20+ Accountant Resume Examples & Writing Guideline 2024

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Accountant is one of the most in-demand and highest-paid professions in the corporate world. An accountant's primary responsibility involves:

  • Interpreting financial data.
  • Creating balance sheets and profit and loss reports.
  • Helping companies manage their financial resources effectively. 

Because of the high demand, the talent landscape for accountants is highly competitive; hence, having a professional accountant resume can increase the chances of getting an interview and being hired. On average, every job posting attracts roughly 250 applicants, but only 2% of these will get interviewed, and only 1% will receive a job offer.

In this article, we will walk you through all the essential steps in crafting a winning accountant resume that catches any hiring manager's attention. 

Without further ado, let's jump right into this guideline.

How to Write a Winning Accountant Resume

1) Personal and Contact Information

It's common knowledge that everyone should have their full details at the beginning of their resume, which includes full name, professional title, email address, phone number, and location. This information makes it easier for employers and hiring managers to grasp key details about the applicant quickly.

However, a few things must be kept in mind when writing this section of a resume.

  1. Full name is the first and most essential information to help identify a person. If you have an unusual name, consider including your English name mentioned in a bracket.
  2. Professional title refers to the individual's job title, providing a quick overview of their professional identity. Make sure to align this title with the one you're applying for. 
  3. Email address is crucial for communication purposes. Employers or recruiters may use this to contact you for further details or schedule interviews. While using an email address you have since college is okay, make sure that it looks (or sounds) professional.
  4. Phone Number: Providing a contact number is another means for potential employers to get in touch. If you cannot be reached via phone number for any particular reason, remember to mention your preferred contact method in your cover letter.
  5. Location information is optional as it sometimes can cause bias. This information can opt-out if you're applying for remote work, or you can mention the country instead of the city you're in.

💡 Pro Tips: You can also provide your LinkedIn URL, CakeResume profile, portfolio, or social media handles (if relevant).

2) Resume Headline

A resume headline is a brief line that summarizes your entire resume. It helps create a good and strong first impression and guides the recruiter's attention towards the subsequent information in the resume. 

When writing a resume headline, it's recommended that you should only include essential information like your experience and expertise.  

Let's have a look at these two accountant resume headline examples:

"A detail-oriented accountant with a focus on financial planning."

"A certified accountant with 40 years of professional experience."

"Flexible CPA with a talent for adapting and evolving accounting processes and technology. Highly skilled at budget forecasting, financial reporting, and corporate tax planning. Specializes in financial planning and analysis for both private and public entities."

"Driven accountant with 3+ years of experience working with high-performing companies. Skilled at communicating and analyzing report findings with executives. Excellent written and oral communication skills."

💡 Pro Tips: You can use this resume headline in your LinkedIn or CakeResume bio to catch the attention of a recruiter.

3) Career Objectives

An accountant resume objective is the focal point of your career aspirations, succinctly encapsulating your goals. Ideally, it should be written in 2-3 lines at the top of your resume.

To write a good career objective, make sure to:

  1. Keep it brief.
  2. Clearly mention the role or type of work you're seeking.
  3. Highlight your skills.
  4. Express your enthusiasm, and more importantly.
  5. Tailor it according to the job you're applying for.

You can use this formula to craft your career objective sentences:

[Position] with [Company] where I can [action verb] [key skill] to [achieve a goal or contribute to the company's success].

A well-crafted career objective can help capture the recruiter's attention and make your application memorable. Let's have a look at these career objective examples: 

"Experienced accountant seeking a tax accountant position at Bright, eager to contribute my problem-solving and analytical skills to the company's success."

"As a meticulous and results-driven accountant, I am eager to contribute my comprehensive financial expertise and analytical skills to a dynamic accounting team at P&P Firm. Seeking a challenging role where my attention to detail and commitment to accuracy can support the company's financial objectives and foster professional growth."

"Experienced accountant with a proven financial analysis and reporting track record, seeking a rewarding position at James Consulting Group. Dedicated to optimizing financial processes and ensuring compliance, I aim to contribute my skills in budgeting and forecasting to drive the company's success."

4) Work Experience

The work experience section is undoubtedly the most important of any resume. It shows your professional prowess and provides insights into your previous employers. 

To highlight your skills and potential, make sure to:

  • Use Action Verbs & Bullet Points: One common mistake that many people make when writing their resume is to write a full sentence. Remember that no one will read everything on your resume; hence, it's best to keep it straight to the point, easy on the eyes, and impactful. You can write your work experience using bullet points, with each bullet point starting with a strong action verb to convey a sense of accomplishment and initiative. Examples include "led," "implemented," "managed," or "achieved."
  • Mention Achievements: Whenever possible, quantify your achievements with numbers or percentages. This adds specificity and makes your accomplishments more tangible. For example, "increased revenue by 15%" or "reduced expenses by 20%."
  • Tailor to the Job: Customize your work experience section for each job application. Focus on the skills and experiences most relevant to the specific job you're applying for.
  • Highlight Relevant Skills: Showcase skills that are particularly relevant to the job you are seeking. If the job requires specific technical or soft skills, include them in your descriptions.
  • Choose the correct resume format: If you're not a fresher, always go with the chronological resume format to present your work experience most logically—start with your most recent job and end with your furthest job. This is the standard format and helps employers easily understand your career progression.
  • Show Career Progression: Demonstrate any promotions, increased responsibilities, or advancements in your career. This helps to showcase your growth and development.
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Here are some examples of a well-written work experience section:

Auditing Accountant at ABC Accounting Firm, New York, NY
April 2016- March 2019

  • Conducted time-sheet audits and contributed to an error-free payroll.
  • Collaborated with the development of training presentations.
  • Created and executed SQL queries.

Senior Financial Analyst at XYZ Corporation, New York, NY
May 2019 - Present

  • Spearhead financial analysis initiatives, contributing to a 15% improvement in budget accuracy.
  • Implement automated reporting processes, reducing monthly close time by 20%.
  • Promote from Financial Analyst to Senior Financial Analyst in recognition of exceptional performance and leadership skills.

Financial Analyst at ABC Financial Services, Chicago, IL 
January 2016 - April 2019

  • Conducted detailed cost analysis, resulting in the identification of cost-saving opportunities totaling 12%.
  • Developed and implemented a comprehensive financial modeling system, streamlining forecasting processes.
  • Recognized for outstanding contributions and promoted from Junior Financial Analyst within the first year.

Accounting Assistant at LMN Accounting Firm, Houston, TX 
June 2014 - December 2015

  • Assisted in the preparation of financial statements, demonstrating meticulous attention to detail.
  • Implemented process improvements, reducing invoice processing time by 25%.
  • Progressed to Financial Analyst role for consistently exceeding expectations and demonstrating strong analytical capabilities.

5) Skills

Along with the working experience section, the skill section plays a critical role, showing hiring managers whether you're a good fit for the job you're applying for.  Make sure to include both hard and soft skills in this section. Want some tips on how to effectively write this section? Here are five important things to remember:

  • Place the most relevant and important skills at the beginning of each category. This ensures that the hiring managers see the key skills first.
  • Use keywords from the job description to improve your chances of passing through the applicant tracking system (ATS).
  • Include tools and be specific about the applications you’re proficient in, such as Excel, and Word, instead of just listing Microsoft Office.
  • Balance technical skills (specific to the job and industry) with soft skills (communication, teamwork, etc.) to present a well-rounded profile.
  • Keep your skills section up-to-date as you acquire new skills or gain more experience; make sure your resume reflects these changes.

Here are some common accounting skills for your resume:

Hard Skills

  • Financial Analysis
  • Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Data Analysis
  • Microsoft Excel (VLOOKUP, PivotTables)
  • QuickBooks
  • GAAP and IFRS Knowledge

Soft Skills

  • Attention to Detail
  • Time Management
  • Communication
  • Problem-Solving
  • Team Collaboration
  • Adaptability

6) Education

It is important to highlight your academic qualifications, particularly if you are a recent graduate or if you have less than 3 years of work experience. This will provide potential employers with more information about you, given your limited professional experience. 

However, it is advisable to refrain from mentioning your GPA unless you have graduated with distinction or achieved an outstanding academic track record.

Here’s an example of how to write an education section on your resume:

Master's Degree in Accounting
University of Massachusetts (UMASS), 2008-2012

  • Major: Accounting
  • Minor: Literature
  • GPA: 3.7

If you haven't graduated yet but are still pursuing a degree, you can adapt the education section on your resume to reflect your current academic status. Here's a guide on how to do that:

Master's Degree in Accounting
University of Massachusetts (UMASS), Anticipated Graduation May 2023

  • Major: Accounting
  • Minor: Literature

Relevant Coursework:

  • Advanced Financial Accounting
  • Auditing Principles
  • Business Data Analysis

You don’t have to mention your minor, however, if they are relevant to the job you’re applying for, it’s still worth mentioning.

📚 Further reading: How to List Education on Resume|Examples, Templates, Writing Tips

5 Critical Tips for Accounting Resume Writing

Besides the tips mentioned above for each section, here are more to craft a perfect resume when applying for an accounting job.

1) Understand the difference between a CV and a resume.

In simple terms, a CV is more general, whereas a resume is more specific to a particular job.

Besides the design and layout differences, a CV is more suited for jobs in academia, medicine, or science-related fields. A resume is a better fit for more general jobs like accountant.

While in some countries, the terms CV and resume are used interchangeably, they actually mean two different things. In simplified terms, a CV (Curriculum Vitae) tends to be more comprehensive, covering a broader spectrum of professional experiences, while a resume is typically tailored for a specific job application. Beyond design and layout disparities, the choice between a CV and a resume aligns with the nature of the industry.

📚 Further reading: What Is a Resume: Resume Formats, Resume Elements, Resume Writing Tips

Traditionally, CVs find prominence in academia, medicine, and science-related fields where a detailed account of academic achievements, publications, and research is essential. On the other hand, resumes shine in more generalized job sectors, such as accountant, where a succinct presentation of specific skills, accomplishments, and work experience is the norm.

Understanding these distinctions allows individuals to craft application documents that align seamlessly with industry expectations, maximizing their effectiveness in the job market.

Check out our 15+ ATS-Friendly Resume Templates.


2) Choose the appropriate format

You should be aware of three different resume formats to choose the one that suits your needs best. Here's the breakdown of each resume type:

Chronological Resumes

The chronological resume is the most commonly used resume type where you list your work experience in reverse chronological order, from the most recent to the least recent. 

However, this format may not be suitable for fresh graduates and those who are transferring from different jobs. If you lack work experience, it may be better to use a resume format that highlights your skills and achievements rather than your work history.

Functional Resume

If you want to highlight your skills rather than your experience in your resume, this is the type of resume you want to go for. This resume format is highly suitable for freshers or career changers with limited working experience. It's also important to provide examples of how you have applied these skills in your previous jobs. 

If you have a lot of work experience, there may be better options than using this resume format. This is especially true if you are applying for a job within your industry, as you may miss out on essential details about your previous work experiences.

Combination Resume

A combination resume is the rarest of the 3. This resume also focuses on skills but uses work experience as a supplement to support skills. This is great for people who are switching careers, and much of their work experience might not be relevant.

However, for those who have no work experience at all, don't use this. If you have relevant job experience, it's better to stick to a chronological order as it is more widely accepted.

3) Learn from those who succeed

Now that you have a format, it's important to reference and read several accountant resume samples from a variety of sources to get a feel of how and what you should write.

You should also take a look at accountant resume templates that will help consolidate your understanding even more.

Keep reading for more examples at the end of this article.

Remember in order to make your resume stand out, always make it tangible and measurable. Claiming that you reviewed financial statements is simply a description of what you did, not how effective you were. For example, it's better to say "reviewed financial statements with 100% accuracy" than "reviewed financial statements".

4) Tailor the resume for an accountant job.

Nothing will kill your chances faster than an all-purpose resume. Tailoring your resume to the job requirements can help you stand out from the other candidates. 

Make sure to read the job description carefully and maybe dig a little bit deeper into the company you want to work for to get an idea of what their values are and what they look for in applicants. You can also observe the specific terms used in the job listing and include that same vocabulary in your resume. It might only take a few minutes to make these adjustments, but it can greatly increase your chances of getting hired.

If this is what a job listing looks like

Junior Accountant: 

"Your responsibilities:

  • Issuing monthly invoices and preparing registration documents for clients.
  • …"

Then you can edit your resume to say

  • Issued 100s of local invoices and monthly VAT filings."
  • Prepared registration documents for both domestic and international clients

5) Proofread.

Always proofread your resume to avoid any typos or grammar mistakes. Imagine including “attention to detail” as one of your skills and write “profesional financiall analysts” on your resume.

You can always use spell checker and grammar checking tools like Grammarly for better and more impactful writing.

Other tips:

  • Use a professional font and a simplified design. Accounting is a traditional field, so use everything sparingly.
  • Cut out irrelevant information. Your resume should be at most 2 pages.

Accountant Resume Examples

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Accountant Resume Example for Accountant and Auditor Position
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Accountant Resume Example for Audit Manager Position
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Accountant Resume Example for Junior Accountant Position
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Accountant Resume Example for Cost Accountant Position
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Accountant Resume Example for Payroll Manager Position

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Accounting Job Application

A cover letter is a great way to let the employer know you better and supplement your accountant resume. Your application letter for accountant jobs shouldn't be more than 1 page long and should have the following parts:

  • Contact information: Include your full name, email address, and mobile number.
  • Introduction: Start off on the right foot and address the hiring manager professionally with their names. You can find this information easily on the company website or LinkedIn page.
  • Motivation (Intentions for applying): Elaborate on the reason why you're applying for the job. Show your understanding of the company and the work they do.
  • Qualification: This is where you promote yourself. Don't be shy; list your qualities, skills, and achievements, and highlight your best accomplishments.
  • Closing: Thank the hiring manager for taking the time to read your cover letter. Sign your full name at the end.

Accountant Cover Letter Example

Dear Mr. Owen,

I am writing to express my enthusiastic interest in the Senior Financial Analyst at KPMG, as advertised on your company's website. With a strong background in accounting, a commitment to excellence, and a proven track record of delivering results, I am confident in my ability to contribute to KPMG's continued success.

In my current role as a Financial Analyst at Accenture, I have honed my skills in financial analysis, budgeting, and compliance. I have successfully managed month-end close processes, conducted detailed variance analyses, and implemented cost-saving measures, all of which align with the high standards of excellence at KPMG. Furthermore, my experience with FreshBooks, NetSuite ERP, and Sage Business Accounting Cloud has allowed me to streamline financial reporting processes, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

What particularly excites me about the prospect of joining KPMG is the firm's commitment to innovation and its reputation for delivering exceptional client service. Your emphasis on continuous learning and professional development aligns perfectly with my own career aspirations. I am eager to bring my dedication to accuracy, strategic financial planning, and strong analytical skills to contribute to KPMG's dynamic team.

I am impressed by KPMG's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and fostering a collaborative work environment. My experience working with cross-functional teams and my ability to communicate complex financial information to non-finance stakeholders make me well-suited to thrive in KPMG's collaborative culture.

Enclosed is my resume, which provides further details about my professional achievements. I am excited about the opportunity to discuss in person how my skills and experiences align with the needs of KPMG. Thank you for considering my application.

Sincerely,

Terry White

FAQs

How much do accountants make annually?

According to the U.S. News, accountants make a median salary of $77,000 dollars as of 2021. Accountants from Silicon Valley and New York City lead the United States in salary with a median of  $110,000 USD. 

What’s the easiest accounting field?

Bookkeeping is the foundation of accounting and the most basic job to get. This is a great job for people without bachelor’s degrees in accounting. Accounts Receivable (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP) are two common entry-level jobs. These jobs are not as difficult as they primarily deal with one type of transaction. 

Is accountant a stressful job?

 Accountant can be stressful depending on the industry and your position. The grander the scope of the industry, the more stress you’ll have to deal with during your entry-level years. High-stress jobs are usually associated with careers in the Big 4. Working in an industry (smaller, more specialized firms) tends to have less stress.  Government jobs rarely push their employees for overtime and offer fantastic benefits.

Can you learn accounting on your own?

Absolutely, there are countless books, blogs, and YouTube videos that cater to self-learning accountants. To gain more experience and put what you’ve learned into practices, you can volunteer for NGOs, Non-profits, and small businesses to apply what you’ve learned and make your accountant resume look more competitive.

Can I become an accountant without a degree?

You can still become an accountant without an accounting degree. Other business majors such as economics, finance, and mathematics often become accountants. Jobs such as bookkeeping, ARs, and PRs are obtainable by those without an accountant degree or even bachelors.

It’s recommended that you familiarize yourself with accountant software. Microsoft Excel, Sage, and Quickbooks are basic software that can be learned reasonably fast. Certifications will give your employer an idea about your proficiency.

Key Takeaways

Accountant is a highly stable and demanding career option. However, even candidates with good credentials sometimes fail to get good accounting jobs due to their weak resumes. Accountant resumes don't require much creativity and personality. This profession is all about clarity and order.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you. Apply all the tips mentioned above while preparing your resume and let us know how it turns out. 

If you're looking for more career advice, follow us at CakeResume Blog for more insightful tips!

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