Though the demand for bookkeepers is declining (as a result of advances in automated bookkeeping software technology), the opportunity for employment is still great, with over 1.6 million Americans employed as bookkeepers.
And with a median income that’s 18% higher than the national average, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular occupation.
As a result, recruiters are likely to receive hundreds of applications for an open position, putting the pressure on your resume to cut through the group and secure you an interview.
So, what makes a great bookkeeper resume?
In this article, we’ll cover what a bookkeeper does and how to write a bookkeeper resume. We’ll also show you some bookkeeper resume samples for different experience levels.
Bookkeepers help companies and other organizations keep their financial records in order.
Think of it like this:
As a company, you have an obligation to submit tax returns and other reports on a regular basis. To be able to do this accurately and efficiently, you need clean and up-to-date financial data, i.e., “the books.”
Bookkeepers fulfill this need so that the company (or their accountant) can file relevant returns promptly and accurately.
Common duties and responsibilities of a bookkeeper include:
Performing data entry for financial transactions (incoming and outgoing)
Using accounting software such as Quickbooks
Assisting businesses in keeping track of accounts payable (invoices to be paid) and accounts receivable (money owed by customers)
Financial reporting such as balance sheets, cash flow statements, and income statements
Managing or assisting with payroll
Strictly speaking, there are no educational requirements to become a bookkeeper.
However, most hiring managers will expect that you have completed college coursework in accounting or a relevant field.
Doing so will also give you a better shot at securing a position, which is important given the job outlook is trending downward for bookkeepers.
The most common educational path to becoming a bookkeeper is to earn an associate degree in bookkeeping or accounting.
If you’d prefer not to pursue a bookkeeping career through a college education, it’s possible to become a self-taught bookkeeper by learning software packages like Freshbooks.
From there, you can apply for an internship at a bookkeeping firm or secure a role as an entry-level or assistant bookkeeper at a small business.
Here are five steps you can follow to craft a bookkeeper resume that will stand out.
Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), spend some time studying the job advertisement.
The goal in resume writing is to craft each resume to perfectly fit the job ad instead of sending the same resume to a hundred different jobs.
Here, you’re looking for specific duties that the role entails and experience that the recruiter is looking for, right down to the specific keyword (this will help you get through ATS systems).
For example, if the job ad describes one of the key duties as ‘drafting financial reports,’ then you’ll want to use this terminology in your resume rather than saying ‘financial statements.’
Now that you’ve determined what the hiring manager is looking for, it’s time to write a professional resume objective or resume summary.
This should briefly describe:
The kind of position you’re searching for
What you bring to the table
Your relevant experience and education
It should only be a couple of lines at most. If you’ve got more to say about yourself, you can do so in your cover letter.
Here’s what your summary should look like:
The next section of our bookkeeper resume is typically going to be the experience section, assuming you have relevant experience as a bookkeeper or in a similar position.
However, if you’re applying for an entry-level role and don’t have any bookkeeping experience, then you may opt to use a functional or hybrid resume format, where you dedicate more space to the skills section.
Whichever you choose, you want your work experience section to be both relevant and compelling.
Relevant means you describe your experience with bookkeeper-specific duties (such as performing a bank reconciliation or processing journal entries) and leave broader experience (such as with MS Office) to the skills section.
Compelling means that you don’t just mention that you’ve performed those duties, you describe your achievements as well.
For example, you’d want to write “Processed month-end accounts payable reports on time every month for 12 months” instead of “Responsible for month-end reporting.”
The skills section of your bookkeeper resume should also be concise. The best way to achieve this is to use bullet point formatting, like this:
In your skills section, include both soft skills such as being detail-oriented or skilled at problem solving and technical skills such as:
Proficiency using Microsoft Office programs such as Excel or Powerpoint
Ability to process purchase orders
Ability to understand complex financial information
Understanding of account reconciliation procedures
The last section to add to your bookkeeper resume is your education section.
If you’re applying for an entry-level role and don’t have any relevant education, that’s okay. Just add your high school diploma.
If you’re a certified bookkeeper or CPA, though, be sure to make this known, and include details of where you graduated from.
Are you looking for a bit of inspiration?
Check out these bookkeeper resume samples. You can also use them as templates for creating your own resume or CV.
If you’ve just graduated and you’re applying as an entry-level bookkeeper, then you’ll want to format your resume like this one.
Notice that because the applicant does not have any relevant work experience, they’ve dedicated more space on their resume to discuss the skills they bring to the table.
If you have a few years of experience as a bookkeeper under your belt, then you’ll want to focus more on this section than on skills.
Note how this applicant discussed achievements in their previous bookkeeping roles rather than focusing solely on duties performed.
Some companies prefer to hire a full-charge bookkeeper, which is someone who is wholly responsible for the accounting duties of the company, often reporting directly to the company director.
To be successful in securing such a role, you’ll need to demonstrate significant expertise. Notice how in this bookkeeper resume example, the applicant has detailed several key achievements in similar roles.
So you’ve crafted the perfect bookkeeper resume, and you’re ready to get hunting for your next job.