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How to Make Your Resume Stand Out as an Accountant

If you have an analytical mind, and love numbers or finding details in places other people might overlook, it’s possible a job in accounting could be a great fit.

There’s so much more to being an accountant than just math and moving numbers around. If you’re looking to try a career in accounting, here are a few ways to help your resume stand out and get noticed.

Shout out your certifications.

The world of accounting might be based in numbers, but there’s a lot to be said for the letters on your resume — if you’ve been certified, it shows a specialty and the dedication needed to take extra courses and learn extra skills. If you’ve been certified or licensed in a specialty practice, call it out! A Certified Public Accountant license might be the most common, but you might also be a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or one of the dozens of other specialties. If you haven’t been certified yet, consider doing the extra work to help specialize your experience and expertise.

Omit needless words.

While you’re adding your titles and accreditations, subtract any details from your resume that don’t pertain to this line of work. Remember that many firms are now utilizing software programs to scan resumes for highly specific keywords; if you haven’t optimized your resume to include those words that apply most directly to the job for which you’re applying, you’re likely to be taken out of consideration. Some words to include, to help you make it through the first round of cuts, include accounting (or accounts), assets, audits, estate planning, credit/debt management, financing, forensic, payroll management, etc.

Be detailed in recounting your experiences.

If you have some prior experience in an accounting role, talk it up! In both your cover letter and your resume, provide detail on accounting projects you’ve led, responsibilities you’ve had and, if applicable, explain how you’ve helped incorporate new accounting systems or found a way to clean up an employer’s accounting system to make things easier to understand. Hiring managers love innovative thinkers who can show their work, so to speak, and can relay with confidence their applicable experience.

Don’t forget your soft skills.

Accountants are never just holed up working on math problems and reviewing numbers on a ledger. Make sure you have communication and presentation skills on your resume — you might be called on to help explain budgets or cost-benefit analyses to your manager or other high-level people and being able to speak to a crowd is important. It’s also important to be able to send out emails or notes to your colleagues or a client to explain how a project is running, whether it’s on time and budget or falling behind.

Be sure to update your LinkedIn as well as your resume.

When looking for a new job, don’t forget to have your LinkedIn profile reflect the resume you’re sending out with applications. Hiring managers and recruiters will be scouring LinkedIn and other platforms for clients while they’re reviewing applications. Why not help yourself out by highlighting your skills and abilities in as many places as possible? The goal is to attract attention and show off your accounting prowess; you might receive offers for interviews and invitations to apply for jobs based on your professional profiles.


Ready to make a change? Count on Sterling Personnel to help you get started in accounting!

Looking for a job, especially if you’re changing careers or looking to specialize in a new practice, can be daunting, but Sterling Personnel is ready to help! Check out our job board and see what great positions are available, then give us a call and see how we can help connect you with openings. You can count on us!