Do you need to beef up the action verbs in your accounting resume?
If yes, below I’ve included a list of action verbs that work for accounting job titles, including Financial Analysts, Accountants, Clerks, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Controllers, and so on.
Intro to Action Verbs
When writing your resume, every sentence should begin with an action verb, so you’ll want to avoid sentences that start like this:
- Responsible for scheduling a team of software engineers.
Instead write your sentences to look like this:
- Schedule a team of software developers and engineers.
Below are a few additional example bullet points to consider. Notice how there’s a mix of current and past tense verbs:
- Managed a 12-member accounting team charged with auditing, managing, and reporting on payroll, A/R, A/P, and budgeting.
- Analyzed account financials and reports for the sales team focused on expanding the SE Asian financial services market.
- Write resumes for accounting managers, including Accounting Managers, Cost Accountants, Controllers, CFOs, Tax Accountants, and Corporate Accountants.
- Use major accounting software, including QuickBooks, FreshBooks, NetSuite, Peachtree, and SAP Accounting.
Resumes are Written First Person
To better understand which verb tense you should be using, pretend that there’s an “I” before each sentence you write. So, resume sentences would start by looking like this:
- I conduct the financial forecasting and reporting for a sales team that sells an array of consumer products and pet supplies. I manage sales tracking for a territory worth an estimated $5.2M.
The sentence would get rewritten to being like this:
- Conduct the financial …
Current vs. Past Verbs
A lot of people don’t realize that resumes are written (most often) using first person.
The tenses you use will vary depending upon whether your job tasks are on-going or in the past.
The biggest challenge for job seekers when writing a resume now is knowing how to handle a mix of current and past actions verbs in the most recent role.
The answer to this is simple.
Put current actions (job responsibilities) first and then list past job tasks and achievements. towards the bottom.
- Active Job Tasks (Current Tense)
- Achievement (Past Tense)
- Old Job Responsibility (Paste Tense)
Makes sense, right?
The best approach to your accounting resume will be to match the right words to the level of your accounting work history.
A staff accountant resume might include:
- Reconcile, Resolve, Back-up, Prepare
An accounting clerk resume would use more “I helped” (supportive) verbs:
- Support, Process, Update, Participate
List of Actions Verbs for Those in Accounting & Finance Job Seekers
Accounted, Adjusted, Administered, Aged, Allocated, Analyzed, Appraised, Approved, Assessed, Audited
Calculated, Cashed, Certified, Charged, Claimed, Closed, Collected, Complied, Controlled, Coordinated, Corrected, Credited
Depreciated, Directed, Distributed
Entered, Examined, Expended
Financed, Fixed, Forecasted
Identified, Inventoried, Investigated, Invoiced
Paid, Planned, Posted, Prepared, Processed, Projected
Received, Reconciled, Recorded, Recovered, Reported, Researched, Reviewed
Taxed, Traced, Tracked
[Related Resource: Accounting Resume Keywords: Here’s a List of 60+ Keywords & Key Phrases To Use]
3 Steps on How to Write a Better Accounting Resume
Now that you understand how best to use action verbs in your resume, it’s now time to focus on the best resume writing techniques to make your resume shine.
The first step is to ensure you resume focuses on your key skills (hard, not soft).
Too often job seekers write about their team building, time management, and problem solving skills.
Applicant tracking has made it critical for your resume to provide specific examples of these skills to put your claims into perspective.
An example of team building could be:
- Reduced time spent on monthly and quarterly account closings by identifying skills gaps and initiating cross-training classes amongst the staff.
The second step is to incorporate numbers and percentages into your resume.
Unfortunately, there are accounting roles that don’t lend themselves well to achievements. Those in senior management tend to have the best
Don’t let that stop you.
Look for ways to beef up your resume content by writing about the amount of the company’s P&L, budgets (overhead & capital improvement), and so on.
The third step to writing a better accounting resume is to ensure your resume is written using the right keywords.
I mentioned applicant tracking systems above.
If you’re new to how ATS is effecting how resumes are written for today’s job seekers, click here to learn how to write an ATS-friendly resume. One of the topics I cover in this post is about keywords and key phrases.
I’ve listed a few additional resources to help you with writing your resume: