Crafting a Well-Tailored Accounting Resume
By Sayaka Seino
Accounting is a booming industry because every business has a need for accounting support, and the larger the business, the more accounting assistance is needed. Many large corporations and organizations require full-time accountants because of the sheer number of transactions that need to be analyzed, tracked and verified in order for the organization to run smoothly.
When applying for an accounting job, it is vital that your resume be custom tailored not only to suit the industry, but to suit each individual position you're applying for as well. This same concept applies to most industries, because the only background and experience that is going to mean anything to a potential employer are those that are transferable into the job you are looking to fill. If you approach an accounting job with a decade's worth of retail experience, potential employers simply will not be impressed. Approaching with the right resume is the best way to stand out from competing applicants, especially when you are a fresh graduate with a brand new degree or transferring into an accounting career from an unrelated line of work.
Your primary goal should be to highlight the skills and experiences that will draw the attention of potential employers. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to begin with a master resume that details all of the experience, background, accomplishments, qualifications and education that have been earned or gained throughout your entire career, regardless of whether or not they are relevant to the job search you are currently conducting. This master resume will make crafting industry and job specific resumes significantly easier because you can simply extract transferable background, education and skills and transport them onto your new resume. Keeping a record of all of this information in a master resume will also allow you to access it whenever you need to.
Each and every job you apply for, even when they are within the same industry or field of work, deserves its own unique resume. One of the best ways for you to show a potential employer that you're serious about getting a job with their company is to create a resume that shows you went above and beyond to learn not only about the industry, but the company and the specific job that needs filling as well. Research each company that you are applying for, and make sure that your resume includes any transferable skills, experience or education that applies directly to the job that needs to be filled. Just as you are urged to ask intelligent company-specific questions during a job interview, you can show the company you're serious about working for them by displaying a connection between your experience and their individual needs. This will help you stand out from competing applicants, even in situations where you don't have much more experience or skills than the average applicant.
When writing a resume to fill an accounting position, aim to keep your resume to a single page. This is especially important if you've recently graduated or if you are shifting careers from one industry to another. Two page resumes do have appropriate applications, but generally only if you have ten or more years of experience and if you are staying within the same basic industry or career path. If you are in the middle of a career shift, you need to make sure that the experience and background you provide is based on skills and expertise that are transferable to your new career. Money handling skills, payroll skills and other expertise is transferable, while experience selling sporting goods equipment is not as impressive. If you are fresh out of college and trying to make use of your degree for the first time, focus instead on schooling and certifications since your experience will not be your strongest suit.
Be sure to use language that shows your understanding of the industry and its intricacies without making your resume appear "fluffy". If you include too much industry-specific jargon you will bog your resume down which will have a negative effect on the overall package you are trying to present.
In summary, the three basic considerations when writing an accounting resume are these:
- Keep your resume short and sweet by only including information that is relevant and transferable to the position you are applying for.
- Design your resume to suit the specific company you are applying for by first researching the company and the job that needs to be filled; this will get the attention of prospective employers.
- Use the accounting-specific jargon to show your understanding of the industry, but don't overdo it to the point of fluffiness.