2020 has taken a toll on workers around the world, with the need for social distancing forcing many jobs online and requiring employees to learn new skills. As remote work gains traction, more employers are looking for candidates who are adaptive and have learned the skills required to work remotely if needed.
These skills are invaluable for those seeking a job in the accounting field. If you want to write a resume that will stand out, follow these tips!
Dedicate a specific but small section of your resume to listing your skills. If the job posting has specific skills required, be sure to include those without overcrowding the space. This allows the recruiter to skim your resume and decide it’s worthwhile to continue reading.
Your experience section is the best place for detailing your skills and accomplishments. You can link your skills to specific duties you preformed or use them to explain how you met certain key performance indicators (KPIs).
As an accountant, you have a wide variety of tools to help you finish your tasks. Be sure to list any useful software you are proficient in, for example, Microsoft Excel or similar data analytics tools. If you consider yourself an expert in any of them, also make note of that!
If you have specific skills related to tax, risk management, or auditing, put that down as well–just don’t go overboard. Space on your accounting resume is limited, so be sure to only include skills that are relevant to the job.
In the wake of the global pandemic, more employers are looking for employees who are already familiar with telecommunication software such as Zoom, Slack, and other burgeoning remote work tools. Since the demand for this proficiency is relatively new, you can devote more space for it in your resume; however, you should still keep the primary focus on your accounting proficiency.
If you find yourself low on accounting-specific skills, it’s never a bad idea to highlight your more generic skills, such as leadership, communication, and the like. These soft skills are incredibly useful in any job, and showcasing them in your resume will help you land the interview.
Most of the world was turned on its head this year, and many companies had to scramble to find solutions to problems that didn’t exist a week prior. When describing your experience, explain how you were able to help find these solutions, deal with changing policies, or even expand your role.
If you can, list these achievements in every entry, not just for your position in 2020. This shows you are a seasoned pro in adaptability and would be a great asset to any organization moving forward. Pairing this skill with other achievements, such as reducing redundancy, minimizing risks, or helping more clients, will make you stand out from other job applicants.
For those who earned or are currently earning their accounting certifications, you can also spend some space showing you haven’t let a pandemic slow down your career pursuits. For example:
Passed Certified Management Accountant exams 10/28/2020, will complete program with another year of experience
Even if you just started the exam process, you should still mention your status because it shows your goals and ambitions. For example:
Candidate for the Certified Internal Auditor exam, testing appointment for Part 1 on 1/17/2021
If your resume doesn’t have room, you should seriously consider adding these components to your cover letter. Employers and recruiters are looking for individuals who can quickly adjust to a changing landscape.
You’ve put in a lot of time, money, and effort into earning your accounting certifications. Let those letters at the end of your name start working for you and make sure that hiring managers see your effort.
Many accounting resume templates put certifications under “education,” so many hiring managers will be looking for it in this section. Don’t bury your certifications at the bottom of the section. Put them at the top or as close to the top as you can if you have other impressive education entries. If you’ve earned those letters after your name, make sure your name in the document reflects your certification as well!
Even if you are still in the process of earning an accounting certification, put it there. You don’t need to provide your scores (if your exam has more than a simple pass/fail), but you should include your progress. If you’ve passed some exams, or have an exam scheduled, write it down. This shows you are confident in your abilities and have a plan to further your career.
If you worked hard to earn an award for your performance on your exam, such as the Elijah Watt Sells award or a CMA Award Medal, put that in your achievements as well!
Let’s face it. Your potential employer is going to be looking through your social media, and LinkedIn is specifically designed for workplace connections. Including a direct link on your accounting resume shows you are serious about your application and are proud of your career.
With people around the world spending more time indoors, its a good idea to freshen up your LinkedIn profile and make sure it shines just like a second resume. Setting your profile to “open to work” is a smart move, as it encourages recruiters to reach out to you.
LinkedIn will also help with networking and the job hunt, so keep your profile updated and maintained even after getting the job!
Numerous studies have shown that recruiters are only spending seconds looking at a resume before considering it. While you may have an impressive history and numerous skills, they don’t mean anything if they aren’t seen.
Use some space on your resume to highlight your career choices and most impressive achievements to strengthen your first impression on the recruiter. The summary should be in a prominent place on your accounting resume. Don’t include job titles or start dates (unless they are particularly impressive), but do include any “buzzwords” that might be missing from your detailed experience.
Gleim has over 45 years of experience helping accountants pass their certification exams. We’ve helped millions of people earn their certifications and we want to help you excel in your career. Try our CPA, CMA, CIA or Enrolled Agent demos to get started.
If you are looking for more information on any of these certifications, check out our Careers in Accounting handbook. We go over the different career options and how earning a professional certification can help boost your career!