5 tips for the perfect bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk resume
A strong resume is the best way to assure hiring managers they're making a responsible decision by choosing you. Check out these five tips to increase your number of job interviews.
Accounting and auditing are highly-technical job fields. They require an in-depth knowledge of math and finance because errors in bookkeeping can cost a company thousands — if not millions. Even if the error is strictly in the reporting process, it can affect the taxes a company pays and can even lead to embezzlement charges from the IRS. This is why companies vet their accountants thoroughly.
Quantify Your Experience If Possible
When discussing your experience, it's important to provide context for what you did and the scope of the projects you handled. For example, if you managed the accounts payables departments and processed invoices to vendors, try to include the number or size of vendors that you worked with. Cutting checks for 100 vendors valuing more than $2 million is considerably more impressive than cutting 10 checks valuing $5,000 dollars.
With accounting, though, you do want to be careful: some of this information could be considered confidential or sensitive, so try stick with information that can be shared publicly.
Along with quantifying your daily tasks, try to include statistics that highlight how you helped the company. A few of these might include:
- Found bookkeeping error that underreported earnings by 20 percent.
- Discovered we were overpaying vendors by 80 percent and recouped funds.
- Saved company $2,000 annually by changing management systems.
After all, you can't control the size of the companies you work for, but you can control the positive impacts you have on the books as you do your job.
Research the Skills Employers Look For
As you build your accounting resume, research the companies you're applying to along with the top accounting and auditing firms in the industry. What values to do they highlight on their websites? What skills do they look for in new hires? You should expect to find a mixture of hard skills (technical knowledge like spreadsheet creation and math) along with soft skills (personal traits like public speaking and communication).
For example, look at the top seven skills that the team at Robert Half looks for in CPAs. The first skill, leadership ability, isn't technical at all. You don't have to be an accountant to be a great leader, and plenty of accountants don't have great leadership skills. However, these soft skills are a plus for applicants, who could be the future of the company.
As you're writing your resume, highlight the skills that your industry and company value so they know what you can do. Again, in the case of Robert Half, you would discuss your up-to-date tax knowledge, business expertise, and public speaking competence.
Specify Your Software Experience and Training
While today's firms still use the term bookkeeping, most companies don't actually record their finances in the print books of yore. Even spreadsheets are falling out of fashion as companies invest in software platforms that can be shared easily across the company and updated by multiple people at once.
Accounting managers are looking to hire employees who already have a basic understanding of these software programs or similar ones. That way their new hires will grasp what's required of them faster and require less management and training during their first few weeks.
While you're drafting your resume, make sure to explain the exact software systems and platforms that you have worked with and are comfortable using. This is particularly important if you have specialized expertise in a certain program. For example, many accountants use QuickBooks, but not all of them can pass the certification exam to prove their technical proficiency in the tool. These certifications could increase the number of calls you get from prospective employers.
Explain Specialized Job Duties
There is a reason accounting firms look for employees who have strong leadership skills: they're more likely to take initiative and lead internal projects to benefit the company. One of the most toxic phrases in the modern workplace is "that's not my job," because it shows a lack of teamwork and an unwillingness to help. Conversely, the best employees are those who are willing to break out of their traditional job roles and take more on as long as it helps the company. They know that accepting these projects can help them get promoted or at least help them learn more about how the business works.
To show that you're the type of employee that will eagerly take on side projects and additional work, highlight projects that might not fall directly into your job description. For example, you could have:
- Onboarded the marketing department to a new accounting process.
- Led a corporate initiative to save money and lower the company's environmental impact.
- Created an internship program for college students interested in bookkeeping.
All of these projects fall outside of the traditional job description of an accountant, but they give you opportunities to show leadership, public speaking, and creative thinking. They also prove that you're excited about additional projects and can bring new ideas to the team.
Present Your Resume in a Clean and Orderly Fashion
There's a lot of information that you need to include in your resume, but the best way to stand out is to present it in a clean and organized fashion. In the accounting industry, this proves that you're capable of taking a lot of information, prioritizing the most important elements, and explaining it in a clear manner. If your resume is jumbled and messy, hiring managers will expect your books to be that way, too.
Download one of CareerBuilder's resume templates today for a clean example of what your accounting resume could look like. We offer multiple options to highlight your experience, education, and job duties. Our templates will give you the blueprint to fill in your information and get noticed by hiring managers in your area.