Finance and Accounting Resume Tips



There are career opportunities for accounting and finance professionals in just about every business sector and industry. Whether your goal is to become an auditor or CFO, financial planner or tax advisor, investment analyst or portfolio manager, the requisites for developing a resume are the same.

The key to developing an effective finance or accounting resume is to focus on skills, qualifications, areas of expertise, certifications and accomplishments. The resume must show what you've done and what you're good at, but more importantly it must communicate what can do for the company you're targeting. This is best done by illustrating how you've contributed to the financial health of previous employers or clients.

Identify Your Goal
A resume is a tool to help you arrive at a specific destination. Before it can be useful, a specific, concrete destination must be chosen. The first step in developing your resume is to identify a specific finance or accounting job target. If you're unsure of what position to pursue, do some research. There are thousands of online job postings which will give you a good idea of what jobs are available, which you're qualified for, and the companies that are hiring. Doing some good sound research will also help you identify the skills and experience you'll want to emphasize on your resume.

Focus On Your Key Qualifications
The top part of a finance or accounting resume should focus on key qualifications. Directly below your contact information start off with your summary statement. The summary statement is a short summary (3-4 lines) that serves as an introduction. It introduces you--the accounting/finance whiz--but focuses on things of interest to the employer, including your strengths and job qualifications. The following is an example of a powerful summary statement for an individual applying for the position of Senior Tax Auditor.

Internal Auditor with 10 years experience auditing electronic financial reporting system for top international banking organizations. Hands-on analyst with expertise in accounting systems auditing, fraud detection, data analysis and financial reporting. Proven track record of developing and implementing advanced auditing procedures, operational controls and fraud detection systems. Received 2011 Ernst & Young auditor of the year award.

The summary statement should immediately catch the reviewer's attention, emphasize your key strength and accomplishments, and communicate your top selling points. Being succint and concise is important as most hiring managers will only take a few seconds to scan your resume.

Your summary statement should be followed by an Area of Expertise or "Highlights" section, which includes a list of your key competencies that are directly relevant to the finance or accounting position you're seeking. For example, if you're seeking the position of Tax Auditor, this section might include the following keywords and competencies:

  • Tax Planning
  • CPA
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Auditing and compliance
  • GAAP
  • Corporate tax returns
  • Certified Government Auditing ProfessionaL (CGAP)
  • Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA)
  • etc...

The Area of Expertise section should highlight the specific skills and knowledge you have that pertain to the positions you're applying for. This section should also include any professional certifications and licenses, such as CPA, CFA or Series 7, 63 and/or 64. The Area of Expertise section is important for two reasons. First, it quickly lets the resume reviewer if you have the specific skills they're looking for. Second, it helps you improve your chances of making it through a "Resume Gatekeeper". A Resume Gatekepper--whether a real person or software program--looks for specific keywords and job criteria in your resume.

Emphasize Your Achievements
The rest of your resume should focus on your professional experience in finance or accounting. When presenting your work history, the format preferred by employers is reverse chronological. Start with your most recent employer and move backwards. Under each employer, include your position, the location and date of employment. Directly following, you should present a brief (2-3 line) summary of your basic job responsibilities. Directly below this, present a bulleted list of accomplishments. (Note: Some resume experts suggest that a combined list of accomplishments and responsibilities is sufficient, but we recommend using a format that employs the descriptive intro paragraph followed by a bulleted lists of accomplishments.) When presenting accomplishments, show quantifiable results whenever possible.

Below is a sample accounting and finance resume.



Andrew J. Adams

14 J Street, Fresno, CA 94122   •   (916) 210-1322   •   a.andrews@spcfinancial.com

Senior Tax Auditor
Internal Auditor with 10 years experience auditing electronic financial reporting systems for top international banking organizations. Hands-on analyst with expertise in accounting systems auditing, fraud detection, data analysis and financial reporting. Proven track record of developing and implementing advanced auditing procedures, operational controls and fraud detection systems. Received 2011 Ernst & Young auditor of the year award.

HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS

  • Expert in international tax planning
  • 5 years of progressive tax auditing/accounting experience
  • Expertise in cost accounting, tax analysis, investment tax and tax shields
  • Electronic accounting systems expert
  • Exceptional problem solver
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

ROWBOTHAM & COMPANY LLP, San Francisco, CA, 2012 - Present
Tax Auditor
Provided strategic tax planning, business restructuring, and corporate acquisition services for international businesses with focus in banking.
  • Developed tax planning strategy for internation bank with 30 branch offices.
  • Developed tax savings strategy to support restructing of mulit-national savings and loan corporation.
  • Decreased tax burned by 30% for international banking client by restruction revenue recognition policies.

ERNST & YOUNG, Salt Lake City, UT, 2010 - 2012
Associate Auditor
Performed pre-audit analyses to help determine scope of audits and prepared pre-audit reports to support audit management.
  • Performed pre-audit analysis for domestic savings and loand company with over $2 billion in annual revenues.
  • Developed strategy for streamlining fraud detection system for banking institutions which lead to fraud reduction of 12.3% for financial customers.
  • 2011 Ernst & Young auditor of the year recipient.

EDUCATION

Certified Public Accountant, State of Utah, 5/2013
Master of Science in Accounting, Brigham Young University, 2009
Bachelor of Science Accounting, University of Texas, 2006


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