If you’re searching for a job as a CPA or a you’d like to land a supporting role in the accounting industry with an established firm, you’ll need to start with a standout resume. In some industries, success depends on who you know rather than what you know, and you can launch a great career by networking at a party or chatting up a stranger in an elevator. But in the accounting world, things don’t always work that way. For better or worse, in this field, what you know really does matter. And when you engage with a professional employer, your bright smile will only get you so far. You’ll need to back that smile up with a resume that offers substance and speaks volumes.
As you put this important document together, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Formatting will be essential to the success of your accounting resume, so start by creating clear and appropriate headings that you can populate with text later. Use only headings that are relevant to this specific job, this career, and your goals. For example, if you graduated more than three years ago, don’t discuss your GPA or honors courses. If you graduated more than fifteen years ago, don’t discuss your education at all. Leave out descriptions of jobs you held in the distant past and focus on what you want now, why you want it, and why your employers should agree that you’re a fit. Let everything else go.
Cut the fluff.
If you’re a mid-career accounting pro and you’re listing your job history, talk about what you accomplished rather than listing your basic job responsibilities. Remove all adverbs (adjectives that describe a verb or noun) such as “successfully” or “rapidly”. While you’re at it, remove adjectives as well. You’re an expert, not a “highly educated, hard-working, results-driven” expert. State the facts and let the facts speak for themselves. There’s nothing resume reviewers appreciate more than applicant who gets to the point.
Prepare to continue the conversation.
Use keywords in your resume to slide past the bots and algorithms that may toss your application out before it reaches a human reader, but remember: getting past the bots is only the first step. You will encounter a human reader eventually, and this person won’t offer you a job based on your resume alone. They’re going to ask you some questions. Read your document carefully; what questions will it inspire? What doubts or concerns will you need to allay? What exciting points and highlights will your readers want to know more about? Use the first step (your resume) to lay the groundwork for what comes next.
Contact Our Staffing Experts at PSU to Learn More
For more on how to generate interest in your accounting resume and land the job you’re looking for, talk to the job search experts at PSU.