Targeting Your Accounting Resume for Better Job Hunting

Posted: Apr 22  |  By: Parker + Lynch

Landing the job, beginning with a targeted accounting resume

Accounting is a field where details matter.

If you’re going for an Accounting Manager position, your resume should not be general — but, instead, focused on the expertise you offer in particular specialties.

Customizing your resume for the position you’re applying to

Your resume should be the answer to the question of “who will be the best candidate for this job?” and show that you have the skills needed for the position. It needs to be consistent in style and easy to read because most resumes are skimmed quickly, then you should reread for further information.

Generally, the resume will trigger questions during the interview, so be prepared to answer them. Often an interviewer will ask why you to choose a particular method or ask how you used certain software tools.

The opening paragraph of an accountant’s resume should be a hard-hitting summary of how your leadership assets match the job description of the opening you hope to fill. Follow this with a bulleted list of core competencies, professional experience, achievements, education, certifications/licenses, and any affiliations.

If asked, make sure you name skills with accounting software, enterprise resource planning programs, and experience in industry-specific accounting such as a volunteer position in a non-profit.

Five Key Points To Target In An Accountant’s Resume

  1. Remember, you are writing for a business, so don’t say “I volunteered in a non-profit.” Rather, say “set up a non-profit financial system for X.” Because really, it’s not about you. It’s about what you can do for the company.
  2. This is a good section for the use of bullet points because the list form and white space around it highlights your accomplishments.
  3. It doesn’t need to be overly specific, but name the software used, and if you reduced costs by 5%, say so. Every named software skill is another keyword, and that “5% reduced costs” will trigger questions during the interview. Some companies may not ask for it, but others will require the knowledge of it.
  4. Express assets quantitatively where possible; “5% reduced costs” keeps your number skills highlighted.
  5. Anything specifically mentioned in the job description you are applying for is a keyword the employer is looking for: financial statements, accounts receivable, payroll management, YTD financials, etc. should be in your resume, if possible, because they will show in a search engine or in a keyword-scanning machine.

Sell yourself as an accounting manager

Accounting Managers need some leadership abilities, so any work with teambuilding and supervision will be beneficial. Primarily, this position is hands-on, so the proficiency you can highlight in the actual number-crunching sets you apart from the crowd of applicants. Did you maintain accurate records? Perform well in external audits? Have responsibility for particular accounts?

Because you are writing for an accuracy-based job, it is very important that your resume be flawless. This is a place where typos and grammar mistakes will really count against you despite the fact you will not be writing in your job. Once your resume is written, look at it critically. Is it cluttered or easy to read? Ask a grammar-conscious friend to proofread it and give you feedback. Don’t forget to save your work for future use once it is revised.

For more information from Erin Kennedy and the resume services she offers, follow her on Twitter and visit her website.

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