core skills and achievements. In the bookkeeping field, either resume format would be effective in getting the attention of a hiring manager, but it's good to know that the chronological format is the most widely used.

How to Write the Bookkeeper Resume Summary Statement

If you take a look at good bookkeeper resume samples, you will see trends when it comes to what types of information should be included in the bookkeeper summary statement. The best summary statements indicate the types of accounting software the candidate can use, the types of bookkeeping tasks they can perform and one or two soft skills that do make a difference to hiring managers. Bookkeeping professionals need to be able to work closely with a variety of people within a company, which makes those soft skills important too.
As you can see from various bookkeeper resume samples, the resume summary statement should not repeat exactly what's mentioned later on in the resume, but rather sum up information in a unique way. It can also be beneficial to bring up any tenures that would impress a hiring manager. For example, if you were the bookkeeper for a large corporation for 15 years, then that sort of stability can be valuable to a hiring manager. Here are a couple of bookkeeper summary statements you can use as examples:
Meticulous bookkeeper who can perform a variety of payroll tasks, while maintaining accurate aging reports. Strong accounting software skills that include comprehensive abilities on Quickbooks and Microsoft Money. Reliable professional who was the head bookkeeper for the field sales group at ABC Corporation for 12 years.
Responsible professional who is able to work closely with others and establish a strong sense of teamwork. Adept at expense tracking and cash flow monitoring, as well as developing cash expenditure reports. Reliable bookkeeper who meets corporate deadlines and delivers accurate accounting information with each spreadsheet and report.

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How to Write the Bookkeeper Education Section

As with the other elements in a bookkeeping resume, the education section should be straightforward and contain all of the pertinent information the hiring manager needs. An examination of bookkeeper resume samples shows that it is only necessary to list the highest level of education that you have achieved, as opposed to cataloging your entire educational career. The exception here would be if you earned a two-year degree that is complimentary in some way to a four-year degree. For example, a two-year degree in medical terminology and a four-year degree in accounting will be of interest to a hiring manager in the medical sales field.
Details to include when listing this information include degree obtained, the school where you obtained the degree, and the location of the institution. It is not necessary to list graduation date and GPA unless you are a recent graduate.
It is not uncommon for bookkeepers to have industry certifications and professional affiliations, but this information does not require its own resume section. It is acceptable to put together all of your certifications with your formal education information to make it easier for a hiring manager to scan your resume.

How to Write the Bookkeeper Work Experience Section

One of the fortunate things about the work experience portion of a bookkeeping resume is that it is easy to keep all of your entries concise and to the point. While soft skills do matter to hiring managers, a comprehensive list of associated bookkeeping skills is much more important in helping your resume to stand apart from the other candidates. As demonstrated by bookkeeper resume samples, quantifying your accomplishments in this section is also best practice.
You can help your work experience section to gain more attention by being specific in your job descriptions. For example, instead of saying you maintained the petty cash ledger for two different companies, say that one ledger was for office expenses and the other was for equipment maintenance. When you add more detail to each work task, it shows your versatility and your ability to adapt your skills to various situations.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Bookkeeper Work Experience Section

  • Reconciled
  • Monitored
  • Maintained
  • Updated
  • Created
  • Developed
  • Established
  • Issued
  • Prepared
  • Balanced
  • Posted
  • Compared
  • Checked
  • Analyzed
  • Managed

How to Write the Bookkeeper Skills Section

Through the course of outlining your work experience, you will already display a large portion of your bookkeeping skills.
The Advanced Skills section should not repeat the skills already mentioned, but should rather show that you are able to balance your technical abilities with the companyメs requirements. Some good advanced skills to mention would include spreadsheet development, client negotiations, and any managerial skills you have developed over the years. These are skills that show your ability to adapt to any situation and use the resources around you to get the job done.
The soft skills in your bookkeeping resume would deal more with the way you interact with co-workers and follow company policy to complete reporting tasks. Most bookkeepers do not interact with customers, so the idea that you are good at customer service is not going to carry much value for a hiring manager. However, your ability to successfully chair inter-departmental meetings to clarify bookkeeping policies would be extremely valuable.
TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Bookkeeper cover letters.

Should I Include References in my Bookkeeper Resume

When it comes to references in a bookkeeper resume, you will notice that most bookkeeper resume samples follow the convention of not listing references directly on the resume. You can choose to include a statement at the bottom of your resume that your references are available on request, but that is not considered mandatory either.
When it comes time to provide references, do make sure that you ask permission to include your references before you put them forward to a hiring manager.

Bookkeeper Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

  • A bookkeeper resume is a precise professional document that should be accurate and concise. One of the more significant mistakes people make when putting together their bookkeeping resumes is they simply do not proofread for errors. A simple spelling error can turn the facets of your bookkeeping skills into faucets. Before you send out this professional representation of your skills, you need to make sure that it is free of spelling, punctuation and grammar errors.
  • Within the bookkeeper field is a wide variety of very specific job titles. These job titles can help a hiring manager to gain a more comprehensive understanding of what type of job you did and your responsibilities. Do not make the mistake of using a generic bookkeeping title to describe your past positions when you had a specific title you were given.
  • Bookkeepers perform so many tasks that many of them become routine and, to the bookkeeper, unimportant. But it can often be those unimportant tasks that help to separate your resume from the other job candidates. Do not take your accomplishments for granted when you create your resume. Take credit for everything you have done, even if it seemed routine to you while you were doing it.
  • One mistake that is easy to make with a bookkeeping resume is to forget to include volunteer and charity work you have done. If you spend a couple of hours each Saturday doing the books for your church, then that is something worth putting on your resume. This is especially true if you perform bookkeeping tasks for charitable organizations that you do not perform in your paid work.

Job Prospects in the Bookkeeper Industry

          The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the growth rate for the bookkeeper industry to be at 11 percent from 2012 to 2022. This rate of growth is in line with the national average for all other industries, but the bookkeeping industry could see a spike in job openings if two trends remain intact over the coming years.
As the global economy continues to recover, there is a growing need for bookkeepers to work for new companies and existing companies that are expanding. Economic growth always means more job opportunities, but this is especially true in the bookkeeper field as more companies require professionals to track daily expenses and maintain financial records.
    The other trend that is expected to cause a spike in bookkeeper employment is the changes in government regulations regarding corporate financial accounting. As laws regarding financial reporting become stricter, the need for qualified bookkeepers and accounting experts is expected to grow.
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