An accounting resume should present your relevant experience, educational background, and accomplishments that show your ability to bring results. However, it is equally important to list skills specific to your accounting and finance profession.
Skills let the hiring manager know what your areas of expertise are. They also help you pass the applicant tracking system that evaluates your resume based on specific skills and keywords. Below, we have collected the most important accounting skills worth including in your resume.
Writing an accounting resume has many complexities, and to maximize their interview chances, many accountants today turn to professional accounting resume writing services, for instance, https://resumeperk.com/accounting. Experienced writers will present your work history, achievements and skillset effectively to help you get noticed by employers. Moreover, a writer will adapt the resume for ATS to ease your way through the applicant software.
Key skills for a professional accounting resume
Specific accounting skills worth including depend on your specialty, experience level and company type. Yet, every accountant will benefit from including these basic skills in their resumes:
Essential accounting skills
In general, accountants are in charge of preparing and analyzing financial statements, reports and other documents. They perform financial audits, ensure the accuracy of financial records and help businesses make important decisions based on data and analysis. In addition, accountants forecast the budget, calculate tax payments and ensure the compliance with state and federal regulations.
Examples of general skills to include are:
- Accounts payable/accounts receivable
- Financial reporting
- Payroll processing
- Cash flow analysis
- Financial audit
- Forecast planning
- Regulatory compliance
- Revenue projection
- Data analysis
Accounting and finance certifications
Relevant accounting certifications are valued highly by employers. In their opinion, a certified candidate is more credible, is likely to be more productive, and deserves a higher salary. Moreover, some companies prefer hiring certified accountants only, so the certification can make you more employable. If you have one or several certifications in the accounting field, mention them closer to the top of the resume so that the recruiter sees them instantly.
The most popular certifications are:
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
If you don’t have a certification but took extra training, make sure to list the courses you’ve attended as well.
Knowledge of industry standards
Accounting is regulated by multiple principles and standards. These principles are aimed to ensure the consistency and efficiency of the company’s accounting and knowing them is essential for your successful career. Depending on your specialization, you might want to indicate your knowledge of the applicable principles and standards:
- Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
- International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
Accountants today use a multitude of software and tools to ease and automate their work. While it is hardly possible to know all of them, focus on the most common software and programs used for bookkeeping and financial management in many organizations:
- Advanced Excel skills
- ERP systems: SAP ERP, Microsoft Dynamics
- Accounting software: QuickBooks, Oracle NetSuite
- Business intelligence software: IBM Cognos Analytics, Microsoft Power BI
- Office suite: MS Office, Google Suite
- Microsoft Visual Basic
It is recommended to specify your level of proficiency to let the employer know how well you are familiar with certain software.
Soft skills assume our ability to interact and communicate with other people and act in challenging situations. Whereas mentioning them is not essential for an accounting resume, it is helpful to let the employer know that you have leadership abilities, work effectively with other people and teams, and can adapt to changing conditions. When describing these skills, give specific examples of how you put them into use at work.
Here are some examples of skills:
- Verbal and written communication
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Attention to detail
- Customer service focus
- Organizational skills
General business knowledge
In addition to specialized accounting skills, a good accountant should have strong business acumen. Understanding the principles of running a business, knowing the scope of responsibility of other teams you work with and knowing the best practices and standards helps you analyze and predict data more effectively. Moreover, you can have a greater impact on business decisions and improve your career prospects.
How to list accounting skills on your resume? The easiest way is to add a separate Skills section and list your skills in bullets. You might want to divide skills into categories (e.g. Accounting software, Management skills) for better readability. The second way is to describe how you applied each skill in your daily work. Whatever option you choose, make sure to focus on skills required by a job posting to make your application more relevant.
General tips for your accounting resume
After you’ve decided what skills to include, take a look at your resume and, if necessary, use these tips to strengthen it:
- Do not try to fit as much text as possible into your resume and keep it focused. Ideally, your resume should take no longer than 2 pages (1 page for students and graduates);
- Use bulleted lists instead of paragraphs to list work responsibilities, skills, etc. This makes the text more reader-friendly and gives it structure.
- Focus on relevant experience. Remove irrelevant jobs or part-time jobs and internships you had at the beginning of your career if you have over a decade of experience.
- Add some accomplishments. Give examples of how you cut costs, reduced paperwork or achieved financial goals, and support your statements with figures.
- Avoid personal information such as marital status, age, religious views, etc. This information is considered inappropriate for a resume and your application may be rejected.
- Add a matching cover letter. 45% of recruiters reject resumes without a letter, so take your time to prepare a tailored letter uncovering your motivation and skills for a particular role.
Make sure you have included all the necessary accounting skills to give the employer a complete idea of your qualifications and potential. In case you need more advice on writing an effective resume, do not hesitate to consult an experienced resume consultant.