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Accountant Resume: Examples and Tips

An accountant’s primary duties include analyzing financial data and budget forecasts, creating balance sheets, profit and loss and taxation reports, and assisting organizations in finance management, tax strategies and effective use of resources. Accountants also work in specialized areas such as tax, cost, investment or management accounting.

Use these resume examples and tips to help you craft your own professional accountant resume.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-class Accountant Resume

  1. Summary: Craft a brief overview of your top skills and experience that sums up what you bring to the table. Be descriptive in mentioning your accomplishments. For example, instead of writing “Accountant proficient in account reconciliation and financial reporting,” write “Highly-motivated accountant with seven years’ experience in reporting processes that reduced reporting process hours by 75%.”
  2. Skills: Review the job description to pick up skills that match your own abilities, such as variance analysis, investment accounting or budget forecasting, and include them here. In addition to number-crunching, this role requires soft skills such as attention to detail, strategic thinking, problem-solving, time management and organizational skills, so make sure to also feature them.
  3. Work history: Highlight your work experience with relevant facts and figures to prove your credibility. For example: “Reduced budget costs by 17% over two years or “Introduced new consolidation procedures that reduced closing time for monthly and quarterly reports by 25%.”
  4. Education: In addition to your degree in tax, accounting or finance, mention any advanced degrees or certifications, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Also include any coursework or certifications you have in Microsoft Office Applications, QuickBooks and other accounting software.

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Find the Right Template for Your Resume

Don’t worry about finding the right layout for your resume — just use one of these professionally-designed templates.

Essence

The subtle colors for the header and the two-column layout lends this layout a crisp and compact look.

Standout

The monogram logo for the applicant’s name and the unique bullet graphics for each section make this an attractive, easily readable template.

Acclaimed

The use of space and a unique header design makes this layout stand out, while leaving plenty of flexibility to customize content.

Choose from more employer-ready designs on our resume templates page.

Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Your Resume

  • Do feature both technical and soft skills While professional skills such as research, budget forecasting, account reconciliation, profit and loss reporting, auditing and variance analysis are needed for an accountant position, you should also include soft skills that show employers how you approach work: being team-oriented, having a strong work ethic, conflict-resolution skills, organizational skills and adherence to confidentiality.
  • Do package your skills and experience together Imagine that you have just a few seconds to describe your strengths as an employee. Your resume should follow the same approach. Treat your document as your “elevator pitch,” in which you feature your top strengths and experiences, making sure they address the question: Why are you the best candidate for the job? Show how you’ve successfully deployed your skills in your work experiences.
  • Highlight your achievements  Instead of a laundry list of your tasks in previous organizations, elaborate on how you’ve made an impact, whether it’s reducing risks or saving the company costs. For example: “Implemented changes that cut IT infrastructure maintenance costs by 7%,” or “Updated account reconciliation process, saving 800 hours per year.” These hard stats and facts tell a better story to recruiters than simply stating rote tasks.
  • Don’t write a lengthy resume Recruiters spend their days scanning through resumes — make sure yours is short and sweet rather than long and bloated. Unless you’re applying for a senior-level position in which you need to feature an extensive work history, aim to keep your document to one page in length. Instead of cramming information in with a smaller font, look to keep your phrases and work experience entries concise and punchy. Make sure everything you list is relevant to the job at hand.
  • Don’t send in your resume without proofreading it No matter how good your qualifications are, a simple typo or grammatical mistake can torpedo your job application, especially for an accounting role that demands precision. Do a thorough read-through of your resume before you send it out, and take this opportunity to make sure the info you’ve included is accurate and fitting for the job.
  • Don’t use flashy designs or fonts While you’ll want to stand out compared to other job seekers, do so through your resume content rather than its “look.” Using fancy fonts or layouts can backfire, especially if your potential employer sends your resume through an applicant tracking system (ATS) scan — these scans can get fouled up by unfamiliar fonts or layouts. Stick to a straightforward, professional template with standard fonts, and put your energy into presenting your best qualifications and experiences.

Accountant Resume FAQs

1. What are the skills you should emphasize for this specific job?

Here’s a list of technical skills that are usually required for accounting work:

Here’s a list of technical skills that are usually required for accounting work:Don’t forget to include some of these soft skills:
Account reconciliationDetail-oriented approach
Thorough understanding of tax lawsStrong communication skills
Thorough understanding of tax lawsOrganizational skills
Variance analysisStrategic thinking
Asset managementProblem-solving
Math skillsMaintaining confidentiality
Knowledge of GAAPAdherence to efficiency and accuracy
Proficiency in computer skills and accounting softwareTime management
Service orientation
Handling conflicts
Here’s a list of technical skills that are usually required for accounting work:
Account reconciliation
Thorough understanding of tax laws
Account analysis
Variance analysis
Asset management
Math skills
Knowledge of GAAP
Proficiency in computer skills and accounting software
Don’t forget to include some of these soft skills:
Detail-oriented approach
Strong communication skills
Organizational skills
Strategic thinking
Problem-solving
Maintaining confidentiality
Adherence to efficiency and accuracy
Time management
Service orientation
Handling conflicts

2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?

For most accountant jobs, a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting is the minimum requirement. The following certifications can also enhance your resume:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Chartered Accountant (CCA)
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
  • Certificate in Project Management (CIPM)
  • Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)
  • Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)
  • Certified in the Valuation of Financial Instruments (CVFI)
  • Certified in Entity and Intangible Valuations (CEIV)
  • Certified Key Accounts Manager (CKAM)

3. How should you format your resume?

If you have a few years of experience, choose a combination format, which gives equal emphasis to your skills and previous roles. High-level professionals can use a chronological format, which features a comprehensive work experience section. If you’re a first-time job seeker, utilize a functional format, which lets you highlight your skills, and even break them into subcategories (such as professional skills and soft skills).

4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?

Buff up your resume by gaining and featuring the following skills:

  • Broaden your skills with financial analysis workshops, bookkeeping courses and other accounting courses which will help you stay ahead in the game
  • Acquire a relevant degree in management
  • Gain certifications in areas of expertise, such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Look for more opportunities to display your management and organizational abilities in successful projects
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