Accountant Resume Sample


Accountant Resume Sample


Experts at the Bureau of Labor Statistics have estimated that the accounting industry is going to grow at a faster-than-average rate. Even with this fast growth, you may have difficulties getting a job as an accountant, clerk, or auditor because of the sheer number of applicants for each position. If you want to succeed as a job seeker, you need to set yourself apart from the competition. The best way you can do that is to refer to our free resume samples and write your own standout accountant resume.


When it comes to resume writing, you may come across plenty of different resume guidelines. The fact is, how you write yours should vary based on the job you want to get. You can use the popular accounting resume sample we have gathered to learn about the industry-specific elements you may want to include in your own professional document.


The number one reason why a business fails is poor money management. Through your expertise, you show the company how the business is doing. You stay on top of expenses.  This is a well-paying career. Businesses are willing to pay top dollar for a good accountant. 


Our Accountant resume sample will help you stand out from others. It is as well-organized and precise as a balance sheet. We will show you how to turn liabilities into assets that will pay dividends for the job search.



Accountant Resume Skills List


Being good in numbers is not enough. You have to know what to do with those numbers.


  • Education. You need an accounting degree for this job. A 2-year associate degree is good enough. However, a 4-year college degree will be better. Can you become an accountant if you finished another course? Yes, but you should complete enough accounting units. At the very least, you should be able to do general ledger, basic bookkeeping services and preparation of financial statements
  • Certifications. Many people ask if you have to be certified as an Accountant. There are tasks that are limited only to CPAs. Among these tasks are doing audits, preparing, and analyzing financial reports and tax returns. CPAs are also paid much higher. Certainly, becoming a CPA opens more opportunities. You can also be hired by other companies as an accountant on retention.
  • Excellent Communicator. Not everyone is good with numbers. Not even the CEO or the owner of the business. You should take them through all the reports patiently. If you are an excellent communicator, in time, it will be easier for them to understand. Numbers are important for the business. It is the basis for strategy design.
  • Meticulous. If you are not meticulous with your reports, you can make a costly mistake. These reports also have to be submitted in a timely manner. Most of all, the reports should be available whenever they are needed.

Accountant Resume Objective


First, review the job ad. Find out what skills are needed for the job. Do you have them? These could be resume keywords. Companies put that on job descriptions to qualify accountant resumes. Make sure they are on yours.


Second, write as if you are talking to the recruiter. You only have 6 seconds to make an impression. What would you say? You have to start out with your strongest skills. What are these? The recruiter wants to know if you are the right person for the job.


Third, keep it short. Upon review, it is only composed of 2 sentences. The idea is to highlight the needed job skills as soon as possible. If the recruiter is not interested, that could be it for your accountant resume.


Accountant Resume Format


It is easier to read. This type of resume formats presents all the key details in a well-structured manner.


You can use the reverse chronological only if:


  • You have tenure of at least 2 years;
  • There is no unemployment gap of more than 4 months.


How does this format look? Review our free resume samples for an Accountant resume:


  • Contact Information
  • Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Certification/ License
  • Personal Information


Another version would be possible if you have a higher education. Assuming you have a Masters Degree in Accounting, the format could change like this:


  • Contact Information
  • Skills
  • Certification/ License
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Personal Information


The functional format shifts the focus on your best hard skills. In the latest example, not many may have a Masters Degree. Showcasing your Masters will put you ahead of others.


Entry Level Accountant Resume


Do you think you can get a job with an entry-level Accountant resume? Yes, but you should put the focus on your strongest skills:


  • Are you a CPA? If so, use the functional format.
  • Include certification courses that you took. For example, courses in law, computers and negotiations.
  • Highlight academic achievements. Include your GPA if it is higher than 3.5.


If you don’t have much experience, you need to put your best skills forward. Recruiters may give you a second look if they know you have the right skills and expertise for the job.


Accountant Resume Job Description


They prepare financial reports regarding revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities for internal use by staff and to meet requirements by the government, shareholders and other external entities. 


 Accountants conduct audits to determine if client organizations or their own employer is following established legal practices and company policies for financial transactions and record-keeping. They prepare reports with their findings and recommend remedies to resolve problems and reduce the risk of lawsuits and financial losses due to staff errors or criminal activity.

Accountants prepare tax returns to minimize tax liabilities and ensure that income is reported according to the IRS code. They advise clients or management at their firm regarding strategies to limit future tax burdens. Public accountants must go through a rigorous certification process that includes passing the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam as well as meeting educational and work experience requirements. 




The median salary for accountants was $68,150 in May 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bottom 10 per cent earns less than $42,140, while the top 10 per cent earns more than $120,910.


Pay Scale


The starting pay for an entry-level accounting and finance position is approximately 32,000 dollars per year. Depending on what field you decide to go into, an experienced accounting and finance position would bring a salary in the range of 68,000 to 109,000 dollars per year.



Popular Accounting Resume Questions


  1. What to do to make my accounting resume past an ATS?


Many companies use an applicant tracking system to make finding top candidates easier. An ATS screens hundreds of accountant resumes looking for key phrases important to the hiring manager. If you fail to use keywords from the job description, chances are you won’t make it past the first round of review. You can increase your chances of a hiring manager actually looking at your accountant resume by incorporating as many keywords as you can, avoiding the use of tables or graphs, and keeping your layout simple.


  1. What’s the preferred length for an accounting resume?


Most of our accounting resume samples stick to a single page because that’s what hiring managers like to see. Of course, the length of your accountant resume is not only dictated by the industry.  If you have an executive-level job and decades of experience, you may not be able to fit all of your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments on one page. In this situation, it may work better for you to use two pages. Most experts suggest avoiding anything longer unless hiring managers have specifically requested it.


  1. What to include accomplishments on my accounting resume?


Hiring managers want to see your accomplishments. These unique job experiences point out how you handle stressful projects, lead teams, or take initiative. Using metrics to describe your biggest achievements can make it easier for recruiters to really understand what you did. Some examples of impressive accounting accomplishments could include the amount of money you were able to save your client because you found and fixed an error.


  1. What do I put on an accounting resume for my first job?


Writing an accountant resume as an entry-level employee comes with its own unique set of challenges. How can you show employers you have what it takes to be an accountant when you don’t have any relevant experience? You need to focus more on your education and skills. Look at the entry-level accounting resume samples to get a better idea of how to do this.


Remember, just because you’re not focusing on your experience doesn’t mean you want to leave it off your document. Instead, use your work history section to show hiring managers how you built up the skills you need to succeed as an accountant through your unrelated jobs.


  1. What’s the best accountant resume format to use for an accounting resume?


Some resume formats go over the top with graphs, pictures, and colours. This can work well for some job searches, but most accounting hiring managers won’t care about the fluff of the design. As you sit down to write your accountant resume, look over the accounting resume samples one more time to get a clear idea of the templates that work best for this industry.


How do you write an accountant resume?


  • Your accountant resume is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal when searching for new employment. To catch the eye of potential employers, you must emphasize your ability to create, adhere to, and analyze budgets
    Begin by compiling a master list of your previous jobs, skills, and other relevant qualifications. When you write your accountant resume, sort those credentials into four main sections. List accounting certifications and additional training as well. 


What format to use for an accountant resume?


  • Make sure you use an accountant resume format that is appropriate for the accounting field. In many cases, you may be applying for positions with a more conservative company or workplace attitude. Therefore, your format should be a traditional design.
    Opt for a simple style devoid of pictures, logos, or other graphics. Use a professional font, black text, and minimal colour. Stay away from complex formatting tools other than bullet points.  


How to write the summary statement of an accountant resume?


  • Think of this section as your professional story in a nutshell. Illuminate your top qualifications to show what you can do and why you are a great candidate for the position. State your professional title, "accountant," and include key talents and personality traits. For example, in this profession, you may identify yourself as organized and detail-oriented, and you may include skills in financial planning, reporting, and analysis.

  • Most hiring managers prefer to see professional summaries instead of objective statements on applicants' resumes. Unfortunately, many employers only scan resumes for a few seconds before deciding whether to continue reading. Your summary must be concise, but it also needs to offer enough information to pique readers' interest.


What skills to include on an accountant resume? 


  • As an accountant, you may want to include proficiencies in account reconciliation, tax auditing, and financial reporting. Include an understanding of GAAP and expertise in accounting software (such as NetSuite, QuickBooks, Excel, or Google sheets). Take a look at the job description to learn which abilities to emphasize.
    This portion of your document should utilize bullet points and short phrases to allow hiring managers to skim quickly. Try to list around six to eight skill sets. 


How to write the experience section of an accountant resume?


  • The largest component of your accountant resume, your work experience section, is where you describe your previous jobs. Introduce each position by displaying your job title, the name of your employer, and the dates you worked. Then use bullet points to list your duties and accomplishments.

  • Begin every description with a strong action word, such as “coordinated,” “consolidated,” “managed,” and so on. Focus on accomplishments more than typical responsibilities. As an accountant, it is especially important to use numbers and percentages to quantify your successes. Did you decrease accounting errors by a definitive percentage or use tax laws to save employers a certain amount of money? Write about these achievements.


How to write about your education on an accountant resume?


  • Unless you are a recent graduate, it is usually best to position your education section at the bottom of your accountant resume, as in an accountant resume sample. This component should concisely list your degrees, licences, certifications and additional professional training. Since accountants require advanced education, you should not include your high school diploma.

  • List the official title of your degree and the institution from which you earned it. Include the school's location as well. In most cases, you do not need to display your GPA.


How to tailor an accountant resume for the specific job you want?


  • First, review the job description. Does it identify the software you will use in the position? What responsibilities does it emphasize? Can you determine what technical skills hiring managers will value most in candidates? Write these phrases word for word in your text to demonstrate your relevance to the job.

  • Why? In your accountant resume, you need to go a step further than simply including language and terms that are relevant to the accounting industry overall. It is important to customize your document for the particular accounting role you want to land.


Should you include references on an accountant resume?


  • Including references on your accountant resume is no longer standard practice. Depending on your experience, your document should be only one or two pages. You must condense a lot of valuable information to adhere to this length, so do not worry about wasting space with a list of references. Employers already know to request this information after they interview you.


How to optimize your accountant resume for an ATS?

  • An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a screening tool that many companies use to initially filter through incoming resumes for a job opening. An ATS scans resume determining if they contain specific keywords and meet other criteria. Your accountant resume must pass this technology to get to the hiring manager, otherwise, it will be screened out.


  • To increase your chances of being one of the few who pass an ATS, use phrases you find in the job description such as "general ledger accounting" or "budget forecasting."

7 Quick Tips for Negotiating Your New Salary


If your initial accountant salary offering was less than you were expecting, negotiate. Employers are open to different terms, but only if you ask. We’ve compiled the following tips to help job seekers like you gain an edge at the negotiating table.


  1. Organize your argument. Before your interview, identify the reasons why you deserve a higher starting salary. Compile a list of your previous accounting experience, accomplishments and certifications to reinforce your value to the employer. Credentials demonstrate your value to the company. Use hard numbers and metrics, such as those seen on our accountant resume sample, to support your work history. Additionally, research median salaries in your field and present that information to your employer as a benchmark of value in the industry.
  2. Know your value. All new hires should go into negotiations with a target salary range in mind. More importantly, you should ask for more than you expect to receive. Don’t disclose how low you’re willing to go; it leaves the employer no reason to offer more.
  3. Aim high. By the very nature of negotiation, your employer will want to lower your initial salary proposal. By starting out high, you’re more likely to receive a better counter-offer. Though lower than your ideal salary, your negotiated salary often will still be greater than your employer’s initial offer.
  4. Don’t settle for less than you’re worth. If an employer is unwilling to agree on a satisfactory number, don’t be afraid to decline the offer. When industry averages and hiring rates indicate more lucrative opportunities, you should seek out an employer who can afford your value and qualifications. This means you will need to reapply for a new job, one which has more promising salary opportunities
  5. Factor in the benefits. When offered an opening salary, ask if it includes benefits such as retirement, health insurance, or expense subsidies. Though not take-home income, these salary add-ons lower your personal expenses, increasing disposable income. When negotiating your salary, consider the value of your benefits as part of a complete package.
  6. Be professional and courteous. Salary negotiations are not meant to be hostile. In fact, you’re more likely to succeed if you remain cordial and respectful during your interview. Employers are not responsive to aggressive and combative tactics. Keep the tone of conversation professional and polite — after all, you may be speaking to your future boss.
  7. Have confidence. Above all else, negotiations take initiative. If you believe your accounting experience is worth more, open up the conversation. Employers expect negotiation; they offer low-range salaries knowing they will often increase before accepted. When you approach the negotiating table with a clear head and confidence, you leave a stronger impression on your employer. Though you may limit future pay raises, you risk very little when you step up to salary discussions.

Time To Build Your Accountant Resume


Accounting can be a lucrative field, but it's not always easy to get one's foot in the door. Whether you recently graduated or earned your CPA years ago, you can boost the odds that an employer will invite you to an interview by crafting a compelling resume.


Our free online resume builder works a lot like paint by numbers. You plug your information into designated fields, one by one, until you have a complete picture of your job history and experience. If you want to veer away from the template, the resume builder provides step-by-step instructions to help you do so without compromising the quality of the finished document.


Showcase your exclusive abilities, experience, and qualifications via a job-winning accountant resume.