Writing a Proper Accounting Resume
|Target your accounting resume to each specific employer.|
Before you start pulling out your hair about how you're going to write a specific accounting resume for each accounting position you apply for, take heart. Because the positions you're applying for are likely at about the same level and because all are accounting jobs, the resume itself is likely not to change very much. You may change a word or two so that the resume specifically speaks to that employer's accountant position, and you may change your objective to fit each particular position. However, if you construct your resume right, you shouldn't have to spend more than a few minutes taking your original resume and customizing it to each employer.
Second, watch your job descriptions; less is more
Of course, when you're writing your job descriptions on your accounting resume, you want to include all the information possible so as to show your prospective employer you can do the job right. Through the job descriptions and responsibilities you list, you can show rather than tell your employer that you should be the one to get this job.
When you detail your work history, start in reverse chronological order, with your most recent relevant position listed first. Your job descriptions should start with "action" words and should be listed in bullet format, because it makes you resume easier to read. Use as few words as possible to get your point across (using incomplete sentences is fine). For example, you can say, "Instrumental in the development and implementation of new accounting procedures for the department."
Use keywords in your job descriptions
In addition, when you write those job descriptions, using keywords will help the employer find you if here she is doing an Internet search to find accounting employees.
What are keywords? Keywords are specific phrases used in search engines when people are looking for something online. Including keywords that describe skills you can bring to the table as an accountant can help that employer find your resume among the many that didn't break those keywords out.
So, for example, you might simply include a short list of keywords (perhaps broken out in its own section just before your work history) in bulleted list format. This is a good idea so that employers can see your job skills and glance, too, but it's also going to help people find you.
Some possible keyword phrases include:
- Strategic and financial planning.
- Mergers and acquisitions.
- Working or operating capital.
- Managing and developing budgets.
- Profit and loss management.
- Cash flow modeling and management.
So for example, when you list job experience, only concentrate on jobs and job skills specific to and occurring within your chosen profession of accounting. For example, there's no need to say that you were a lifeguard at the YMCA when you were a teenager.
Fourth, accomplishments should be stressed, not necessarily duties and responsibilities. What you accomplished with those duties and responsibilities is what the employer should see. This lets you show results instead of simply discussing them. In addition, the language is more proactive and interesting to read. Show the results you've had to your potential employers by using proactive, action oriented language. So for example, "Revised and implemented needed cost-saving measures for the department" is one good way to show what you accomplished in a particular job.
With a resume, remember that "less is more"
Fifth, the resume should be clean, spare and professional. Write it in outline format and use bullet lists to make points easy to read and follow. Opt for incomplete sentences and short, descriptive phrases, for brevity. In addition, if the organization is cluttered or it's particularly verbose, it's going to be hard to read and most employers may not even have the patience to do so.
To make your accounting resume stand out from the crowd, make sure you target it to each specific employer. You should also make your employment history's job descriptions are brief, action oriented and descriptive. Use bullet list format for easy reading and to encourage brevity.
Make sure you include keywords in your resume when you post to job sites so that potential employers can find it easily when they do employee searches. Don't include any unnecessary information on your resume; for example, you should leave off jobs that are irrelevant to the particular position you want. Stress (and show) your accomplishments on specific jobs instead of talking about the responsibilities you had. Showing your accomplishments makes it much easier for the employer to see what you can do.
Finally, remember that your accounting resume should be brief and to the point. Make it easy to read and understand so that you're the one chosen for the accounting job you want.