Accountant is one of the most in-demand and highest-paid professions in the corporate world. An accountant's primary responsibility involves:
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.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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.
💡 Pro Tips: You can also provide your LinkedIn URL, CakeResume profile, portfolio, or social media handles (if relevant).
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.
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:
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."
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:
Here are some examples of a well-written work experience section:
Auditing Accountant at ABC Accounting Firm, New York, NY
April 2016- March 2019
Senior Financial Analyst at XYZ Corporation, New York, NY
May 2019 - Present
Financial Analyst at ABC Financial Services, Chicago, IL
January 2016 - April 2019
Accounting Assistant at LMN Accounting Firm, Houston, TX
June 2014 - December 2015
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:
Here are some common accounting skills for your resume:
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
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
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
Besides the tips mentioned above for each section, here are more to craft a perfect resume when applying for an accounting job.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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".
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
Then you can edit your resume to say
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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