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Featured resume example: payroll specialist

Payroll Specialist Combination Resume Template


Address: City, State, Zip Code
Phone: 000-000-0000
E-Mail: email@email.com


Seasoned payroll specialist bringing seven years’ of experience in accounting operations. Highly adept with key strengths in payroll administration functions, including discrepancy research, regulatory guidelines adherence, complex processing procedures and program management. Able to resolve issues quickly and identify mistakes on time sheets.


  • Payroll administration
  • New hire processing
  • Time sheet review
  • ADP
  • Processing garnishments
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Organization


Payroll Specialist
Company Name,City, State 09/2017 – Current


Bachelor of Science: Accounting
Company Name,City, State 05/2012

  • Run bi-weekly payroll for 2,000+ employees, including set-up of warrant number for payroll date.
  • Research payroll errors and process payments for federal and state taxes, social security, Medicare, and various employee deductions, annuity contributions and retirement plan withholdings.
  • Build and maintain 30 different contract calendars and manage set up for all new banks for direct deposit and accrual year-end processes.

Payroll Clerk
Company Name,City, State 04/2015 – 08/2017

Oversaw day-to-day processing of payroll for 850 employees, including review of timesheets and computing pay in accordance with FLSA. Performed calculations in overtime, vacation and sick hours to provide accurate data to payroll processing database. Applied knowledge of regulations, employment law and tax code to keep operations in compliance with applicable

Payroll Assistant
Company Name,City, State10/2012 – 03/2015

  • Processed payrolls on both a bi-weekly and monthly basis for more than 600 employees nationally.
  • Maintained payroll information by calculating, collecting and entering data.
  • Accurately calculated bonuses, salary increases and overtime.

Top 4 characteristics of a best-in-class payroll specialist resume

  1. Summary Give a concise rundown of your experience and best skills in your summary statement, focusing on areas that fit what the potential employer is looking for. If the employer needs someone to handle weekly payroll management, list any experiences in this area. For example: “Meticulous payroll specialist experienced in supervising weekly payroll for 500 non-exempt technicians.”
  2. Skills In addition to practical skills such as proficiency in Kronos, Payforce or other databases, data entry, and accounting knowledge, leave some room for soft skills that show hiring managers you have the intangibles to excel in the job. For example: “excellent verbal and written communication skills,” “time management,” “multitasking”, “collaboration” and “analytical skills.”
  3. Work history Focus on accomplishments rather than tasks from previous jobs. Limit this section to work from the past 10 years in reverse-chronological order, including the job title, company details, and job achievements in bullet points.
  4. Education Include your top academic credential (e.g., high school diploma or college degree), as well as any other relevant training courses and certifications (e.g., software programs or databases such as Kronos, Payforce, ADP and Query).

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This template uses a straightforward design, with hints of color to highlight the applicant’s work history and skills. The applicant’s name is displayed in capitalized font to quickly get recruiters’ attention.


This layout uses elegant fonts and subtle shading for section headings, making it easy for employers to navigate.


This design stands out with its use of dual colors for the candidate’s name. Section headings are arranged on the left for quick reference.

For a complete selection of templates you can use, visit our resume templates pages.

Do’s and don’ts for your resume

  • DO review your resume.In payroll work, being accurate and truthful is of utmost importance — and your resume needs to follow suit. Re-read your resume several times to fix any grammatical errors or typos. Make sure your content matches the particular job you’re applying to. For extra help, you can use our Resume Builder, which will run a check on your document.
  • DO optimize your resume for applicant tracking systems (ATS).Hiring managers often use ATS systems to scan resumes and filter out job candidates, based on keywords. Get the right keywords by consulting the job posting for important details that spell out what the job needs, such as “preparing EDD Audit Reports,” and and make sure you account for them in your own resume, whether you mention them in your summary (e.g., “Payroll Specialist with experience in audit reports”), your skills section (“EDD Audits”) or in your work history (“Prepared EDD Audit Reports for business of 500 employees”).
  • DO quantify your work experience.Applying statistics and numbers to your work achievements help give employers a better idea of your accomplishments and capabilities. For example, instead of writing “reviewed, analyzed, and verified employee payroll reports,” get into more detail: “reviewed, analyzed, and verified payroll reports for 70+ employees.”
  • DON’T forget to emphasize soft skills.Although technical skills like payroll administration, mathematical skills, ADP and payroll tax knowledge are essential for a payroll specialist, be sure to also mention intangible traits that show how you approach work. Some examples of soft skills include: adaptability, multitasking and attention to detail. Show through your summary and work history sections how you’ve used these skills. For example: “Detail-oriented payroll specialist with 6 years’ experience in payroll administration.”
  • DON’T make your resume too long.Employers spend mere seconds reading a resume on average, which means it’s important to get across your most important information quickly and briefly. Avoid including unnecessary information on general duties and responsibilities, and only use content directly related to the role you’re applying to. Aim for one to two pages on your resume, and limit your work experience section to the last 10 years of jobs.
  • DON’T use passive verbs to describe your previous work experiences.Using strong action verbs such as “improved,” “implemented,” “monitored” “executed” and “processed” will energize your work achievements. Avoid wishy-washy phrases like “was tasked with” or “responsible for.”

Payroll specialist resume FAQ

1. What skills should you emphasize in the role of a payroll specialist?

Some technical and soft skills that you can use for your resume include:

Technical skills:Soft skills:
Proficient in MS OfficeOrganizational skills
Knowledge of Kronos and Payforce softwareMultitasking
High numerical aptitudePatience
Knowledge of payroll practicesAttention to detail
Well-versed with accounting practices and proceduresAccuracy
Quality assuranceCommunication skills
SLA fulfillmentDecision-making
Automated processingTime management
ADP skillsAdaptability
Data entry and managementDisciplined and goal-oriented
Payroll tax knowledgeReliability and honesty
Processing garnishmentsDecision-making
Responsible and dependable
Customer service etiquettes
Administrative skills
Team player
Technical skills:
Proficient in MS Office
Knowledge of Kronos and Payforce software
High numerical aptitude
Knowledge of payroll practices
Well-versed with accounting practices and procedures
Quality assurance
SLA fulfillment
Automated processing
ADP skills
Data entry and management
Payroll tax knowledge
Processing garnishments
Soft skills:
Organizational skills
Organizational skills
Attention to detail
Communication abilities
Time management
Disciplined and goal-oriented
Reliability and honesty
Responsible and dependable
Customer service etiquettes
Administrative skills
Team player

2.What format should you use for a resume?

For a payroll specialist job, use a chronological resume format if you have plenty of work history that shows how you’ve progressed in your career. If you have a few years of experience or are moving over from a different job field,, choose a hybrid or combination resume format that emphasizes both your relevant skills and job achievements. If you’re a first-time job seeker or lack professional work history, focus on presenting the skills you already have using a functional resume format.

For more resume formatting tips, see our resume format page.

3. How should you craft a resume if you’re looking to take your next step in your career?

To move up to a more senior role such as payroll manager, gain more expertise in the following areas, and present them in your resume:

  • Advanced knowledge of payroll processes and improvements
  • Showcase examples where you mentored junior team members, or took on responsibility for a major project.
  • Demonstrate consistency in achieving employer goals and targets, as well as any recognitions you’ve received for your work.
  • Training and certifications in popular payroll software or MS Office, as well as useful skills (e.g., project management).

4. Should I include references in my resume?

Don’t bother to add references in the resume until the employer asks you to do so. Use your valuable resume space to elaborate on your work achievements and skills.

5. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit a payroll specialist resume?

  • Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC)
  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) in your resume
  • Training or certificates in job-specific software such as MS Office, Intuit or QuickBooks