Stunning CPA Resume Examples for You to Use

A Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, conducts audits and creates financial reports. What do you need to know to write a better CPA resume?

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CPA Resume Examples

If you’re seeking an accounting position, your resume should showcase all your important skills and work history. If you want a job as a Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, your accounting resume must include particular skills and qualifications for the job. Here’s how you can use our resume examples to create an accounting resume that turns heads.

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What Should I Highlight in a CPA Resume?

In a CPA resume, you need to focus the hiring manager’s attention on your certifications, your eye for detail, and your knowledge of the way that accounting professionals work. This is true whether you’re trying to get hired directly by a company that needs a financial analyst, or an accounting firm that will take on clients. Either way, you need to be detail oriented and have general knowledge of the field.

The Structure of a CPA Resume

Your CPA resume structure will depend partially on the resume format you choose. Resume formats include chronological, functional, and combination formats. All formats emphasize different aspects of your experience, and all of them are effective in searching for jobs.
 
Contact information
 
The header goes at the very top of your resume and contains your contact information. It typically includes your name and professional links, such as your LinkedIn profile. This section tells hiring managers who you are and creates a great introduction to your information.
 
Resume summary or objective
 
Next, you’ll write the resume summary or resume objective. This is where you go over all your work experience, academic experience, key achievements, and skill set, then combine them all into a 2-3 sentence paragraph. Although the resume summary goes at the top, it’s usually best to wait until you’ve finished the other sections. This makes it easier to look through your resume and select your best achievements.
 
Skills
 
A CPA by definition needs a lot of skills. Some of these are skills that you’ll learn through the process of becoming a CPA, while some will be skills you’ll learn through years of experience. Most accounting resume examples will include some of these bullet points:

  • Audits
  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • General accounting and bookkeeping
  • Financial reporting
  • Accounting software (QuickBooks, Microsoft Office Excel)
  • Accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP)
  • Account reconciliation
  • Financial managements
  • General ledger skills
  • Ability to read financial statements
  • Financial records
  • Filing and understanding tax returns
  • Regulatory principles
  • Communication skills

Both hard skills and soft skills are important to succeed as a CPA. General accounting skills and interpersonal skills both play into whether a recruiter wants to hire you, so you need to list both of these types of skills.

 
Work history
 
Next is your work experience section. This is where you list all past job titles you’ve held, along with a short job description and information about the skills you used in these jobs. You might not always list exclusively CPA jobs. Jobs as a staff accountant or tax accountant, for example, are considered relevant experience for CPA jobs.
 
Education
 
Last is your education section. As a CPA, you’ll have gone through CPA training, which requires at least 150 hours of education. You may also have other college education in a related field. When listing education, don’t list your GPA, but do list any graduation honors you received, such as cum laude honors.


Do’s and Don’ts for a CPA Resume

Do:

  • Include up to 10 years of experience in CPA-related fields. A professional resume will typically list the last 10 years of experience, but you can add more if you’re aiming at a more senior-level position.
  • Look at resume samples before you write your resume. The CPA resume examples at ResumeHelp allow you to see what these resumes typically look like.
  • Discuss specific projects you’ve been part of. This allows companies to see how you’ve used your skills, not just that you have them.

Don’t:

  • Include more than a handful of skills. You typically shouldn’t include more than a dozen skills in a functional resume and about six in a chronological resume.
  • List basic computer and accounting skills. These skills come with being a CPA, and it’s important that you list genuine skills you can bring to a company.

Try to create your own resume from scratch. The ResumeHelp resume builder and the professional resume templates it uses are a great starting point for anyone looking to make a beautiful resume.

FAQ: CPA Resume Examples

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for a CPA application?

Yes. If you have a CPA application, you should include both a cover letter and a resume. While the resume writing process is definitely important, a cover letter allows you to explain why you should be the applicant the hiring manager chooses. The cover letter also allows you to spotlight experiences that you might not have otherwise been able to showcase.

Q: How can I write a CPA resume without a lot of experience?

If you have a CPA designation, you have experience, it just might not be in the job field. Remember that for entry-level CPA work, job seekers can include academic experience and experience in related fields, like preparing tax returns. These all work together to make a resume that shines when you submit it.

Q: How do I change my CPA resume to apply to different jobs?

One of the best ways to create the perfect resume for your job search is to use resume keywords. Scan the job listing and look for required skills and qualifications. Then, use those keywords in your resume where appropriate (e.g., in your skills section, or in a description of a previous job responsibility or achievement). You’ll be reflecting exactly what the recruiter and the applicant tracking software (ATS) are looking for.
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