You have decided you are ready to look for a new role. You have a good idea of what you want your next career move to be and you have started to look at job boards and adverts. Now you need to get your accounting resume looking sharp! But how do you make your resume stand out from all the others?
We look at thousands of resumes every week and I have some tips to help your CV get noticed and ultimately secure you an interview! Once you have read the 10 points below, why not review our resume templates here.
It’s important to make it clear what qualifications you have, from where and when. You have worked so hard for these – you should be proud of them! Remember to state where your qualification is from if the course(s) are still in progress, and how long before you complete them. For example, if you are part-way through your CA, you should include how many modules were completed and that it was CA ANZ – i.e., 2020 – Present, Part-qualified Chartered Accountant (2 of 5 modules completed), CA ANZ.
Some companies have really similar names and it’s important to be clear about where and who you have worked for. Under each company, include a short description of what the company does, revenue, number of employees, and location. If they are listed, this would be a great place to mention that fact as well. This way, anyone reading your resume can be clear about the industry experience you have.
Paragraphs are too hard to read on a resume. You want all the key information on your CV to be easy to read for the hiring manager. You have great experience; you don’t want the reader to miss it. Concise, clear bullet points will give you a clean and well-structured format to ensure the reader identifies your key duties quickly and doesn't get lost in too much detail.
List your responsibilities as succinct bullet points to make them easier to read, but remember, anything quantifiable will also help – keep in mind that Accountants love numbers!
When listing your responsibilities, think about what you want your next role to focus on. If you are currently in a mixed financial and management accounting role but want to move more into analytics, put your analytical and management accounting duties at the top of the list of responsibilities. You want the hiring manager to focus on that experience so bring it to their attention in an obvious way.
This is your chance to really sing about the things you have done and the results you have achieved. Under your list of responsibilities add a sub-heading titled “Achievements” and list all those great things you have done. If possible you should aim for 2-4 bullet points, but remember you may need to talk more about these in an interview.
Again, try to make your achievements quantifiable. If you improved a process that increased efficiency, how much time did you save? If you found a way to save money, how much did you save? Think about the reduction in DSO numbers, tax liabilities, or increasing profits. Your work could have had a huge impact on the bottom line – you should highlight that as the value you could bring to your future employers!
Many people just add their current title to their resume when they have actually been promoted into their current role within the same company. Don’t leave that out! Progression is important as it shows that you have been recognised and proves that you are capable of taking on more responsibility. This is very appealing to future employers. The easiest way to demonstrate your journey is to list the time periods in each position you have been in. E.g.
Richard Lloyd Accounting Recruitment Jan 2019 – Present
Senior Financial Accountant July 2020 – Present
Financial Accountant June 2019 -July 2020
Assistant Accountant Jan 2019 – June 2019
It’s great to be a team player but don't downplay your own work. Hiring managers want to know what you did. If you participated in a project, be clear about what part you were responsible for. For example, if you participated in a system implementation project, be clear about which modules you were responsible for or which phase of the project you were involved in. What did you ‘own’ and what did you ‘assist' with? Be clear.
When you look at the advert or position description for the role you are interested in, what are the keywords that stand out? You should update your resume with those keywords! For example, if you have particular reporting experience that is needed for this role (i.e., APRA reporting or 4D / 4E for ASX), make sure that is specifically included in your resume!
Many hiring managers are keen to find candidates who have experience with particular systems. These can be ERPs, GL systems, or BI/Visualisation tools. Add the systems you have used and where you used them on your resume to make it even easier to see why you are such a great candidate. Don’t forget to add your Excel skill level too!
Make sure you triple-check your resume for grammar and spelling; use one of the free tools such as Grammarly to help or ask a friend to check it for you. You don’t want to ruin your chances by making a simple spelling mistake!
By following these tips, you will have a well-structured CV that provides clarity on your responsibilities, achievements, and progression and most importantly, will give you the best chance to secure an interview.
For further tips on updating your resume, give one of the Richard Lloyd team a call at (02) 8324 5640 to help prepare you for the next accounting role you apply for.