Accounting Resume Examples, Skills and Keywords

Accounting can take a lot of work and support from many professionals. If you want to start or continue a career in accounting, you'll need to write a resume targeting your preferred position. Here's how.

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Accounting Resume Samples

Accountants are responsible for helping companies and private individuals keep their finances organized. Some accountants work as in-house accounting professionals, focusing on their employer’s finances. Others focus on private individual finances as independent accountants or as part of an accounting firm. There are many positions available for qualified accountants, and they have very different requirements.

No matter what type of accountant position you want, you’ll need to create a strong resume. Accountants need to have excellent attention to detail and the right education. Beyond that, a great accounting resume will look different depending on the position you want. For example, a resume for a staff accountant position will focus on different skills than a resume for a bookkeeper.

Sending the same resume to both types of jobs will, at best, lead to one employer ignoring your application. Instead, take the time to revise your resume for different positions. Hiring managers can tell if you’re submitting a generic application. A resume that’s specific to the job is much more likely to interest employers.

When you’re writing a resume, you can learn how to target the job you want by reading other people’s applications. These accounting resume examples show how to tailor your application for the three most popular accounting jobs.

Accountant resume example 1

Accountants are responsible for helping people manage their finances and do their taxes. Many accountants work for accounting firms, where private individuals and small businesses can find their services. An accountant will usually have a collection of regular accounts that they manage all year long. They may also work with people on a short-term basis to help with audits and taxes. Accountants need to have a broad understanding of tax laws and how they apply to their client base. These professionals also need to work quickly, since busy seasons can involve a lot of tasks. An excellent accounting resume will focus on your certifications and attention to detail. This accounting resume example shows how you can appeal to employers by using your job history section effectively.

Staff accountant resume example

Staff accountants are a specific type of accountant, only working for a single company. Instead of having a collection of clients, staff accountants dedicate their time to their employer's finances. They need to understand the intricacies of business accounting in-depth. Still, they don't need to balance as many individual customers. A staff accountant needs to have excellent collaboration skills, since most of them work on teams. Your staff accountant resume should focus on your experience with businesses whenever possible. This accountant resume uses the applicant's job history to show how they developed the skills they'll need to run a company's finances.

Bookkeeper resume example

While accountants are responsible for high-level financial decisions, bookkeepers handle the daily tasks of a business. Bookkeepers record routine transactions and make sure the financial records are accurate. Companies that don't have a staff accountant will often have a staff bookkeeper. Keeping the books organized and correct helps prevent audits and tax mistakes. Bookkeepers may be certified accountants, but not always. Many bookkeepers have degrees in business finance. A bookkeeper resume should highlight your organizational skills and financial knowledge. This bookkeeper resume shows how you can use experience in other roles to show employers that you're qualified for a position.

How strong is your accounting resume?

Try scanning your accounting resume against your preferred job descriptions to see how it aligns with the requirements. Learn the skills and keywords to add to your resume to make it more interesting to employers.

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Accounting resume skills and keywords

Accountants need specific certifications and skills to do their jobs well. To find qualified candidates, many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS). These programs look for particular accounting resume keywords. These systems collect applications that include the right accounting skills and filter out the rest. If you want your resume to be seen by a person, you need to have the right skills and keywords in your application.

Top skills for accounting roles

  • Accuracy
  • Compliance
  • ‌Verbal and written communication
  • ‌Multitasking
  • ‌Teamwork
  • ‌Problem-solving
  • ‌GAAP
  • ‌Time management
  • ‌Microsoft Office
  • ‌QuickBooks
  • ‌IT knowledge
  • ‌Account analysis
  • ‌Account reconciliation
  • ‌Asset management
  • ‌Reporting
  • ‌Credit management
  • ‌Audits
  • ‌Bookkeeping
  • ‌Federal tax law
  • ‌Forecasting
  • ‌Income tax
  • ‌Payroll
  • ‌Profit and loss
  • ‌Year-end reporting
  • ‌Customer service
  • ‌CRM systems
  • ‌General ledger
  • ‌Invoicing
  • ‌Vendor management
  • ‌Journal entries

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Salary expectations for popular accounting roles

Accounting salaries depend on the size of the company and the seniority of the position. Positions that require specific knowledge and skills will often pay better than less focused roles. As you advance in your career, you can expect to earn higher salaries.

$78,360
Acountant
$56,380
Staff accountant
$44,447
Bookkeeper

Education and certification requirements for accounting resumes

Bookkeepers and accountants need to have a grounding in financial concepts. Some bookkeeper positions require nothing but a high school diploma or equivalent, but those are rare. Most bookkeeping roles need at least an associate’s degree in bookkeeping or a bachelor’s degree in finance. Some bookkeeping positions even require you to be fully qualified as an accountant, but not many.

Federal law requires most accountants to have their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license before claiming the title. If you don’t have your license, many companies won’t hire you for an accounting job. That makes a CPA license invaluable for your career.

To receive your license, you need to meet three eligibility requirements:

  • ‌Have your bachelor’s degree in a field like finance or accounting
  • ‌Complete your state’s work experience requirements by working as a bookkeeper or an intern
  • ‌Pass a rigorous test, the Uniform CPA Examination

‌Once you have your license, you’re qualified to work at just about any business that might want an accountant.