How to Make a Bookkeeper Resume in 2020 [+Examples]
Looking for a bookkeeper job? Excellent!
The thing is, so are thousands of others.
Competition for the top bookkeeping jobs is fierce, and to land that dream role, you need a resume that stands out.
In such a competitive industry, it’s important not to leave questions unanswered, which is why we’ve created this step-by-step guide.
In this guide, you’ll find:
- A job-winning bookkeeper resume example
- How to write a bookkeeper resume that gets you invited to interviews
- How to use the latest tips and tricks for a resume that stands out
Using our very own resume builder, here’s a job-winning bookkeeper resume sample:
Now, keeping reading to find out how to create a bookkeeper resume of your own!
How to Format a Bookkeeper Resume
Just like your books, your resume should be clear and concise.
After all, a recruiter isn’t going to hire a bookkeeper with a messy resume.
Currently, the most common resume format is “reverse-chronological”. It is a format that puts your best assets upfront, so we’d recommend starting with that.
You could also try one of these formats:
- Functional Resume - This format prioritizes your bookkeeping skills, rather than your professional experience as a bookkeeper. It’s ideal for those who have yet to work as a bookkeeper or have gaps in their employment history.
- Combination Resume - A combination resume isn’t as skill-dominant as the functional resume. In fact, it is a combination or both “Functional” and “Reverse-Chronological”. It is suitable for those people who have skills, but also have the experience to back it up.
Once you’ve decided on the format, you need to perfect the resume layout.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Margins - One-inch margins on all sides
- Font - Pick a font that stands out, but remains professional
- Font Size - 11-12pt for normal text / 14-16pt for headers
- Line Spacing - Use 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing
- Resume Length - Stick to a 1-page limit. Having trouble fitting everything into one page? View our one-page resume templates.
- As a bookkeeper, your job involves presenting data in a clear and precise way. As such, you should ensure the layout of your resume reflects your bookkeeping skills. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!
Use a Bookkeeper Resume Template
As a bookkeeper, you should have experience in creating documents that are clear are precise.
However, you want to make your life as easy as possible.
And the best way to do this is with a bookkeeper resume template like the one previously shown.
What to Include in a Bookkeeper Resume
You should include the following sections:
- Contact Information
- Work Experience
For a bookkeeper resume that stands out from the crowd, try these optional sections:
- Awards & Certification
- Interests & Hobbies
Now, we’re going to delve into the best practises for each of these sections.
Not sure which sections to use? Check out our guide to What to Put on a Resume.
How to Get Your Contact Information Right
If there’s one thing you should take away from this guide, it’s this:
Make sure your contact information section is accurate and contains the correct information.
Imagine the hiring manager trying to invite you for an interview, but you’ve misspelled your phone number – nightmare!
For your contacts, include:
- Title - In this case, “bookkeeper”. Keep this specific to the exact role you’re applying for.
- Phone Number - Make sure this is correct. One small mistake can really mess up your chances.
- Email Address - Use a professional email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). No one wants to hire email@example.com to manage their finances
- Portfolio Link - Behance, Dribble, or your personal website
- (Optional) Location - Applying for a job abroad? Mention your current location.
- Martin Timber - Bookkeeper. 101-358-6095. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Martin Timber - Bookkeeping Master. 101-358-6095. email@example.com
How to Write a Bookkeeper Resume Summary or Objective
Here’s a fact for you – recruiters read each resume for less than 6 seconds!
But is this really that surprising?
Well, not when you consider the competitive nature of the bookkeeping market.
What all of this means is that you have to hook the recruiter in just a few seconds.
But how can you do this?
The answer is simple: use an objective or resume summary.
Essentially, these are small sections that are placed on top of your resume.
Although similar, the two have subtle differences.
A resume summary is a 2-4 sentence summary of your professional experiences and achievements.
Bookkeeper Resume Summary Example
- Bookkeeper with a history of accurately and efficiently supporting accounting activities for a diverse range of clientele. 5+ years of experience in invoicing, analyzing cost control, providing financial reports, and delivering profit and loss statements under time pressures. Saved Company X $40,000 by fixing a tax reporting error.
A resume objective, on the other hand, is a 2-4 sentence snapshot of your professional goals and aspirations.
Bookkeeper Resume Objective Example
- Motivated accountancy student looking for a bookkeeping job at Company X. Passionate about numbers and attention to detail. Experience balancing the books at made-up businesses as a student at University X. Skilled in MS Office, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Sage, and Microsoft Dynamics.
But which one should a bookkeeper pick?
Well, it all comes down to how much experience you have. Those with bookkeeping work experience should go for a summary, whereas you should go for an objective if you’re new to the field of bookkeeping.
- Keep this paragraph short and to the point. The aim here is to make the hiring manager think, “This is great, I want to know more”.
How to Make Your Bookkeeper Work Experience Stand Out
After your portfolio, your work experience is one of the best ways to show that you’re good at your job.
The work experience section should have the following layout…
- Position name
- Company Name
- Responsibilities & Achievements
And it looks like this:
06/2017 - 03/2020
- Corrected spreadsheet errors, which saved a total of 5,000
- Set-up a computerized accountancy system that increased efficiency by 10%
- Processed 200+ Final Account Statements annually
- Complied with company, state, and federal procedures and laws]
And go for…
“Corrected spreadsheet errors, which saved a total of 5,000”
So, what’s the secret here?
You may notice that the above example focuses on achievements, instead of daily tasks, and this is for very good reason.
The second statement tells the recruiter that you are a valuable asset to the company. You don’t just do a job, but you actually take pride in the results that you bring.
What if You Don’t Have Work Experience?
Maybe you’ve finished education and are now looking for your first bookkeeping job?
Or maybe, you just picked up bookkeeping from online courses, but have no real experience in the field?
No company wants to hire an inexperienced bookkeeper.
But don’t threat – it’s not too late to show that you have the best skills for the job.
What really matters here is your bookkeeping portfolio.
If you already have any examples of your bookkeeping skills, feel free to upload them online and link it in your resume (we’re going to explain how in a bit).
If not, it isn’t too late.
Here are a couple of easy ways to build a portfolio (and get paid for it):
- Use UpWork or another freelance platform to pick up some gigs
- Offer your services to friends & acquaintances at a discount price
If you’re a recent graduate, you might want to check out our guide on how to make a student resume!
Use Action Words to Make Your Bookkeeper Resume POP!
- “Responsible for”
- “Worked in”
Look at ANY bookkeeper resume, and you’ll see these same words.
Since the key focus of this guide is to make your resume stand out, you should use some of these action words instead:
How to Correctly List Your Education
Education. Education. Education.
It’s now time to tell the recruiter about your most notable qualifications and achievements.
Simply make a list of your educational history, and you’re gold!
- Degree Type & Major
- University Name
- Years Studied
- GPA, Honours, Courses, and anything else you might want to add
Here’s a practical example:
B.A. in Accountancy
University of Chicago
- Relevant Courses: Accounting and Accountability, The Context of Business, Management accounting, Business Law, Auditing, Understanding Statistics, Financial Accounting Theory, Taxation, Reporting Financial Performances
- GPA: 3.8
Before we move onto your skills, let’s visit some of the most frequent questions we get about education on a resume (and their answers!):
What if I’m still in education?
- Whether you have yet to graduate or are still making your way through accountancy courses, you should still mention them. Just include the years/courses studied, and you’re good.
Do I include my high school education?
- You should only include your highest education. The recruiter won’t care about your school grades if you have an accountancy degree.
What goes first, education or experience?
- If you have any relevant bookkeeping experience, then that should go on top.
Still have some questions? Check out our guide on how to list education on a resume.
Top 15 Skills for a Bookkeeper Resume
When the hiring manager is looking over your resume, they want to SEE that you have the correct skills for the job.
Imagine this: you’re the best bookkeeper for the job, but you get rejected because you forgot to mention that you are proficient at payroll accounting, which was one of the main requirements.
But don’t list every skill under the sun. Instead, list the same skills in the job offer, plus a few others.
Out of ideas?
Here are some of the most common bookkeeper skills:
Hard Skills for a Bookkeeper:
- MS Office
- Accounts receivable
- Accounts payable
- Payroll accounting
- Calculating tax
- Balance sheets
Soft Skills for a Bookkeeper:
- Critical thinking
- As a general rule when talking about your skills, it’s a good idea not to list loads of soft skills. Now, these skills are important, but they are harder to back up. Anyone can say that they’re dependable, but not everyone is an expert at calculating tax sheets with ultimate accuracy.
Here’s a more comprehensive list of the 101+ must-have skills.
Other Resume Sections You Can Include
The #1 goal of your resume is to get an interview.
And that’s unlikely when your resume looks the same as all the others.
As such, we need to add other sections to make your resume stand out.
Adding one or two of these sections can be the deciding factor between getting an interview or not.
Awards & Certifications
Did you win a competition while at accounting school?
Have you completed any courses on Coursera?
Whichever awards you have won, be sure to include them in your resume!
Awards & Certificates Examples for a Bookkeeper:
- “US Federal Taxation” - Coursera Certificate
- “Learning How to Learn” - Coursera Certificate
- “Quickbooks Online Pro Advisor” – Certificate
- NACPB Licensed Bookkeeper]
Are you passionate about accounting or balancing books?
Well, great! That’s exactly what the hiring manager wants to hear.
The best way to show off your passion is through your own project.
Whether it’s a project at university or a personal side-hustle, be sure to mention it in your resume.
Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling…
- Your own bookkeeper blog where you give advice to business owners
- Side-hustle balancing books for clients on UpWork or other freelancing websites.
Now, a languages section is by no means needed on a bookkeeper resume.
With that said, being able to speak a second language is an impressive skill.
So if you have space, go for it!
Make sure to split the languages by proficiency:
Interests & Hobbies
Even though you’re applying for the role of bookkeeper, that doesn’t mean your resume should be nothing but numbers and stats.
In fact, recruiters like to see that you have hobbies outside of work
They’re looking for a bookkeeper who will be a great addition to the team – someone who they will get along with.
The best way to do this is to briefly talk about your personal interests.
Check out our hobbies & interests guide for some inspiration!
Include a Cover Letter with Your Resume
You might be thinking, “I balance books, not write them!”
But remember, your resume needs to stand out above the other bookkeepers.
To do this, you should write a convincing cover letter.
By doing this, you’re showing the employer that you’re passionate about working for this exact company, not just any that’ll take you.
As such, a cover letter can significantly boost your chances of landing that bookkeeper position.
Here’s the best structure for writing a convincing cover letter:
Here is how to correctly fill out each section:
- Full name, profession, email, phone number, location, website (or Behance / Dribble).
- Hiring Manager’s Contact Information - Full name, position, location, email
Your introduction needs to be the best piece of content you’ve ever written. If you don’t impress the hiring manager here, they’re unlikely to read the rest of it. So, mention:
- The position you’re applying for
- Your bookkeeping experience summary and top achievement
Once you’ve got the hiring manager hooked with your opener, you can go through the rest of your history. Some of the points you can mention here are...
- Why you want to do the bookkeeping for this specific company
- What you know and like about the company’s culture
- You top skills and how are they relevant for the job
- If you’ve worked in similar industries or positions
This is where you:
- Conclude your message
- Thank the hiring manager for their time
- End with a call to action. Something like, “I’d love to further discuss how my experience as an X can help the company with Y”
- Use a formal closing, such as “best regards” or “Sincerely.”
We get it – You’re a bookkeeper, not a writer! For extra guidance, please view your step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter.
- This is your chance to prove that you understand the company’s goal, and how your skills can help them achieve this goal.
There’s more to writing a bookkeeper resume than jotting down your skills and experiences.
To create a winning resume you should:
- Format your resume in a reverse-chronological order, and then follow the best practices for the layout
- Write your best resume summary or objective to catch the hiring manager’s attention
- In your work experience section, prioritize your main achievements, instead of your day-to-day responsibilities
- Build a portfolio of your best pieces of work.
- Match your bookkeeper resume with a cover letter