What Should Your Accounting & Finance Resume Look Like?
If you know people that work in accounting and finance, you know they love working with numbers, are highly analytical and detail-oriented and love to solve problems. One thing they may struggle with is being able to put their achievements down in words. Writing a resume may be somewhat of a challenge for someone who specializes in analyzing data and executing calculations. Here are some tips to ensure your accounting or finance resume will stand out among the competition.
Even during times when unemployment rates for accounting and finance professionals are near all-time lows, it is still a competitive market for job seekers. Senior managers in a recent survey conducted by Robert Half said that they typically receive 40 resumes for every open position, and they spend 12 minutes per resume looking for candidates to interview. Generally, recruiters will spend even less time, about 30 seconds, skimming resumes to send over to hiring managers for review, only glancing briefly at the top one third of each resume.
Therefore, the first impression you want to make on a hiring manager is that you have what companies want, so you will need to make those 30 seconds count. When you write your accounting resume or you will want to closely follow the recommendations below:
1. Employ honesty and integrity when describing the scope of your prior role and any quantifiable information you share. At the top of your resume, highlight your skills and experience in an executive summary to convey your most impressive achievements. Present your career accomplishments and focus on what you achieved in each of your positions. In the education section, if you’ve been working in accounting for several years, you don’t need as much emphasis as if you were newly graduated. If you have work experience, place your education below your jobs, however, if you are a recent college grad and looking to transition into an accounting or financial role, you can put your education above your experience and highlight some of your relevant courses.
2. Be sure to proofread your document(s) a few times to ensure accuracy and grammar. Have someone you trust review, edit and check the document for spelling errors or typos. Having a second set of eyes can sometimes help catch things you may miss. You wouldn’t want to send out any resume blunders, such as one that describes yourself as “familiar with all faucets of accounting,” as if you were an accountant by day and plumber by night. Or listing “thieves well in high-pressure environments” as one of your core qualifications. It also helps to print out your resume for closer review, take a break and return with a fresh set of eyes.
3. Assess terminology that might be understood within the firm where you worked but has no meaning to an outsider who reads your resume. Watch for jargon and acronyms, too, and if the skills you used at your previous position aren’t transferable to the one you’re applying for, don’t give them space on your resume. Try to find words and phrases that can describe these terms in general accounting lingo that will be understood by new and prospective employers.
4. Make sure your skills match what’s in the job description. Most job postings for accountants include technical, software and interpersonal requirements. As you scrutinize your resume, ask yourself how well it matches the elements of the job description and if it conveys the match clearly and early in the document.
5. Showcase your achievements with numbers, whenever possible. How many invoices did you prepare and send out each week? Were you able to save your employer time by reducing the month-end close process and if so, how did you achieve that? How much time did you save? Were you successful in collecting on a severely past due account? If so, state how you did that and how much you were able to collect. Some achievements may not be possible to quantify but are still worth noting. For example, we recently wrote a resume for a Financial Analyst who aided in the development of a new database that automated the account reconciliation process. While the candidate couldn’t say how much money they saved exactly, they were able to state that they reduced the process from several days down to a few hours, freeing up several analysts to take on other projects.
6. Identify some keywords that the employer might be looking for, and try to use them in context, if they honestly describe your abilities. This resume tip will help resume-filtering software or Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) find you when they’re scanning resumes. Even small and midsize organizations are beginning to use automated screening tools due to the sheer volume of applications received, and larger firms often use them to narrow the pool of resumes to be reviewed.
7. What about the length of the resume? Many applicants for accounting and finance roles often want to know how they can fit everything in their background if they should stick to the one-page sample they often see. In a recent Accountemps survey, 46% of senior managers said they prefer a one-page resume for staff-level candidates, while 47% said two pages is an ideal length. For executive roles, half of managers cited two pages as acceptable, while 21% were most receptive to one page. Our recommendation is that a two-page resume is acceptable if you have five or more years of experience.
For additional feedback or to find out how we can help get your resume tailored for your next position, visit www.reveredresumes.com.
On average, a corporate job opening receives roughly 300 applications. In order to stay in the running for an interview, you’ll need a great resume. Even if you have impressive work experience and the perfect skill set for the posted position, one simple resume mistake can get you rejected. Below is some advice on a few of the most common resume mistakes I see and what you can do to prevent them.
1. Objective Statements
This is more of a personal preference, but I think objective statements on resumes are unnecessary. It should be understood that when you apply for a job, your objective is to land the job. Instead of an objective statement, I’d rather see a professional overview or summary that talks about the highlights of your career.
With that being said, if you decide to include an objective statement, you should know that this is an area in which I commonly find mistakes. I cannot tell you how many resumes I have thrown into the trash for having an objective statement that says, “Obtain job at [wrong company name]” or “Relocate to [a city the company is not in].” If you choose to include an objective statement, make sure that any identifying information is tailored to fit the correct company.
2. Including Too Much Information
Another mistake I see consistently is trying to pack every experience or job you’ve ever held on your resume. Rather than the full novel of your career, your resume should be a synopsis. The idea that resumes should never be longer than one page is outdated, but your resume still should not take me an hour to read. No resume can (or should) include every possible duty and achievement in a job seeker’s life. Instead, summarize your career by highlighting the best and most relevant parts.
3. Your Information Is Difficult to Find
The next mistake you might be making on your resume is forcing the reviewer to work too hard to find the information they’re looking for. An experienced hiring manager is going to spend less than 30 seconds reviewing each resume. If they don’t find what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds, they might move on to the next resume.
With this in mind, make sure to list the most important information first. Your name, professional summary, and most current job title should all be placed at the top of the page. In addition to this, use a layout that makes relevant information easy to find. I advocate using reverse chronological order to list jobs and bullet points for job highlights rather than paragraph format.
4. Not Tailoring Your Resume to the Position
A big mistake that will hurt you during your job search is not tailoring your resume to the position. It’s a good idea to have a “master” resume file, but it is not smart to use the same resume for every application. The positions you’re applying for will probably have similar duties and qualifications, but each company will almost certainly place more emphasis on specific skills and experience than the others do.
When looking for a career change or a new job, it is necessary to have your job applications standout from the rest. Writing a resume poorly can jeopardize your chances of getting a job. A resume full of grammatical errors, pronunciation and spelling mistakes is a major contributor to lost interviews. The best way to receive an invitation for a job interview is to hire a professional resume writer for help.
Resume writing services are run by qualified and skilled professionals that know how to use the latest formats to create a professional CV. They also help in writing a captivating cover letter and give you exceptionally helpful interview tips. A great way to find resume writing service experts is to research your writer and find out what qualifications he or she may have. Is he or she a specialist in your industry? How long has your writer been writing resumes? Asking for samples of resumes they have written before is a good way to choose a resume writing specialist. This also gives you an idea of their level of skills and expertise.
Most resume writing services vary in terms of service fees. Be wary of services offering resume writing under $200. Generally, you get what you pay for and these services hire subcontractors who have poor grammar and command of the English language. Nowadays, there are several resume writing services out there and finding the best company can be challenging. For this reason, it is good to carry out a background search and request qualification details before outsourcing services. Reading clients’ past reviews and feedback is also a great way of knowing if a company delivers top notch and reputable CV writing services.
Most of these resume writing services have adequate industry experience and are equipped with the necessary tools and information required to attract potential employers. Resume writing professionals may also mentor you on what you need to do during a job interview. A lot of people who use professionals to write their resume always secure a job interview, which eventually paves the way for a job offer. If you’re passionate about getting a particular job, consider hiring the services of an expert in resume writing.
A professional resume writer will develop a resume specifically tailored to the job you are interested in thus giving you a higher rate of success. Resume writing services use techniques that work in writing resumes. A resume that is too long puts off employers. Using CV writing services, your resume will be made concisely yet filled with important info that the employer will be interested in. Nowadays, employers are interested in job seekers who have a professionally written resume. If you want to stay relevant and competitive in a job opening, make sure you use a professional resume writing company. A great firm provides exceptional resume writing services for a job seeker for a better paying job.