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Examples of the Best Resumes for an Accounting Job

Every successful business relies on excellent accounting practices because a company is only as good as its financials. For this reason, employers are constantly searching for qualified, responsible, and organised accountants.

When applying for jobs in an environment where competition is high, it is imperative that you portray yourself in a manner that makes you appear to be a viable candidate, and the resume is the place to start.

The following are some examples of resumes that may assist you in distinguishing yourself and your abilities from other applicants for the various accounting positions:

Accountant Resume

Accountant Resume Example

Reasons why this resume gets the job

  1. Your resume for a job as an accountant needs to accurately show how qualified you are, and it also needs to be easy to read. So, keep your resume format simple.
  2. Our special advice: don't use any pictures or graphics. Before a recruiter or hiring manager looks at your resume, it is scanned by a computer to find keywords. Graphics make it hard for software to read resumes, so they are not used.
  3. We'd also suggest putting your experience in reverse chronological order. By listing your most recent job first, employers can see how far you've come in your career.
  4. If you include a resume objective or summary, it should always be tailored to the job you're applying for.
  5. Include the name of the company you're applying to, the position you're looking for, and what you hope to accomplish in your next job.

Senior Accountant Resume

Senior Accountant Resume Example

Why this resume gets the job

  1. If you want to be a senior accountant, you need to show the hiring manager that you've taken on more and more responsibility as your career has gone on. If you've had the chance to lead a team or take the lead on a project, talk about that.
  2. You can back up your work even more by including numbers that show how you've helped the company, especially when it comes to making money.
    Before you send in your senior accountant resume, the most important thing you must do is make sure there are no mistakes.
  3. But keep in mind that even spellcheckers miss some mistakes, so have a friend look over your resume afterward. You'll be surprised by what they catch before you turn in your application.

Accounts Payable Resume

Accounts Payable Resume Example

Why this resume gets the job

  1. If you're applying for a more specialised job in accounting or finance, the job title on your resume should be clear.
  2. Your title should always be the same as the title of the job you're applying for. So, if you want to get a job in accounts payable, your resume should say "accounts payable specialist" or "accounts payable associate."
  3. Your skills section on your resume should be complete but not complete. Keep it to less than 10 skills, and only list ones you feel comfortable talking about in an interview.
  4. Employers immediately get worried when they see a long list of skills because it's unlikely that an applicant is an expert in all of them.

Entry-Level Accountant Resume

Entry-Level Accountant Resume Example

Why this resume gets the job

  1. If you're a student looking for your first accounting job, the hiring manager will know that you don't have a lot of experience.
  2. Since you don't have much experience with accounting, don't worry about trying to add to what you already know.
  3. Instead, list all the jobs you've had and highlight skills that can be used in other situations, such as written communication, data analysis, and research.
  4. Your resume for a job as an entry-level accountant is likely to be different from other resumes you've written (and maybe a bit scary).
  5. Try using an outline to help you organise your ideas and make sure you have everything you need on one sheet of paper. After you finish the outline, you can use a resume template to make sure your content is formatted correctly and looks good.

Staff Accountant Resume

Staff Accountant Resume Example

Why this resume gets the job

  1. If you're working hard to get your CPA licence, you should make it clear on your staff accountant resume how far along you are.
  2. You can talk about your progress in more than just your certifications section. You can put it in your resume objective or summary.
  3. After a few years on the job, it's important to show that you took charge of the projects you worked on. Using action verbs like "owned," "led," and "advised" is a great way to do this.
  4. You should also use metrics like an increase in sales or efficiency to show how you've helped your company in a positive way.

Forensic Accountant Resume

Forensic Accountant Resume Example

Why this resume gets the job

  1. If you have worked as a forensic accountant for more than ten years, you might want to add a summary to your resume.
  2. In contrast to a resume objective, a summary statement focuses on how you can use the skills you've gained in your career.
  3. Make sure your summary statement lists the company you're applying to and the number of years you've worked in accounting (plus the job title).
  4. Your forensic accountant resume needs to make a good first impression, so it needs to be formatted properly.
  5. Start by putting your work experience in reverse chronological order. This means that your most recent work experience should be at the top of the page.
  6. Then you can think about things like placement, colour, and how often something is used. Make sure your resume is easy to read at a glance no matter what you do.

Financial Analyst/Accountant Resume

Financial Analyst/Accountant Resume Example

Why this resume gets the job

  1. You don't need to have worked for years to have a good financial analyst or accountant resume.
  2. Have you joined a group for accountants or made one? Maybe you've written a book about money. Or maybe you talk about financial trends from time to time at events outside of work. All of these are great ways to show how you've used your skills in new ways, so you can put them on your resume.
  3. Focus on projects and volunteer work that can show you have important skills (like collaboration and communication).
  4. If you're having trouble writing your resume, doing what you're doing right now—reading lots of resume examples—can help.
  5. Look for similar structures, word choices, and metrics to see how you can make your resume more appealing.

Management Accountant Resume

Management Accountant Resume Example

Why this resume gets the job

  1. You know you have the right education, training, and experience, but that experience won't mean much if you can't show how well you've handled your responsibilities.
  2. Make sure that your experience as a management accountant is highlighted in your resume. Include your most important achievements, like if you've led projects or saved your company a lot of money.
  3. Even though your goal is to show your best work, it's more important to have a clear career path. Employers want to see that you have worked regularly.
  4. If you want to know how to make a resume, remember that you should focus on making it fit the job description for an accountant.
  5. Look in the job description for specific skills, key words, and responsibilities. Add these to your section on work experience and skills to make the most of them.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Resume

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Resume Example

Why this resume gets the job

  1. CPAs do a lot of different things, but that doesn't mean that your resume needs to list everything you've ever done. It's likely that the accountant job description lists a specific set of responsibilities and skills, so you'll need to tailor your experience to match what it says.
  2. Keep your bullet points short so you can stay on one page. Every point should be between one sentence and three lines long at most.
  3. Don't be afraid to list your accomplishments and successes, but don't fill up your space with words that don't add anything. Most of the time, you can leave out words like "successfully" and "as needed."
  4. Even if you've been a CPA for a long time, your education and certifications must be on your resume.
  5. Certifications need their own section, but you only need to list the name of the certificate. You can list the company that gave you the certificate, but most hiring managers will already know that, so don't worry about it.

4 Ways to Boost Your Accountant Resume Now

You know as an accountant that accuracy is important. You should be a good analyst who can do reliable research and solve hard legal and financial problems. So, think of your resume not only as a place to show off your experience, but also as a place to show that you pay attention to details and have a high standard of work.

To get the most out of your resume, you should pay special attention to these four areas:

  • Listing accounting skills 
  • Formatting your accountant resume properly
  • Quantifying your previous impact
  • Customizing your resume to each job

1: List the right accountant skills 

When recruiters post an accountant job description, it's not unheard of for them to receive upwards of 100 resumes. With the sheer number of applicants, companies can't carefully review every accountant's application. They applicant tracking system (ATS) software to help weed out applicants before a recruiter reviews them, which saves time and gets rid of candidates without the right experience.

Applicant tracking systems work by using algorithms that match keywords from the company to keywords in your resume. So even if you're highly qualified for a job, your resume may be thrown out if it doesn't include the right keywords. To avoid this, you need to know how to include job-appropriate skills on your resume (keywords). 

What are the right skills? The right skills will vary depending on the accountant role. Read this excerpt from a sample accountant job description and see if you can pick up on the essential skills: 

Greenhill is seeking a certified accountant who can tackle every level of the accounting process, from balancing ledgers to researching the law and analyzing data to ensure efficient and effective operations. This position is ideal for candidates who are jacks-of-all-trades! Must possess strong public speaking and collaboration skills while demonstrating initiative and the capacity to conduct independent work. 

Based on this small sample, we can create a list of essential skills customized for the job. You do not want to take exact words from the job description or lie about your skill level. Instead, use the accountant job description as a jumping-off point to think about the most relevant skills you possess: 

  • Accounting applications: Quickbooks, ERP, Concur, Taxjar
  • GAAP
  • Tax accounting
  • Expense reporting
  • State law compliance
  • Accounts payable/receivable
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Data analysis and research presentations

On other accountant job postings, you can expect to see different skills emphasized, such as:

List of 8 accountant skills on resume sidebar

2: Choose the best resume format 

It's not just about what you write on your accountant resume; it's about how you write it. Your resume format is important for ensuring that your resume is visually appealing, easy to read, and easy for the ATS to recognize. For these reasons, we always suggest the reverse-chronological format to keep your most recent job experience listed at the top of your resume, but there are some other aspects of resume formatting you need to know.

Here are some other essential elements of resume formatting that you should pay attention to, including:

  • Resume length: Always ensure your resume is a full, single-sided page.
  • Bullet points: Break up large text sections about your work experience with classic round bullet points.
  • Avoiding icons/images: The ATS does not seem to appreciate icons/images; neither will recruiters.
  • Listing the title of the position you're seeking: Specialize your resume for each job you apply for to show respect and genuine interest in the job. (This is especially useful for a company that may be hiring for multiple positions.)
  • Objective/Summary: Only use one when necessary (hang tight—we're about to cover this in-depth).

Remember these formatting tips, and you'll be confident that your resume is ATS-friendly and easy-to-read for recruiters. 

Understand the elusive resume objective and summary

All right, back to the objective and summary. A resume objective is one of the most misunderstood sections for your resume. Most people think objectives are outdated and pointless, but that's only the case if you don't tailor them and keep them short. 

But what exactly is a resume objective? And what's the difference between that and a resume summary? Let's dive in!

A resume objective and summary statement are both short, two to three-sentence paragraphs at the top of a resume to express your interest in a position or a brief career synopsis. Both require customization and should be avoided if you don't plan on writing a new one for every job application. 

Accountant resume objective with black accent header color

However, these two types of paragraphs differ in how they communicate interest in the job. An objective describes the value you will add to a company and why you want the job. Objectives are best-suited to accountants who are just starting their careers or going through a career change (like from a staff accountant to an accounts payable specialist). 

A resume resume summary highlights your past work experience, leveraging it to prove your qualifications and skills. Because the summary relies on many past job experiences, it's only recommended for senior accountants with many years of industry experience. 

Let's work through a few examples together, so you can better understand all the moving parts: 

Poor resume objective: Years of experience in the industry, looking for a full-time job in the accounting field with benefits. 

  • There are multiple issues at play here. First, it's uninformative. The applicant doesn't list anything that provides concrete evidence of their skills. Secondly, it's not specific. They don't mention a particular job title, applicable skills, or the company to which they're applying. Lastly, this candidate is only focused on what the job will do for them. You need to mention reasons why you'll be an asset to the company, not what the job will provide for you personally.

Better resume objective: Detailed junior accountant with 4+ years of experience working for Big Four accounting firms. Seeking an opportunity as a staff accountant at a smaller-scale operation like Fender Co., where my specializations in optimizing pricing through software adoption and systems streamlining would positively impact sales. 

  • This resume objective makes the case that the applicant is valuable to the company by highlighting relevant skills and years of experience. Furthermore, it's customized to the specific job the candidate is seeking, which is a major green flag for employers. 

Poor summary statement: Experience as an accountant for 3 businesses. My role, which was providing organized, detailed work for all 3 companies, positively impacted the companies. 

  • This statement is vague and confusing, not to mention it's poorly worded. Would you trust this person with your company's financial accounts? 

Better summary statement: Data-driven certified accountant with specialized work in small and mid-size businesses for 22 years. Dedicated to providing services that adhere to GAAP standards while optimizing operations and financial performance. Expertise in many types of accounting software relevant to business size, including Xero, Quickbooks, Zoho, and SAP. Experience supervising and collaborating across cross-functional teams and departments while increasing ROI by 5%+ YTD. 

  • This summary statement provides specific metrics, specialized skills, and a job title. It's a great example of a strong statement that would impress a hiring team. 

3: Quantify your positive impact as an accountant

If you want to prove to a company that you're an excellent accountant, you'll want to focus on numbers. Quantifying your impact on your accountant resume provides concrete proof that you're an asset to the company.

Fortunately, as an accountant, there are many ways to quantify your impact, such as:

  • Internal company operations: Have you worked with company executives to propose financial incentives to improve employee retention? Have you instituted software adoption that reduced error rates? 
  • Leadership: Do you manage, mentor, or collaborate with a team? Do you work across several departments? 
  • Work with vendors: Do you assess vendor invoicing or review vendor statements? Do you manage accounts payable for vendors? 
  • Clients: How many clients do you advise, if you work with individual clients? How long have you retained these clients? 
  • Revenue: How much revenue does the company you work for generate? How many assets do you oversee? How much have you saved in potential penalty costs? 
  • Reductions in error rates: Have you reduced errors during employment at your past jobs? Do you use specific types of software to minimize the mistakes? 

Based on the above, check out these examples that demonstrate how metrics can fuel your bullet points: 

  • Proactively identified and communicated potential problem areas related to a client's reporting issue, saving the client $2K+ in penalty fees
  • Supported management in executing an employee equity compensation plan to improve employee retention by 11%
  • Led a team of 2 junior accountants, providing mentorship and feedback through weekly 1:1 sessions
  • Reconciled vendor statements in QuickBooks, investigating and correcting any discrepancies within 48 hours 

4: Optimize your accountant resume for each job

Unfortunately, you can't just have one copy of your resume that you submit for every accountant job application. Every application deserves a tailored resume.

With the job description in view, these are the areas you'll need to pay special attention to:

  • Objective/summary statement: Remember how we encouraged you to include specific company names? One of applicants' worst mistakes is failing to change the company name on multiple job applications. Make sure you read over your statement (if included) before submitting your resume, changing the job title, skills, and company name.
  • Skills: To customize your skills section, read the job description. Often, hiring managers will overtly say what skills are important for the specific accounting job (but be careful not to plagiarize). 
  • Job description bullet points: Are you applying to a job that needs you to interface with clients? Or maybe you'll be working behind the scenes with data? Think about how you can shift how you discuss your work experience to highlight what's important for each particular job. 

We know it's frustrating to focus on customizations when you want to submit multiple applications in a short amount of time. Consider creating a document with a master list of job description bullet points and skills, sorted into groups based on the skills you need to highlight (e.g., one section that demonstrate your accuracy, another for client interactions, another for public speaking, etc.). Then, you can pick and pull things from this document to create fully customized resumes in no time. 

For now, we think you'll find something to help you get started on your accountant resume, no matter the exact role: 

Accountant resume 

  • Do you have experience in general ledger (GL) accounting? 
  • Try to demonstrate your knowledge of accounting basics, including balance sheets, accounts payable/receivable, and accounting software. 
    • Remember, you don't need to include all of these accounting skills in each position, but they must be covered at least once somewhere on your accountant resume. 

Senior accountant resume 

  • As a senior accountant, focus on customizing your resume to demonstrate skills beyond just the basics. 
    • Underscore things like extensive improvements in efficiency rates, accuracy, and year-to-year financial growth. 
    • Have you collaborated with upper management to set company-wide standards or implement internal policies or financial work incentives? 
  • Highlight your ability to step into leadership and mentorship roles. 

Accounts payable resume 

  • Hone in on what matters by discussing payment processing and review, tracking business expenses (such as vendor invoices), and ensuring GL and GAAP compliance. 
  • Have you worked on complicated accounts, perhaps with payment discrepancies that required your action on the part of the company's interest? 
    • Highlight your attention to detail and how it has saved revenue for companies you've worked for in the past.

Entry-level accountant resume 

  • Hiring managers do understand that everyone starts somewhere, so you don't need to have tons of accounting experience right out of the gate (although that is preferred). 
    • You can leverage almost any job position to highlight particularly relevant skills in accounting. For example, a restaurant server can still balance payments, check receipts against bills, etc. 
  • Read the job description carefully, noting what skills are most important to the hiring team and emphasizing your capacity to work in accounting based on their requirements. 

Staff accountant resume

  • As a staff accountant, you'll generally have more responsibility and focus on more specific work than general accountants. 
    • Your staff accountant resume should focus on general ledger maintenance/oversight, tax revenue billing, accounts payable/receivable, reports, and general record-keeping. 
  • Don't forget to showcase your potential for job advancement down the road by highlighting any aspects in which you provided management/supervisory work. 

Final takeaway for improving your accountant resume 

The hardest part of writing your accountant resume is getting started, so congratulate yourself on starting your resume journey! You're one step closer to creating your best-ever accounting resume. We've laid out all the essential tips, including optimizing your skills section, formatting, metrics, and resume customizations, so you can write an amazing resume in no time. 

No matter what stage you're at, we're here to help, and we wish you the best of luck!

Here at Ujuzingo, we've made it a habit to support accounting and finance enthusiasts put their best foot forward as they search for opportunities that meet their skills and career aspirations, while also assisting employers in finding more job-ready applicants. Check out our accounting and finance courses or current job openings.