The structure of your staff accountant resume will depend on the resume format you choose. There are three standard resume formats:
- Chronological: Resumes that use the chronological resume format focus on work experience. If you have several years of experience as a staff accountant, this is your best choice.
- Functional: Functional resume formats focus on skills. This format is designed for job seekers who have little to no work experience.
- Combination: Combination resume formats showcase skills and experience. A combination resume is best for those with employment gaps or who are making a career change, as it showcases your most relevant abilities and achievements.
The resume header section contains your contact details. This helps the hiring manager or recruiter contact you to schedule an interview. Include your name, email address and phone number. If you have professional social media links, like a LinkedIn profile, you can include them in this section.
Resume summary or objective
The resume summary is your chance to introduce yourself to the hiring manager. This 2-3 sentence paragraph is designed to hook the recruiter and encourage them to want to learn more about you. To do this, feature your most important achievements, qualifications or certifications. For example, if you are a certified CPA, mention it here. You should also mention how many years of experience you have, and aim to include the most important skills that the hiring manager noted in the job description.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a lot of industry experience, use a resume objective. Objectives are similar in length to a resume summary, but instead, focus on your career intentions. You should explain your career goals and display skills that show how the role aligns with your career development.
Depending on the resume format you choose, your skills section might be the most dominant part of your resume. Regardless of the format, you should choose a good mixture of hard skills and soft skills to demonstrate your eligibility for the staff accountant role.
Hard skills, or technical skills, are role-specific and gained through training (e.g., bookkeeping or accounting software.) Soft skills are intangible traits transferable across many industries (e.g., communication or critical thinking skills). Here are some bullet points for staff accountant skills that you can consider adding to your resume:
- Preparing financial statements at month-end close and year-end
- Writing financial reports
- Accounts payable and accounts receivable
- QuickBooks, SAP and other accounting software
- Financial analysis
- Analysis and reconciling financial discrepancies
- Monitoring cash flow
- Financial forecasting
- Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
- Journal entry for financial record keeping
- Accounting functions
- Account reconciliation
- Balance sheet analysis
- Knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and tax law
- Experience managing general ledger accounts
- Following internal controls
Depending on the role and the choice of resume format, your work history section may be the important section of your resume. For example, candidates may need lots of experience to qualify for a senior accountant job.
You should list your experience in reverse-chronological order, starting from the most recent job. For each previous job, provide brief bullet points that outline your accounting experience, including primary duties or key accomplishments. These bullet points should demonstrate your knowledge of accounting processes.
To become an accountant, you will need a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or accounting. From this, you can then go on to become an accountant or a certified public accountant (CPA). For each achievement, list the credential (e.g., certification, college degree) along with the name and location of the institution you got it from. Also include any other certifications or training you may have, such as a certified fraud examiner (CFE) or a certified internal auditor (CIA).