These are good general rules to follow, but for specific career fields like accounting and finance, we have some additional suggestions to help you stand out.
A resume is like a movie preview: It doesn’t explain everything, but a good one tells you just enough to entice you to learn more. Particularly for accounting and finance roles, avoid wordiness and flowery language. Be succinct. Be direct. It’s a resume, not an autobiography..
List every software on your resume that you’re still proficient in using. If you mention Quickbooks, SAP, or SQL, you better be comfortable with them. Listing software you no longer know, or even worse, barely heard of, only ruins your credibility.
Show people a clear path of succession on your resume. There’s a certain hierarchy to the world of accounting and finance, and it raises concerns when a candidate’s prior job titles jump from Sr. Financial Analyst to Staff Accountant to CFO to VP of Finance.
If you haven’t worked for a Big Four accounting firm or a Fortune 500 company with name recognition, provide background information on your company. Build some familiarity by including the company’s industry, number of employees, and revenue. Do not assume that your company is well-known or noteworthy.
Go easy on acronyms and internal company lingo. Unless you’re using well-established acronyms like CPA, CFA, or SaaS, it’s best to spell them out. For certifications and designations, list them out, but don’t go overboard. It’s OK to list major certifications after your name, too.
Most people recognize that few things are accomplished without a team. So when you list out your accomplishments, use phrases like “Solely responsible for,” or “Significant contributor to,” or “Partnered with team on” to help explain your role in successful projects.
Hone In On The Role
Customize your resume for the specific accounting or finance role that you’re applying for. You may be responsible for 1,000 daily tasks, but pay attention to the job description and make sure your resume speaks to the duties outlined.
If you are able to list the top-line revenue for companies you’ve worked for, that is helpful for hiring managers. This helps indicate the complexity of accounting and finance practices, your involvement in the processes, and how scalable the processes were.
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