Payroll Specialist Resume Examples and Tips

Payroll specialists oversee employee data and collect information to calculate wages, prepare paychecks, and maintain accurate payroll records. In addition to being proficient with payroll software and ensuring legal compliance, this position requires time management skills, excellent organizational and problem-solving abilities, and an aptitude for numbers.

Use our recommended resume examples and tips to craft your own perfect resume for a payroll specialist role:

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Payroll Specialist Combination Resume Template

Featured Resume Example: Payroll Specialist

Payroll Specialist Combination Resume Template


Address: City, State, Zip Code
Phone: 000-000-0000


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.”