As an accountant, you need to show professionalism, precision, technical skills, and strong industry relationships. You must write a resume that will reflect how highly skilled and knowledgeable you are. Accounting does not only deals with creating financial statements and maintaining ledgers, but it also heavily involves analysis, critical thinking, and accuracy.
Just like any other profession, a resume is a very powerful tool for you to land your dream job. This will show your employer that you are best suited for the job. That’s why you have to make sure that your skills are well captured in your resume.
You can follow these tips to create an effective resume:
1. Quantify your work experience
As an accountant, you work with numbers. This should be reflected in your resume. You know how valuable numbers and metrics are and you can use these in presenting your impact and contributions in your previous companies.
Be successful in quantifying your experiences by beginning your bullet points with a powerful verb and ending with the outcome of your work. Instead of saying “Boosted profit margins”, you can say “Boosted profit margins by 10%“. Showing recruiters you are able to drive value in your past jobs can be beneficial in your application process.
2. Use accounting jargons
As you are applying for an accounting position, you need to include accounting jargons in your resume. This will also allow the applicant tracking system (ATS) to recognize these keywords. Most companies use an ATS to help recruiters find the “best match” for each position. It will scan through your resume and look for certain keywords that match the experience and skills required for the job. Even if you are highly qualified for the position you are applying for but your resume doesn’t have the right keywords then your resume might not be selected by the ATS to be screened by a recruiter.
Modify your resume according to the position you are applying for. Read through the position’s job description and watch out for keywords that are often used or repeated.
Recruiters might be looking for specific accounting skills for the position (E.g. Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Flow Analysis, GAAP, IFRS). Don’t miss out on including appropriate accounting jargons in your resume.
3. List down key skills that are relevant to the job
The accounting industry has an endless list of specialties and it is important to specify the skills that you have in your resume. Other than that, recruiters are busy people. They would have to go through hundreds of resumes every day. It is important to put the key skills you have that are relevant to the job.
Read through the job description of the position you are applying for and take note of the skills they are looking for. Assess yourself and incorporate those skills in your resume. Make sure to only include skills that you are able to support through your experiences. You don’t want to be asked about those skills in the middle of the interview and not be able to share experiences where you have used them.
You can take several online courses to learn and improve more on your soft skills as an accountant. Read more about these courses that are perfect for students, entry-level job seekers, and seasoned practitioners: Improve Your Accounting Skills With These Online Courses
4. Enumerate your technical skills
Listing down your accounting key skills is just as important as sharing your technical skills. Especially today that accountants use different systems and tools in completing their day-to-day tasks, recruiters are also looking at software and tools you already have experience with. This can also be included in the criteria the ATS is looking for (E.g. Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks Enterprise, ADP Workforce Now). It is always good to demonstrate your ability and experience with handling large-size data with Excel VBA, ETL tools, SQL database, Power BI, etc. The tools that are used in the company are usually already indicated in the position’s job description, it is a huge plus if you have already had experience in those tools so make sure not to leave them out.
We have recently shared a couple of online courses you can easily complete to expand your knowledge on different technical tools typically used by accountants. Read more here: Improve Your Accounting Skills With These Online Courses.
5. Present your education and certifications
Accountants are highly skilled professionals, it is essential to showcase your education, certifications, and other Accounting training in your resume. Previously there were several designations for accountants, namely Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified General Accountant (CGA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). Since 2014 all of these designations have been merged into one as the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).
If you are an applicant who is currently in the process of completing a certification, make sure to indicate that in your resume. Some positions require a certain designation to be qualified or looking for someone who at least is working through completing one. Besides CPA, you can also take relevant certifications such as PMP (Project Management Professional), it will set you apart from the rest of the candidates as well.
Impress recruiters by showing your dedication to expanding your knowledge in the field of accountancy by constantly continuing your education. Include the trainings you have completed and any further studies you have done that make you a competent accountant, such as online courses.
Read more about the different certifications and designations you can take to further advance your career: Accounting Designations in Canada You Need to Know.
A resume is a very important part of an applicant’s job hunting process. It should reflect how skilled and fit you are for the position you are applying for. From your resume, recruiters would be able to see if you are someone that can bring value to the company. Make sure that you have presented every relevant experience and skills for the position you are applying for in your resume.