If you’re gearing up for a job search in accounting, you may be considering ways you can make your resume shine. While companies are currently hiring with the goal of getting back to their pre-COVID numbers, that doesn’t mean that they will compromise on quality when doing so. Therefore it’s important for job seekers to put their best foot forward by sending out a strong accounting resume.
“Since accounting as an industry is currently experiencing a skills shortage, your ability to highlight your skillset early on in the hiring process is critical,” explains Eric Barth, a Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting / Finance division. “This is why, when you’re putting together your accounting resume, you’ll want to be as detailed as possible.”
In order to make your accounting resume stand out, be sure to accomplish the following:
Be specific about prior experience
Before sending out your accounting resume, you’ll want to ensure it’s as up-to-date as possible. Additionally, you’ll also want to be specific about past responsibilities. “If you aren’t specific about the roles you’ve had in the past, it can be difficult to land an interview,” advises Eric. “To do this, have several bullet points per role explaining tasks you regularly maintained and how you completed them.”
Tailor your prior experience to the job description
When getting your resume ready to be sent out, you should cross reference it with the job requirements. Before submitting, ask yourself if the necessary skills are appropriately highlighted. “Hiring managers may not always read through an entire resume, so putting the specific skills they’re looking for upfront ensures they won’t be overlooked,” says Eric.
Show proficiency in Excel
The demand for accounting professionals with strong technical skills is high, and no skill is more highly coveted than proficiency in Microsoft Excel. In particular, hiring managers are most interested in candidates who demonstrate a deep knowledge of the VLOOKUP function and Pivot Tables. “Proficiency in Excel functions such as Pivot Tables and VLOOKUP shows a potential employer that you’re able to complete assigned tasks more efficiently,” says Eric. “Being able to say you can complete your work quickly ultimately encourages a hiring manager to call you in for an interview.”
List any accounting certifications you have
Obtaining accounting designations can take a lot of time, money, and effort. As a result, these certifications help demonstrate your commitment to professional development and long-term career growth. “Even if an accounting certification isn’t required for the position you’re applying for, it’s always going to be something a potential employer is excited to see on a resume,” says Eric. “Aside from having the knowledge and experience necessary to get these certifications, it shows a hiring manager that you are hardworking, driven, and dedicated to the field.”
Highlight soft skills
In the past, accounting professionals were typically able to keep to themselves. As these roles have evolved over the years, however, many accountants will find themselves interacting more with clients and making presentations to senior-level staff. Because of these changes, soft skills have become just as important as technical accounting skills. Therefore, it’s important to highlight desirable soft skills, such as presentation and communication skills, on your resume. In order to prove this on your accounting resume, be sure to list examples of times where you had to give a presentation and instances where you were required to work in a group.
Update your LinkedIn profile and online presence
LinkedIn is a widely used networking platform for both employers and job seekers, so it is just as crucial to have an updated LinkedIn profile as it is to have an updated resume. Before applying to any new roles, be sure to audit both your LinkedIn profile and anywhere else you may have a professional presence online. This will help avoid any inconsistencies or confusion about your experience.