In some ways, accounting resumes are a lot like your standard job applicant resume, though as with any profession there are things that you want to make sure you emphasize. Here are a few steps to making sure you build an accounting resume that gives you the best chance of landing the job.
As with almost any competitive endeavor you need to make sure you understand the environment you’re competing in. Knowing not only how your experience and training compare to the role but also what the competition in the market is will be important to your success.
If you have work experience that makes the case for you, you’re going to want to emphasize that, if you’re stretching and need to really wow them, you need to write a top-notch objective or career goal section.
Many people skimp on this because they really don’t want to put in the work for each and every resume when they are sending so many out. This is a big mistake. Companies notice when you put discussion specific to them in your objective statement. This won’t get you the job alone but ultimately this can help you get noticed.
For the most part, when you’re sending out your accounting resume you’re sending it where it will be reviewed by another accountant. Generally speaking, accountants are on the conservative side so when it comes to pictures, graphics, and irregular fonts, skip it. You want something that is clean and clear that conveys your key points as effectively as possible. The one thing aside from your key points that you want to make sure jumps out as much as possible is your name. The reviewer could be looking at anywhere from 50 to 500 more resumes and you want them to remember yours (and find yours easily if they go back looking for it through a stack of resumes).
Nothing will get your resume thrown out faster than sending in something where margins don’t align or there are obvious spelling and grammatical errors. This is a pet peeve for recruiters and hiring managers, especially when somewhere in your memo you’ve likely discussed your attention to detail.
Assuming this isn’t the accounting resume you are writing fresh out of college you have some work experience to write about. After your name and your objective statement your work experience comes first and should be the biggest section of your resume. You could have attended the three most prestigious universities in the country but after even a year of work experience that is not what the person reading your resume cares most about. You want to make sure you detail all of the key skills that you gained in your work experience, both technical and soft skills. When possible you should try to use examples of what you’ve done to demonstrate your abilities. For example: You Could Say: Led an audit team for a large public client You Should Say: Led a team of 9 staff on a large public client audit and guided the team successfully to an early completion that was 5% under budget. That kind of content matters, assuming it’s true and you can generate clear examples like that.