How to Write a Resume for an Entry-Level Accounting Position

An entry-level accounting resume emphasizes education over experience.
An entry-level accounting resume emphasizes education over experience. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Because experience is often seen as the most important part of getting a job, writing an entry-level accounting resume can seem like a daunting task. Don’t let the concept overwhelm you. Remember that even though the competition can be stiff, the position is entry-level, meaning the other candidates probably don’t have experience either. Where your resume will really shine is with your education and qualifications. If you are confident in your knowledge and skill set, that confidence will reflect in your resume, giving you a better shot at getting called for an interview.

Write your goal under the header “Objective.” It should be clear and concise. Emphasize that you are looking for a career, not just a job. A standard example is, “To obtain an entry-level accounting position with a top firm to gain the experience necessary to become a valued asset to the company.” If you can tailor the objective to the position, it is even better. For example, “To utilize my education and knowledge in the staff accountant job with Doe, Schmoe and Public Accounting to benefit of both.”

List your relevant work history under the header “Experience.” Although you have not yet had an accounting job, you may have had internships or other applicable work experience. Don’t just list Only describe the positions and experiences relevant to accounting. For example, relevant experience would be tracking inventory in a sporting goods store. An unpaid internship at an accounting firm is also relevant. List each job as a separate entry. Indicate the company, the location and the years worked (e.g., June 2005-September 2006). Include several bullet points detailing your accomplishments while employed. For example, “Implemented a new inventory system at Sports World increasing tracking efficiency by 20 percent.”

Format your education under the heading "Education." Only include college and master's degree programs. Like work history, list each school attended under a separate bullet point. Indicate the school, location and years attended. Insert your degree and any relevant certifications, notably if you are a certified public accountant or certified financial analyst. Mention any groups or relevant extracurricular activities such as "President of the Accounting Club."

Summarize your skill set under the header “Qualifications” or “Skills.” Mathematical and analytical skills are a must, but are also the minimum. Include additional skills such as computer skills, including your familiarity with Microsoft Excel. You should be highly detailed and organized. You should also have communication and interpersonal skills as there is more to the job than simply sitting in a room with a calculator. You must deal with clients and colleagues on a regular basis.

List your references under the header "References." Since you have not yet worked as an accountant, you may not have many professional references. Include teachers and supervisors from your internships and part-time jobs. List each one as a separate bullet point. Include the name, how long the individual has known you, in what capacity he knows you and a phone number where he can be reached.

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