The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government agency responsible for tracking employment trends across a wide variety of professions, predicts much faster than average growth for accounting jobs through 2018. This is good news for newly minted accountants and those looking for greener pastures. However, to compete for the best positions, you’ll need a resume that shows potential employers you understand everything that might be required of you and have the required experience and training.
Accountants receive training in a wide variety of areas, such as accounts payable and receivable, payroll, tax law and financial forecasting. Read the description for which you’re applying carefully for such key words, then make sure your resume includes those same key words in the context of your formal training. For instance, if applying for an accounts receivables position, you might include information about how in an internship, you dealt with vendors, issuing invoices and following up to ensure payments were made. Also, state whether you've passed the exam required to be a certified public accountant.
Accountants must be proficient in complex accounting systems and computer programs. Often, using these systems to input information and calculate projections and earnings is central to an accountant’s job. Thus, stating the name of specific systems with which you have familiarity, such as Quickbooks or Peachtree, can show you are ready to hit the ground running.
Most companies, regardless of the position, appreciate employees who are punctual, detail-oriented and driven. However, there are also other qualities that employers look for in accountants. Infusing your resume with adjectives that illustrate some of those qualities is advisable. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Principles of Professional Conduct lists integrity, objectivity and dedication to ethical behavior as paramount. Show employers you bring a high level of professionalism by including these character traits in your resume.
While accountants are highly trained in their field of expertise, they must also have general office training and soft skills generally learned by doing. For instance, you may need experience with common computer programs like Microsoft Word and Excel, have good written and verbal communication skills, and be able to present financial reports during staff meetings. Think about soft skills likely to come into play most often in the accounting position you’re applying for and make sure that you list those soft skills in your resume.
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