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How to write an impressive accounting resume?

If you're brilliant at accounting but you're not getting shortlisted,

your accounting resume needs an upgrade, and we are here to help!

A recent study claims that more than 1,392,200 accountants and auditors are currently working in America at an average annual salary of $73,560.

To get shortlisted for the accounting job of your dreams, you need to do more than just be good at accounting.

The world is full of unemployed accounting experts who have crossed over to accounting expertise and yet, have failed to bag a job in their chosen profession.

So, we are here elaborating on the depths and breadths of resume-writing to help you write a shortlist-worthy accounting resume from scratch!

Here, You will get the guidelines to write shortlist-worthy entry level accounting resumes and related information, including:

Accounting Resume Job Description

The primary accountant responsibilities revolve around collecting, organizing and tracking the financial information for organizations.

An accountant prepares financial reports concerning revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities for internal use (the staff) and to meet requirements by the shareholders, government and other external institutions/organizations.

Not only this, they assemble tax returns to curtail tax liabilities and ensure that income is reported by following the IRS code.

So if your heart is set on being an accountant, all you have to do now is write a killer accounting salary to get your dream job!

Salary of an Accountant

The average annual accountant salary in the United States is $57,761. However, it can vary based on different factors like company size, location, market niche, and competition.

Here you can check out the accountant salary difference at different locations in the country:

Company Location Average Annual Salary
Houston, TX $69,980
New York, NY $67,778
Dallas, TX $64,745
Atlanta, GA $61,695
Chicago, IL $60,962
Phoenix, AZ $57,526
Austin, TX $57,113
Nashville, TN $56,654
Los Angeles, CA $54,423

What is an Accounting Resume & why do you need it?

Your accountant resume carries information about you, such as your education details, skills, professional trajectory, etc. It talks about your last job profile and the roles you have performed as part of this job profile in the previous organizations you have worked with.

This gives the recruiter a clear sense of your capabilities and skills, which is to say, your accounting manager resume is not just a piece of paper.

To get an interview call, you need your accounting manager resume. It is the first chance you get at making an impact.

As the saying goes, "First Impression is the Last One!" so make it count by perfecting your accountant resume and landing a shortlist with your resume.

A "Perfect Resume" in the job industry means writing an industry-relevant, recruiter-friendly resume.

With the onset of the ATS (applicant tracking system), most companies have started relying on this tool to meet their recruitment needs. The ATS assigns a rank to every resume sent by job applicants, and recruiters shortlist candidates based on this rank.

Also Read: How to write an ATS compliant resume in 2022?

How to write an Accounting Resume

Three stages ultimately lead to the creation of an ideal accountant resume. We have listed them below:

stages-of-accounting-resume

  • Stage #1: Master Accounting Resume
  • Stage #2: First Draft of Accounting Resume
  • Stage #3: Final Draft of Accounting Resume

We will now be discussing these stages in detail.

Master Accounting Resume

In the first stage of resume-writing, a.k.a the master accounting resume stage, all you have to do is compile all your career-specific information in one place.

This helps you accomplish the twin goals of resume writing in the present and resume updates in the future.

Here's how:

  • Resume writing in the present: With all your information in one source, the task of data compilation for your resume writing gets simplified. All you have to do now is pick the relevant information and replicate them in your accountant resume to suit your target job profile in the present timeline.

  • Resume update in the future: Having a gallery of information at your disposal simplifies the task of updating your resume in the future. Since you don't have to look for information explicitly, your only task is to make minor changes to update your accounting manager resume.

We will now discuss the next stage.

First Draft of Accounting Resume

The second stage of composing your composing resume involves curating the sections that we have mentioned below:

  • Header
  • Personal Information
  • Profile Title
  • Professional Experience
  • Education
  • Certifications (if any)
  • Awards & Recognition (if any)
  • Additional Information (if any)

Kindly note that you do not compose the accountant resume summary or key skills section as part of this stage. This is only done in the final stage, which we will discuss next.

Final Draft of Accounting Resume

As part of the final stage of resume-writing, you should compose the sections that we have mentioned below:

  • Key skills section
  • Summary / Objective section

Pro Tip: You should always compose the 'summary' and 'key skills' section at the end, as recruiters pay close attention to these sections. Building them towards the end will help you add more meaningful and relevant information based on your entire resume.

Accounting Resume Sections

When you write your staff accountant resume, you need to fill the resume sections that we have mentioned below.

  • Header
  • Personal Information
  • Profile Title
  • Summary / Objective
  • Key Skills
  • Technical Skills (if any)
  • Professional Experience
  • Education
  • Certifications (if any)
  • Awards & Recognition (if any)
  • Additional Information (if any)

Accounting Resume: Professional Experience

The Professional Experience section is one of the most crucial sections in your accountant resume. After concluding this section, you can easily optimize the rest of your resume for accounting.

As such, it needs to be perfected.

An impeccable accounting resume will be perfectly readable, well-organized, and effectively present the information. Your resume should meet these 3 criteria to be considered "impeccable".

Here are three ways to write an impeccable resume for accounting:

  • Frame points
  • Grouping & Highlighting
  • STAR format

Framing Points

The first and most basic objective that your resume should fulfill is good readability.

If your resume is not readable, the recruiter will not read it. And if your resume does not get read, it will never stand a chance of getting shortlisted!

Most people tend to use paragraphs to talk about their roles & responsibilities. This is the wrong approach. You should strictly avoid paragraphs, and should use points instead.

Here are two examples of championing this statement:

Resume for Accounting: Example 1

"As part of my work experience at company x, I was responsible for compiling and ensuring the timely delivery of over 50 reports every month for our top 5 clients. I forecasted the losses and earnings of the company by deploying a qualitative approach. I did this with 99% accuracy. Moreover, accurate prediction and forecasting led to a change in company policies, leading to a drastic reduction in our losses. Using this data, we were also able to optimize the company's efficiency and increase the profit/earnings generated. I was also responsible for handling the budget, which led to a 15% annual reduction in marketing costs. The money saved was then invested in research & development, which further bolstered the company's performance. My work was soon recognized, and I was soon given the responsibility of training a team of 5, which led to a drastic improvement in performance and timely delivery of services".

Resume for Accounting: Example 1

  • Forecasted profit & loss by deploying qualitative approaches with ~99% accuracy
  • Led a team of 5 people and coached them, leading to 90% performance improvement
  • Compiled 50+ reports monthly to service 5+ top clients
  • Managed a budget of $4 million, leading to a reduction in marketing costs by 15% annually

Framing Points: Analysis

  • Example 1 uses paragraphs, and example 2 uses one-liner points. They are both communicating the same points.
  • Example 1 is unnecessarily bulky. It looks cluttered and is hard to read. A recruiter is more likely not to read your accounting resume if it is composed using paragraphs.
  • On the contrary, example 2 is well structured and easy to read. It achieves the first objective of an impeccable resume, i.e. readability.
  • Since example 2 is readable, it encourages the recruiter to read your resume in its entirety. A resume composed using one-liner points, as seen in example 2, is more likely to get read than a resume that uses paragraphs, as seen in example 1.
  • Conclusion: Compose your resume using one-liner points.

Grouping & Highlighting

The second hallmark of an impeccable resume is a better organization of information. This makes your resume more vibrant and effective in presenting the information.

While framing points makes your resume more readable, it does nothing to enhance the effectiveness of your accounting resume.

This is why highlighting & grouping is important. It makes your resume better organized and more effective.

Here are two examples to demonstrate this point:

Resume for Accounting: Example 1

Budgeting & Company Forecasting

  • Forecasted profit & loss by deploying qualitative approaches with ~99% accuracy
  • Managed a budget of $4 million, leading to a reduction in marketing costs by 15% annually

Team Management & Report Making

  • Led a team of 5 people and coached them, leading to 90% performance improvement
  • Compiled 50+ reports monthly to service 5+ top clients

Resume for Accounting: Example 2

  • Forecasted profit & loss by deploying qualitative approaches with ~99% accuracy
  • Led a team of 5 people and coached them, leading to 90% performance improvement
  • Compiled 50+ reports monthly to service 5+ top clients
  • Managed a budget of $4 million, leading to a reduction in marketing costs by 15% annually

Grouping & Highlighting: Analysis

  • Example 1 uses points, and example 2 organizes these points under unique subheadings using grouping and outlines the key highlight in each point using highlighting.
  • By reading these unique subheadings, a recruiter can identify the candidate's key roles & responsibilities in one glance.
  • Moreover, highlighting shows that a recruiter can quickly recognize the key achievements in each point. Thus, highlighting directs the recruiter's attention to the candidate's key performance figures, making the candidate's resume more meaningful and relevant.
  • Not only does grouping & highlighting make your resume more organized, but it also makes it more effective in presenting the information.

Conclusion: Use grouping & highlighting alongside points to talk about your roles & responsibilities.

STAR format

The STAR format is the most effective format for structuring your resume.

This is what it stands for:

  • S: The situation in which you were assigned a task
  • T: The Task that you were assigned
  • A: The Action you took, a.k.a strategies you used to complete the task
  • R: The Result of your actions in the form of achievement figures

The method states use the cause-effect relationship in each one-liner point.

Your resume becomes more meaningful and relevant as you're not blandly stating that you are proficient in this and that, but you are also proving your excellence in the form of achievement/performance figures.

Staff Accountant Resume Sample for professional experience

An ideal professional experience section should resemble the Staff Accountant resume sample we have mentioned below:

Professional Experience Section in an Accounting Resume

Accounting Resume: Key Skills

As a rule of thumb, the key skills section should always be composed after you have concluded the professional experience section of your senior accountant resume.

This makes it easy to identify your core skills and objectively single them out in this section of your accountant resume.

In this section, you have to endorse your accounting resume skills.

Hiration Pro-Tip - There is no need to add soft skills to your resume; instead of generic skills, add a technical skills section to differentiate between your core and technical skills.

Moreover, your goal here is to write an ATS-targeted resume. This is where the key skills section can help.

To write an ATS-targeted accounting resume skills, analyze your target job posting and look for keywords. Keywords are those skills that a recruiter or an organization looks for in an ideal candidate.

Once you identify these keywords, try to organically incorporate them in the accounting resume skills section without making it look too stuffy. In other words, use only those keywords that you can justify to a recruiter.

By doing this, you have already optimized this section and written a key-skills section that is ATS-compliant.

Here's our accounting resume sample demonstrating the ideal key skills section:

Skills Section in an Accounting Resume

Accounting Resume: Objective or Summary?

Should you write a resume summary or a resume objective? It depends on a lot of things. We will now discuss them in detail.

Ideally, you should write an accountant resume summary if you have relevant work experience of 3 years and above.

On the contrary, you should write an accounting resume objective if:

  • You have no work experience
  • You have very limited work experience of fewer than 3 years
  • You are a fresh graduate writing an entry-level accounting resume
  • You have done internships, but you have never worked anywhere full-time

Thus, whether you write an accounting resume objective or an accountant resume summary depends on the number of relevant work experience you have in your name.

Either way, the goal of a summary or objective remains the same.

The goal of both is to attract a recruiter's attention and effectively communicate that you have what it takes to get hired because of what you can bring to the table.

In other words, an accounting resume objective and an accounting resume summary are both skill demonstrations that a job applicant makes to a potential employer. It is a sales pitch, and the goal of both summary and objective is to sell your skills and convert the job.

Mentioned below is an accounting resume summary to showcase what an ideal summary should look like:

Summary Section in an Accounting Resume

Accounting Resume: Header

Your resume header is important. It is written at the top-most part of your resume, and through it, the recruiter differentiates your staff accountant resume from the thousands and millions of other resumes that sit on their email.

  • Your real full name is the default resume header
  • You should leave one space between your first name and last name
  • You should write it in 16-20 font size
  • For those with a middle name, you should write only the first initial of your middle name between your first name and last name.
  • Eg: Johny Dan Walker should be written in your header as "Johny D. Walker"

>Pro-Tip: Make sure that you only write your name on the top. here is no need to mention 'Resume' or 'CV' at the top of your accountant resume as it is implicit that you are submitting a resume.

The accountant resume sample that is given below showcases the ideal resume header.

Head Section in an Accounting Resume

Accounting Resume Example

Take a look at one of the accounting resume samples mentioned below. This is what your resume should ideally look like.

5+ years experienced Certified Public Accountant & Senior Accounting Associate highly skilled in leading teams of finance professionals to implement best practices & deliver compelling value to stakeholders. Proficient in accounts reconciliation, generating insightful reports, and forecasting profitability. Adept at fulfilling client requirements within the predefined framework to direct compliance with regulatory guidelines and ensure fulfillment of organizational norms.
• Financial Statements • Asset Management • Payroll Management • Regulatory Filings • Revenue Projections
• Account Reconciliation • Tax Compliance & Returns • Corporate Tax • General Ledger • Income Tax
• Leadership & Team Management • Client Relationship Management • Report Generation

Technical Skills: QuickBooks | MS Office | Paychex | Microsoft Windows 10/07/XP
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
    Team Management & Client Relationship Management
    • Leading a finance team of 5 professionals and implementing initiatives to enable 90% performance improvement
    • Compiling financial information of 10 clients from the top companies and reconciling 30+ reports on a monthly basis
    • Servicing 20+ clients on a monthly basis leading to client satisfaction and 100% client retention
    Report Generation & Forecasting
    • Forecasting losses/earnings by deploying qualitative approaches with ~99% accuracy rate for financial management
    • Creating 5+ financial reports on a daily basis with 100% accuracy
    • Refining usage of cloud computing to enhance data security and achieve a cost reduction of USD 600,000 annually
    Key Achievements
    • Titled ‘Best Employee of the Month’ twice out of 150+ employees in Jun ’19 and Apr ‘19
      Cost Control, Reporting & Budgeting
      • Managed a budget of USD 4 million leading to reduction of 15% costs over 2 years
      • Generated 3+ reports on a daily basis and liaised with 3 clients from top e-commerce companies
      • Performed qualitative & quantitative analysis and recommended 10+ solutions to the senior management
      Key Achievements
      • Achieved ‘Best Employee of the Year’ Award in '16 out of 300+ employees
      EDUCATION
        • Top 5 percentile of the class
          • Top 10 percentile of the class
          • Certified Public Accountant | AICPA | Jun ’14 – Nov ‘14

          Accounting Resume: Personal Information

          The personal information section in an accountant resume is one of the most important sections of your resume for accounting. It ideally consists of basic contact details such as:

          • Updated mobile number
          • Professional E-mail ID
          • Location

          These should be arranged in the format we have mentioned below:

          {Personal Contact number} | {Professional E-mail Address} | {Current Location of Residence}

          Using your contact details, a recruiter gets in touch with you.

          Pro Tip: As the bearer of contact details, the personal information section of your resume should be correctly and accurately composed. One spelling error can be a game-changer as you will never hear from a recruiter interested in hiring you just because you filled the information incorrectly.

          Also Read: How to write an accounting internship cover letter in 2022?

          Updated Mobile Number

          To correctly compose your mobile number in your accountant resume, follow the guidelines we have mentioned below:

          • Write your country code before your mobile number.
          • Eg: (+1) 93843 32983.

          Professional E-mail ID

          Your email ID should be correctly written and should look professional.

          Hiration Pro Tip: To write a professional-looking email ID, avoid using fancy names as it just comes across as professional to a recruiter evaluating your accountant resume.

          Eg: If your name is Matthew Adams, write your email ID as matthewadams@xyz.com. Do not use email IDs like songwritermatthew@xyz.com.

          Location

          Some rules that you should follow when writing your location in your accountant resume are mentioned below:

          • In the language of resume-writing, location means your current location of residence, not your hometown or current workplace.
          • You should not write your complete address. A quick reference to the city name and the country code is enough.
          • Eg: If you live in Los Angeles, California, write it in your resume as "Los Angeles, CA".

          Accounting Resume Sample for personal information

          The accountant resume sample we have mentioned below illustrates the ideal personal information section for your staff accountant resume.

          Personal Information Section in an Accounting Resume

          Accounting Resume: Profile Title

          Your profile title is just as important as any other section in your resume.

          Adding a profile title is of utmost importance in your accountant resume. It tells the recruiter all about your field of expertise and your seniority level in your functional field: In this case, your seniority level in accounting.

          In an accountant resume, the profile title should be the second-largest text, written in between the font size of 14 - 16 points.

          Your profile title should include the prefixes as well, which means if you are a senior accountant, you must add 'Senior' to your profile title to be more precise and create maximum impact.

          Take a look at the accounting resume example given below to understand what the ideal profile title for your accountant resume should look like.

          Profile Title Section in an Accounting Resume

          Accounting Resume: Education

          The education section is important as it consists of your academic details. It communicates the following details about you:

          • The schools/universities you went to
          • The subjects you studied in college
          • The location of your school/university
          • Your enrolment & graduation dates

          The above points should be arranged in the format we have mentioned below:

          {School/university Name} | {Name of the degree} | {CGPA} | {Location} & {Dates} (in month & year format)

          The given accounting resume examples provide an understanding of how to compose the education section in an accounting resume.

          Education Section in an Accounting Resume

          Accounting Resume: Certifications

          Adding certifications to your staff accountant resume increases your chances of getting shortlisted, especially when you are competing with a job applicant who has the same educational qualification and professional expertise as you!

          You should always make it a point to list your certifications in a resume, especially if you have them.

          This section communicates the following details about you:

          • Certifications name
          • Name of the certifying body/institute
          • Location of the institute
          • Enrolment & graduation date

          Use the following format when composing your certifications:

          {Name of the Certification} | {Affiliating Institution} | {Location} | {Date} (in month & year format)

          The accountant resume example we have mentioned below illustrates the ideal certifications section for your staff accountant resume.

          Certifications Section in an Accounting Resume

          Key Takeaways

          Writing an accounting resume can consume a lot of time without guidance. You can refer to these points while making your accounting resume to ease the process:

          • Write all the dates in month & year format.
          • Use reverse chronological order across all sections in your accountant resume.
          • Ensure there are no paragraphs in your entire accounting resume (except the summary/accounting resume objective). Wherever you’ve used paragraphs, break them down into multiple one-liner bullet points (or sub-points).
          • A resume is either 1 page long or 2 pages long. If you extend your accounting resume, make sure that it reaches the end of page 2 or limit it to just 1 page. Don't write it in 1.25 or 1.75 pages.
          • Make sure that each point in your accounting resume begins with a power verb in the past tense for previous profiles/projects and present continuous tense for present profiles & ongoing projects.
          • Bold relevant phrases/achievements throughout your accounting resume, but don’t overdo it.
          • Try to draw a cause-effect relationship in all one-liner points. As a rule of thumb: always frame your points in the STAR format: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This shall enable recruiters to see how your actions and contributions benefited the organization.
          • For all your work profiles, include figures around revenue, no. of employees, geographic presence, etc., wherever possible.
          • In your accountant resume, focus more on your contributions and less on generic project/product descriptions. This will keep your resume short and to the point.

          These guidelines will help you craft an impressive accounting resume in 2022. However, you can check Hiration's Online Resume Builder if you want to lessen resume building time.

          It is an AI-powered tool with 24/7 online chat support for a marvelous resume-building experience. For additional job assistance, you can talk to our career experts at support@hiration.com.