Welcome to a complete guide on a CPA resume and everything related to what it is, how to write a CPA/accounting jobs resume, and, most importantly, actionable advice you can use to enhance your resume and land an interview.
This guide will show you how to write the best CPA resume to have successful forecasts.
In summary, by the end of the article, you’ll be able to:
Let’s begin, shall we!
How to Choose an Appropriate Format for Your CPA Resume
In 2016, being a CPA meant you were up against 1.4 million other applicants and in 2026, there’s expected to be a 10% increment in the number of applicants you’ll be competing against to land a job as a CPA.
In order to leave an impression and outshine other candidates for your desired position, it’s essential to learn how to draft the ideal CPA resume.
A CPA resume must demonstrate everything you have learned to the recruiters that you have the necessary financial background, bookkeeping skills, and fiscal expertise to be considered for an interview.
Before you start crafting a resume that certified public accountant recruiters will appreciate, there’s one thing you need to do first: format your CPA resume template for quick readability.
The following is an example of how to format a CPA resume template:
- Begin the resume’s professional header with your phone number and contact information
- Where to put CPA on resume? After your name is the best spot to put it. You might opt to ditch the abbreviation and write it out completely as your professional title below that
- Allow section headings to shine by using bigger, strong fonts to make resume sections more readable
- The most efficient resume format is reverse chronological so choose that as your resume template
- What font size should you use on your resume? For CPA positions, use a font size of 11–12 pt in the main body of the resume
Additionally, opt to save your resume as a . PDF file rather than a Word file unless you are specifically requested otherwise.
This is because PDF files appear better than Word on most devices. These CPA examples for resumes may just help you out a lot in the long run!
How to Prepare a CPA Resume Summary Statement
Every effective CPA resume consists of a summary statement or resume profile.
The resume profile, similar to an opening statement or a hook, is a concise paragraph that successfully introduces you as a prospective employee.
The resume profile comes in two formats: an objective and a summary.
Prepare a Summary Statement
Have you worked as a certified public accountant for a long time? Then stick to the resume summary.
For experienced accountants, the summary statement is ideal for CPA resumes.
Tons of work experience in the industry such as audits, financial statements, and tax returns followed by an accountant resume summary will boost your resume.
This heading statement will highlight your financial talents, accounting ability, and overall CPA history.
To properly get your idea across, provide numerical bullets to enlist achievements.
Prepare a Resume Objective
Is this your first time working as a CPA or drafting a CV for a CPA candidate? Then stick to the career objective.
The resume objective helps in accounting for the lack of years of experience for entry-level CPAs by adding other information for hiring managers.
Instead of talking about your prior CPA experience, you may talk about your expertise and background in bookkeeping in a manner that makes you a befitting candidate for accounting jobs.
Show off your skills when it comes to accounts payable and accounts receivable and all that other bookkeeping knowledge that you have.
The resume of accountants should reflect the skills and knowledge they do have, even if they don’t have the necessary experience.
Candidates should still use a numerical list to highlight past work experience and skills in the resume.
To ensure that the heading statement is as strong as the rest of your resume profile, write it at the very end, so you can include the best opportunities that you’ve already written in the body within the first paragraph.
Documenting Professional Experience for Certified Public Accountant Resume
Similar to a general ledger, the formatting of the work experience section needs to be done in a detail-oriented manner.
Work experience for accountant resumes is one of the most important sections of CPA resumes.
Here’s how to document the professional experience for a CPA position:
- Begin with your latest or present employment and work your way backward in time
- Include the company name and location, as well as your job title and time period(month, day, year) of the employment
- Outline your bookkeeping job responsibilities and obligations using five or six bullet points
- To build an impactful statement, begin each bullet item with a powerful verb (for example, audited or planned)
- Give a few quantifiable achievements to demonstrate how outstanding you were at previous jobs
In case, instructions are not enough for drafting a strong and credible work experience section, take a look at resume samples for accounting jobs and past work experiences.
The public accounting resume examples of people who were hired can be a great template to follow.
Making Your CPA Resume’s Education Section Standout
There are criteria to consider when starting your schooling on a resume, just as there are for generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
- Place your most advanced educational degree at the head of your education section and proceed in reverse-chronological order
- Provide the name of your major, the name and location of your institution, the year you graduated, and mention any financial or accounting classwork
- Do not include high school on CPA resumes since most states require a degree (or minimum of 120 credits) for becoming a CPA
Your finance degree might be far more impressive than your work experience or audits if you’re drafting a CV with no experience.
Offer your hiring manager the most important information first by switching the placement of your work and education on your resume so that the education section is higher up.
Such types of internal controls may seem like too much at first but they do matter in the overall picture.
How to Highlight Various Accounting Skills and Certifications on Your Resume
Showcase your relevant bookkeeping expertise in an effective manner to impress your hiring manager or the accounting firm.
Accounting Resume Examples: General Accounting Skills
- Payroll tax and Income Tax
- Real Estate Planning
- Account Reconciliation
- Accounting Software (SAP Business One, Quickbooks, SAGE)
- Accounting & Corporate Finance
- Financial Analysis and Planning
- Audit Defense and Tax Preparation
- Filing Tax Returns
- Regulatory Compliance (Federal & State)
- International Tax Laws
- Managing Assets
- Interpersonal Skills
- Communication Skills
- Balance Sheets
- Skilled in using Microsoft Office
- Skilled in using Excel Sheets
- Project Management Expertise
- Skilled as a Team Lead
- Skilled in Prompt Decision-making
- Time Management
- Presentations with Clients
- Skilled as a Team Worker
Here’s how to include such abilities in an accounting resume:
- Make a list of your employment skills and talents that are relevant to working as a CPA
- Remember to include your soft skills as well as hard skills in the list
- To find the ideal resume keywords, have a look at sample resumes or use a free online resume builder that has CPA keywords preloaded
- If the keywords match up with your skillset, add that expertise to your tax accounting or CPA auditor resume
Your wording choice for the professional resume should match the words used in the job description provided by the hiring team, otherwise, scanning software may not let your application proceed in the job search.
Additional Tips for Certified Public Accounting Resume
The perfect resume gives you an edge over other applications.
Additional sections on your resume can help you stand out as an accounting applicant by demonstrating that you’re far more than simply your professional talents and expertise.
Format Your Cover Letter
On both sides, leave a one-inch margin.
All information should be aligned to the left. Use justification sparingly; it violates typical business letter formatting guidelines.
Use a one- or one-and-a-half-inch spacing in business letters.
Between paragraphs, use double spaces.
Insert a digital version of a handwritten signature in the sign-off for a personal touch, if desired. It will give your letter a polished look.
Make a PDF of your cover letter. Because it preserves the formatting, it’s the best electronic cover letter format.
Custom typefaces and special characters should be avoided.
Keep the font size of the cover letter between 11 and 12 pt.
Draft a Powerful Opening Line
Assume you’re at the recruiting manager’s office. She’s going through accounting job resumes and is already bored to death.
The perfect hook to grab her attention would be to open your cover letter by using her name.
Research backs up the fact that nothing engages our brains, or gets those neurons firing away, as much as seeing or hearing our own name.
Don’t start your cover letter with hooks like “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” in case you can’t find out the recruiting manager’s name.
These two scream “mass-produced” more than anything else. Choose “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [XYZ Team] Hiring Manager” instead.
Put up Front What Sets You Apart From Other Candidates
You should write something incredibly unique to create a powerful first impression – something that clearly expresses the benefit only you will be delivering if chosen from the massive pool of applicants.
A resume for a professional accountant should still sound personalized and show off your personality.
You may draw the reader’s attention to your application by doing the following:
- highlighting your achievements
- stating your reasons for being interested in the position
- outlining the employer’s objective, and
- demonstrating how your greatest abilities may aid in the completion of the objective
Check out accountant resume templates to see the traditional CPA template then move around sections to grab the recruiter’s attention and guide it to the most important information on your resume.
Showcase Your Expertise and Highlight Their Resourcefulness in the Office
It may be helpful to look at job advertisements and CPA resume samples that matched against their respective jobs to gauge how you can draft a successful CPA candidate resume sample.
Candidates should showcase their expertise in the resume in a manner that’s most effective to draw the reader’s attention.
CPA RESUME EXAMPLES: Additional Skills to add to a CPA resume:
- Spreadsheet Proficiency
- Up-to-date Tax Knowledge
- ATX Total Office
- Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
- Internal Auditing
Make sure to rearrange your skill-set in order of priority based on what your employer is seeking in the job advert.
Mention Awards or Certifications for Specific Skill Sets Mentioned by Employer
Make sure to match the wordings of your CPA candidate resume with the wordings of the advertised job or scanning software may reject your resume.
Your professional accountant resume can also be rejected on the basis of the format of the accountant’s resume.
If you do not possess awards or additional assessments to mention on your professional accounting resumes, consider enlisting these:
- Financial certificates and licenses
- Levels of command of language (Native, Fluent, Bilingual, etc.)
- Professional accomplishments examples
- Memberships of accounting organizations (e.g., AICPA, AAFA)
- Interests and hobbies
- Volunteer experience (small businesses you have handled cash flow or financial reporting for)
Draft a Strong CTA and an Impressionable Closure
This is what your accounting resumes sample didn’t tell you about. A CTA and an impressionable closure are just as important as a strong opening.
Here is how you can achieve this:
- Thank the recruiting team for the time and consideration
- Include a CTA urging them to reach out as you’re “looking forward” to it
- Use the word “sincerely” or a synonym for it
- Make sure to sign off using your complete name
- Include a polished covering letter as a separate attachment
- Include some basic contact information within the footer under your name
When creating resumes accountants must be careful about how they are presenting themselves on their CVs. Highlighting your knowledge, skills, experience, and education should be done with proper formatting and thought.
This is the only way that CPA holders will be able to get the job of their dreams!