Did you know you have six seconds for your resume to impress your next employer?

Accountant Resume Writing Tips | The Perfect Resume

Are you trying to land a new job and keep receiving unsuccessful emails? The Perfect Resume team follows these resume writing tips, encapsulating essential principles to improve your CV. Today, we are sharing them with you to help you see an immediate improvement in your job search outcomes.

Applying for jobs on Seek, LinkedIn, and other job boards can be a time-consuming process, however, it is important that your resume writing, and online profile helps you to stand out from the crowd. You also want to apply for a position which gets you closer to your career goals.

When a recruiter or hiring manager is looking to fill an accountant position, they are searching through hundreds of candidate's resume and scanning for specific transferable skills. Less than 10 people will be interviewed for the job, yet, hundreds of people, just like you, will be applying. The Perfect Resume team have helped thousands of people with their job search and increased their chances of landing an interview from 3% to 76% with our resume writing services. To help you achieve your career goals of being an accountant, we have created these Resume Writing Tips!

Resume Writing Tips |The Perfect Resume

What do employers look for in an accountant's resume or an online profile?

Tailoring your resume to an accountant position is mandatory today to ensure that your application will pass Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). In doing so, your resume will be read by the prospective employer. Then, fingers crossed you will be shortlisted as a potential candidate and be called for not one, but multiple job interviews!

Step 1: Tailor your resume

Whether your resume is in reverse chronological order or a Chrono-Functional Hybrid, if you have been an account officer previously you have the added bonus of highlighting your skills in the following areas: 

  1. Your personal profile
  2. Your skills list
  3. Your experiences (if you have not already tailored your resume to this position)

Therefore, your profile should include the hard and soft skills that the recruiter is looking for in a candidate. You should also mirror the personal attributes that they are asking you to demonstrate to ensure your potential employer will take your application seriously. 

Additionally, by looking at what other companies are looking for in their account officers, you may be able to add other skills to your resume that rate your application higher than your competitors in the shortlisting process.   

Furthermore, a recruiter will often not look further than the first page during the initial shortlisting process, therefore you want page one to include all the relevant information.

How to maximise the readability of your resume writing style

The Perfect Resume team sees thousands of resumes and cover letters every year. The key to a successful job search is your resume writing needs to be structured in an easy way for the reader to scan quickly and effectively. You need to separate different sections and insert clear section headings. Avoid long paragraphs, use bullet points to break up text into more manageable 'bite size' chunks. Your resume writing needs to be formatted in an eye-catching and uncluttered manner. If the CV is not easy to read, you will not maximise the reader's attention span. Many recruiters do not look further than the first page. Therefore, this page needs to be uniquely engaging.

 

Eliminate Resume Writing Spelling and Grammar Errors 

Check vigilantly for spelling and grammatical errors. Grammarly is great for proofreading your resume writing and cover letter before sending it off as it picks up far more issues than MS Word does. As a Resume Writer, I use Grammarly every day. There is a free version you can use to improve your job search success. You can also use it to check your LinkedIn profile or selection criteria as well. Click here to give it a go!

Include a Professional Profile, Not an Objective on Your Resume

This section should summarise and emphasise your key attributes, not your future career path. A career objective is an outdated addition as the recruiter wants to know what you can do for them. Quite selfishly, not what they can do for you. Adding a profile instead allows employers to gain an overall sense of your personality/team fit. As a Resume Writer, I know the art to making words flow seamlessly, and how to avoid any cliché or hyperbole. If you need assistance with your resume writing style or job search, email us at info@theperfectresume.com.au.

 

Include achievements where possible on your CV

Figures, numbers and statistics added to your resume and cover letter will increase your sense of credibility with an employer. If you can include an achievements section or include them instead of responsibilities, then it can make an instant and dramatic difference to the power of your CV, enabling you to distinguish yourself from other candidates and reducing the time required to search for jobs.

 

Keep your Resume Writing concise and to the point

Recruiters don't want to waste time reading details that are irrelevant to your ability to fulfil the job role. Your resume writing style should be informative – but also concise. Your skills and experiences show an employer how you will perform against your competition. If your content is too brief, this reduces your impact on the initial scan. On the other hand, too many CVs are quite simply too long.

You have six seconds to grab your employer's attention. Therefore, your resume should include quality over quantity. In general, the industry preference for length is between one and three pages. If you are going for an entry-level role, you need one page, an Executive is allowed three. Only include information which will help to sell your qualities.

Tailor your LinkedIn Profile, CV, selection criteria and cover letter to your target audience

If possible, tailor your LinkedIn Profile, resume and cover letter writing to the specific vacancy for which you are applying. Highlighting professional skills increases the strength of your application within the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Usually, these keywords are pulled out under a title for "Key Strengths" or "Professional Skills." Doing so can easily mean the difference between job search success and failure.

Eliminate recruiter biases on your LinkedIn Profile, resume, cover letter and selection criteria

I'll be honest with you. Many people are unknowingly affected by recruiter bias. Also known as job search discrimination, you could have the wrong age, gender, over or under qualification, cultural background, too experienced or not experienced enough. Your CV and selection criteria are open to judgement. While this can be unsettling, recruiter bias is common and applied to reduce the volume of applicants to interview. You may find recruiters will not be upfront about the unsuccessful reasons if you ask them for feedback as technically, they are not allowed to shortlist candidates based on this information. Sadly, it still happens. The Perfect Resume team are skilled in eliminating recruiter biases in your LinkedIn Profile, resume, cover letter or selection criteria. Writing in a manner that avoids drawing attention to certain factors can help you advance your career.

 

Ensure your resume is Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Compliant

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are currently being used by 75% of employers. With 99% of Fortune 500 companies and a growing number of small and mid-sized businesses now filtering resumes through an ATS before a human looks, it is more important now than ever before to get technically savvy about your job search.

As soon as you hit “APPLY” for a role, your resume will be parsed, ranked, and filtered by an algorithm based on pre-selected keywords. If your resume does not include the specific keywords, your resume will be automatically rejected. The ATS will email you an unsuccessful email, usually set on a delay, so it doesn’t look like a robot refused you! To ensure your application is not rejected, you also must carefully tailor your resume writing to each application to be noticed. The best place to incorporate ATS keywords is in your experience section. The team at The Perfect Resume can provide you with an applicant tracking compliant resume.

 

Resume Design

Resumes and a matching cover letter with a modern feel are refreshing to look at and will help you stand out from your competitors. If your CV look is quite outdated, your personality will come across to the resume writer as less than optimal. An easy way for you to stand out from your competitors is by applying colour psychology to your resume. A Resume Writer can also help with your LinkedIn Profile. Click here to see designs in our gallery!

 

How can The Perfect Resume team help you succeed in getting the job you want?

Writing a CV. tailored cover letter, selection criteria or engaging LinkedIn Profile is not rocket science!  As a Resume Writer, I know most of what I have outlined is reasonably simple to take on board. However, I also know that some people don’t have the necessary time to optimise their job search, English skills or motivational effort to make your resume a document that helps you stand out from others. Currently, you have a 2.6% chance of being shortlisted for an interview. The Perfect Resume team can raise this to a 76% chance by improving your application and eliminating the known recruiter biases.  If you would like assistance to stand out from the other candidates, click here to view our different resumes packages.

What sections should I tailor on my resume?

Whether your resume is in reverse chronological order or a Chrono-Functional Hybrid, if you have been an accountant previously you have the added bonus of highlighting your skills in the following areas: 

  • Your personal profile
  • Your skills list
  • Your experiences (if you have not already tailored your resume to this position)

Therefore, your profile should include the hard and soft skills that the recruiter is looking for in a candidate. You should also mirror the personal attributes that they are asking you to demonstrate to ensure your potential employer will take your application seriously. 

A standard job description template for an accountant will look something like this: 

 

Accountant

Private Organisation


The organisation

We are fast growing accounting practice, seeking an experienced, highly motivated, and hardworking accountant to join our team. 

Position Description

We are seeking trustworthy candidates who work efficiently without sacrificing accuracy. Accountants can expect to work with large amounts of numerical data, handle multiple tasks with deadlines, and provide transparent and complete reports to management. You should have a firm grasp of accounting and financial practices and regulations and possess strong computer and verbal and written communication skills.

To be successful as an accountant, you should be prompt, honest detail-oriented, professional, and analytical. Top candidates will have excellent presentation skills with the ability to successfully communicate complex quantitative data to decision makers.

The successful applicant will assist in the following responsibilities: 

  • Complying with all company, local, state, and federal accounting and financial regulations.
  • Compiling, analyzing, and reporting financial data.
  • Creating periodic reports, such as balance sheets, profit & loss statements, etc.
  • Presenting data to managers, investors, and other entities.
  • Maintaining accurate financial records.
  • Performing audits and resolving discrepancies.
  • Computing taxes.
  • Keeping informed about current legislation relating to finance and accounting.
  • Assisting management in the decision-making process by preparing budgets and financial forecasts.

To succeed for this role, you will be a self-motivated candidate who has the following qualities:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or related field.
  • Strong analytical, communication, and computer skills.
  • Understanding of mathematics and accounting and financial processes.
  • Ethical behavior.
  • Attention to detail.

What you'll get in return

In return for your commitment to the role, you will have the support of working in a fast-growing firm with close-knit team, who are supportive and passionate about what they do. There are lots of room for growth and opportunities to advance your career. The position is offering a generous salary and other rewards and incentives are also available to high achiever. 

What you need to do now

If this sounds like you and you would like to apply, click 'apply now.’ Please include your resume and a cover letter outlining your experience and suitability for this position.

Additionally, by looking at what other companies are looking for in their accountant, you may be able to add other skills to your resume that rate your application higher than your competitors in the shortlisting process.   

Furthermore, a recruiter will often not look further than the first page during the initial shortlisting process, therefore you want page one to include all the relevant information.

    If you need some help tailoring your resume for a particular role and you’re not sure what to include and what not to include, feel free to reach out to The Perfect Resume team at the following email address: info@theperfectresume.com.au and we can do a resume review for you for FREE!

     


    Step 2: Tailor your cover letter

    The most prominent cover letter tip we can give you is to tailor your cover letter in a systematic, proven approach. The Perfect Resume team's method lets the organisation know the following:

    • What you can offer
    • Why it would be in their best interest to hire you
    • How inviting you into their team would add value to their organisation.

    We do so by correlating these aspects with the attributes of the role they need to fill, in doing so, it gives them a compelling reason to invite you for an interview.

    Stop thinking a cover letter doesn't matter!

    You would be surprised how many people think they can send off the CV on its own without a cover letter. Some recruiters don't read cover letters, some base their hiring decision on them. Why take the chance at all? 

    Stick to one page only!

    Never lose sight of the fact that your cover letter is not intended to take the place of your CV; it is meant as an introduction, therefore as a general rule, your cover letter should not exceed one A4 page in length.

    Unless there is an explicit instruction to the contrary, you should aim to keep your letters short and sweet. A handful of paragraphs are usually more than enough to entice them to read your CV. 

    Quit spamming everyone with a generic cover letter

    While your CV should be tailored to each application, it is even more important to tailor your cover letter. A carefully targeted message can easily mean the difference between success and failure, yet almost everyone uses a generic cover letter and the same CV for every single application. 

    It stands to reason that every job and every organisation is unique, therefore every cover letter should also be subtly different. If you are someone who sends the same cover letter to everyone, you can quickly change a few minor details such as the organisation and hiring manager's name, as well as subtleties of the role's purpose to make a good impression. 

    Focus on what the employer wants from you, not what you have done in your career so far. 

    Snippets from your resume are OK, such as letting them know what you currently do for a job and how the skills obtained in the role transfer to the new position. It may also be essential to mention your education and other certifications. What you should avoid, is repeating slabs of text as it will reduce the recruiter/hiring manager's time spent reading your resume. 

    A cover letter is an opportunity to draw the reader's attention to some of your key selling points, such as skills, experiences, and achievements. You should do so in a way that makes it clear how these will be of interest and potential benefit to the reader. 

    Don't forget! 

    When you apply for a position, they already have a copy of your CV. Therefore, your cover letter should compliment it, not repeat it. 

    Your cover letter should introduce your CV, not replace it!

    Nobody wants to read the same thing twice.

    Nobody wants to read the same thing twice. 

    Avoid going off on different tangents. Instead, use a simple, structured format. 

    Like all the best stories, the best letters have a strong, and clearly defined beginning, middle and end. It is essential to make sure that your cover letter is structured logically. Capture their attention, make an impact, maintain their interest and finish with a persuasive closing paragraph. 

    You only have one page of content to get a clear message across to the reader. If you don't structure your cover letter carefully, you will end up rambling, and the impact of your cover letter will be diluted. 

    I this, I that, I the other, me, me, me!

    The word "I" is often overused in cover letters. Unlike a CV, a cover letter should, of course, be written in the first person, however, if you start every sentence with "I", then it can make for pretty tedious reading. You also risk conveying an impression of arrogance and egocentrism. 

    It might not be easy to cut down the use of "I" however, you should make an effort to do so. Look at each sentence that begins with "I" and see whether you can rephrase it so that it starts with a different word. 

    You may be able to turn around a sentence so that it starts with "You" or "Your" which is ideal. In doing so, you shift the focus on the reader and not yourself. 

    Adopt a marketing trick by having a clear "call to action" at the end of your cover letter! 

    The key to ending your cover letter is to ensure you can do so in a positive, upbeat manner. You can't exactly demand a response from the reader, however, you need to do everything in your power to encourage one. This is where a marketing tip, known as a "call to action" comes in handy.

    A call to action is a term to describe a message to the reader of an advert or other promotional material that is specifically designed to motivate them to take some specific action, perhaps to pick up the phone and place an order - for example, "Call now while stocks last."

    A right call to action message is to ask for an interview by calling you on the correct phone number or email address. After all, that is why you are writing a cover letter in the first place. 

    Proofread your cover letter for linguistic errors.

    Your cover letter is most likely the recruiter's first impression of you, therefore it should be a positive one! From the resumes and cover letters we have reviewed, 90% of them contained spelling or grammatical errors. Unfortunately, word processing grammar and spelling checks do not pick up everything, especially in headers or if the words are in capitals. To make sure your cover letter is error-free, we recommend that you get someone else to read it, or set it down for 24 hours and then come back to the document with fresh eyes. It is also essential to check and double-check your contact details! 


    In conclusion, a cover letter is a companion document that doesn't rewrite your CV or replace it. 

    Research by Glassdoor indicates that you could improve your chances of landing an interview by 40%, by tailoring a cover letter, therefore if you are going to the trouble of sending off your CV, it is always worth taking a little bit longer to construct a brilliant cover letter to go with it. 

    Be careful, some positions may also call for a key selection to be addressed. This is a separate document that compliments your tailored cover letter and require statements that are backed up by real-life examples, rather than just speaking hypothetically. The STAR technique illustrates your points with specific, relevant examples which are drawn from your own experience to dramatically increase your impact on the reader. 

    If you would like assistance to create a tailored cover letter, selection criteria, or take advantage of the free resume review, email us at info@theperfectresume.com.au, and we can help!

     



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