Year after year, accounting professionals remain in demand. Every industry, from tourism to technology, requires accounting services, meaning that these valued professionals can be found at companies of all kinds, both big and small. As a result of these factors, accounting professionals can look forward to career stability, competitive salaries, and more.
The question for students newly entering the field, though, is how to create a professional resume that can set them apart from other applicants. How can they submit an application that will help them land an interview for their dream job, even though they may have little professional experience in the field? This is where a well-crafted resume can go a long way, highlighting the many valuable skills and credentials students gain through their training, and ensuring they stand out from their very first impression.
Read on to find out how.
1. Highlight Transferable Skills in Your Resume
Even if a student hasn’t previously worked in any positions directly related to accounting and payroll, they can summarize their work history in a way that highlights transferable skills and qualities they may have gained from previous jobs.
If past positions involved training, organizing, planning, project managing, or supervising, these all provide some testament to a candidate’s relevant abilities. Communication skills, problem-solving skills, and teamwork skills built through previous jobs can also help to show that a candidate has many soft skills that benefit careers in accounting and payroll. In this way, graduates show that they are ready for the demands of the position.
2. List the Skills and Certifications Gained Through Your Accounting Training
Students will leave their training with a broad range of competencies, and it’s important to communicate the scope and depth of these to potential employers. Students should include these in a “skills” section near the top of their resume. Experience with particular software such as Simply Accounting, QuickBooks, and ACCPAC should be noted, as well as the level of skill attained in each.
Any certifications gained through accounting training can be listed here as well. A certification such as PCP (Payroll Compliance Practitioner) is highly valuable to potential employers who seek candidates with a strong foundation in payroll and related legislative requirements, and should be prominent on a resume, alongside descriptions of your payroll training.
Apart from specific technical skills, be sure to include general skills, like those highlighted in your work history. Strong organizational skills, an ability to communicate effectively, broad math and analytic skills—all of these are essential to succeeding in any accounting position, and can be highlighted not only through your work history, but also explicitly in the skills section.
For both technical and general skills, it’s essential for students to carefully read job descriptions and tailor the skills section of their resume accordingly. This way, they can focus on exactly what is required for the position, highlighting any education or past experiences that might be relevant, instead of giving space to information that a potential employer may not find helpful.
3. Proofread and Edit Your Resume
The final step for students creating a professional resume is to proofread and edit it before submitting. A typo-free document shows an attention to detail that’s pivotal in any payroll position and is key in crafting a good first impression. When listing your training, skills, and past experiences, keep an eye out for spelling, grammar, and consistent formatting. If possible, students should have someone else proofread their resume for them, so they can be made aware of any mistakes or possible edits.
Are you interested in a career in accounting and payroll?
Contact Anderson College for more information about our accounting courses.