Interview Tips for Staff Accountants: It Starts with a Great Resume

In a staff accounting job search, it is important to understand that hiring managers are like buyers researching a product. Evaluating resumes is the “research” phase where they gather as much relevant information as possible to determine who to call for an interview.  When seeking a new staff accounting position, you have to treat your resume like the sales material it is. If you want to get a chance to show your stuff in the interview chair, it all starts with a great resume.

“A staff accountant is very well rounded and knowledgeable of all areas in the accounting department such as bank reconciliations, journal entries, budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. A great staff accountant can make or break the department with technical proficiency and communication. CSS has placed many staff accountants in the past and is focused on making sure that we continue to have some of the best jobs in the market! Says Ashlei Randolph, Branch Manager, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

Start By Summing It Up

Include a summary at the top of the page that highlights your most important skills and concisely conveys who you are as a professional.  For example: Results-oriented staff accountant with five years of experience preparing clear and accurate financial reports for executive-level management. Seeking a staff accounting position with room for growth.  

Keep Your Language Clear and Concise

While it is important to showcase skills alignment with a specific position with a position and while you should make sure that your resume is keyword-optimized for automated screening software, it is important to keep your language clear and concise. Make your points in short, bulleted phrases and avoid high-level jargon. However, you don’t want to overcorrect and go lowbrow, either. Avoid colloquialisms, hyperbole and humor.

Format Information Like A Funnel

Hiring managers will always skim your resume to gauge your fitness for the position before they give it a close read. After a skim, you want the hiring manager to say, “this is someone I’m interested in getting to know better.”  Therefore, you want the most important details to be included on the first page. Sometimes, this means ordering your work experience by relevancy rather than chronologically. Think of it like a funnel, with the most important information at the top.

Don’t Stress About Length (Too Much)

Your resume should be as concise as possible while still telling the story of your career. If you’re just starting out and you’ve only held one accounting position since graduation, don’t stress about the length of your resume. List your most important contributions, but don’t get too wordy just to fill up space. Conversely, if you moved into accounting from a different field and you have a longer resume, that is also ok.  Make sure to include the most relevant information and aim for no more than two pages.

Toot Your Own Horn

Job searches are competitions with only one “winner” earning an offer. Your resume is a hiring manager’s first introduction to who you are as a staff accountant, so don’t shy away from tooting your own horn. Hiring managers need to know what makes you a valuable team member, so be sure to quantify your achievements and list any awards and accolades you’ve collected from previous employers. Employers are looking for rock stars, so always go the extra mile.

If you are a staff accountant looking to jumpstart your job search, contact the expert recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today. We can help you find your ideal position and help you start your journey toward success.  Our New Castle, Delaware office has a large pipeline of staff accountants!

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