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Career advice featured in – Forbes, Glassdoor, Reader's Digest, MarketWatch, The CheatSheet
Career advice featured in Forbes, Glassdoor, MarketWatch, Reader's Digest, The CheatSheet

In the competitive world of accounting and finance, crafting an interview-winning resume is your ticket to standing out to prospective employers as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Your CPA resume has a lot of hats to wear – it must make a lasting first impression by showcasing your expertise and highlighting your achievements in a way that is tailored to the job description in order to navigate the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that companies use to weed out candidates. Speaking of weeding out candidates, your resume must also set you apart from the other job seekers who do make it through the ATS.

The best way to leverage your experience, achievements, and skills to take the next steps of your career journey is to follow this comprehensive guide. It will equip you with essential insights to create a compelling Certified Public Accountant resume, including providing a sample resume crafted for the accounting field and valuable tips and tricks. In fact, this article will serve as your roadmap to constructing a resume that leaves a lasting impression and opens doors to your desired career.

How to write a resume

Many people think that the key component of their CPA resume is to demonstrate experience at top accounting or finance firms. You probably hear terms like “the Big Four” a lot. You may be surprised to know that the most important thing your resume will do for you is place a strong focus on showcasing both technical expertise and relevant accomplishments. 

So, aside from including relevant Professional Experience – the keyword being “relevant” – you should weave skills and achievements throughout your resume to ensure that you’re creating a comprehensive and engaging document that will pique a hiring manager’s attention and cause them to want to call you for an interview. 

The critical components of your resume include:

  • Title and, perhaps, a branding statement

  • Skills (a/k/a Core Competencies)

  • Professional Experience

  • Education

  • Certifications/Licenses

  • Professional affiliations (optional)

Finance and accounting equals numbers

The main thing you need to remember is that every sentence of your resume needs to answer the “So, what?” question that will be in the minds of prospective employers. How do you do that? The only way to do that is to show achievement through quantified accomplishment statements

There is one immutable truth in accounting and finance, and that is precision and accuracy reign supreme. The value of quantifying achievements on your Certified Public Accountant resume cannot be overstated. As a CPA, your proficiency in dealing with numbers goes beyond mere arithmetic – it's a testament to your ability to make informed decisions that impact businesses and individuals alike. 

Let's take a miniature deep dive into the significance of quantifying accomplishments throughout your resume.

Why quantify achievements?

Quantifying your accomplishments not only adds substance to your resume but also provides concrete evidence of your positive impact on previous employers. By attaching metrics to your achievements, you capitalize on a universal measure of your proficiency – numbers – and allow future employers to gauge the scale of your contributions. 

Showcasing financial impact

The only thing prospective employers care about is what you're going to bring to the table for their company and team. You do that by writing achievement-based statements on your resume. 

For instance, rather than stating, "Led financial analysis for company projects," you can quantify it as, "Led financial analysis for company projects resulting in a 10% increase in operational efficiency and $500,000 in cost savings."

Demonstrating ROI

Employers are keenly interested in knowing how your work translates into a return on investment (ROI). Whether it's reducing costs, increasing revenue, or optimizing processes, quantifying achievements showcases your ability to deliver tangible value. For instance, "Implemented tax strategy resulting in a $100,000 reduction in annual tax liability" communicates your direct contribution to the organization's financial well-being.

Enhancing comparability

Quantified achievements make it easier for hiring managers to compare your contributions across different roles and companies. Numbers provide a standardized measure of success that transcends industry nuances, helping you convey your expertise more effectively.

Creating impactful bullet points

When crafting bullet points for your resume, follow the CAR (Challenge-Action-Result) framework and incorporate quantifiable metrics:

  • Challenge: Describe the situation you faced.

  • Action: Explain the steps you took to address the challenge.

  • Result: Quantify the outcome of your actions.

Examples of Quantified Achievements

  • Auditing efficiency: "Conducted comprehensive internal audit, identifying discrepancies and recovering $50,000 in erroneously recorded expenses."

  • Financial analysis: "Analyzed investment portfolios, resulting in a recommendation that led to a 15% increase in returns over the market average."

  • Tax strategy: "Developed tax planning strategies that reduced clients' tax liabilities by an average of 12% annually."

Certified Public Accountant Resume example 

So, you get that incorporating numbers is pretty important to elevate your resume from a list of responsibilities to a compelling career story that sets you apart as someone who can get stuff done. But even with a few examples, it can be hard to picture what it looks like in real life. Well, never fear because here is an example of a complete Certified Public Accountant resume that you can use as a roadmap for writing your own. 



City, State or Country if international

Phone | Email

LinkedIn URL


Detail-oriented, driven, bilingual/multilingual CPA highly regarded for excellence in general accounting and auditing. Exceptional analytical skills, with the ability to examine and understand business needs and deliver comprehensive, actionable reports while exceeding stringent expectations. Accustomed to managing multiple projects and client accounts simultaneously in fast-paced, deadline-driven environments. Strong collaborative skills with experience working in a team environment, able to work effectively alongside individuals from diverse backgrounds.


  • Accounts Payable

  • Balance Sheet

  • Business Acumen

  • Financial Statements

  • Accounts Receivable

  • Accounts Reconciliation

  • Leadership/Coaching

  • Market Analysis

  • P&L Analysis

  • Cash Flow Projections

  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Process Improvement



Company | Location | Year to Year


  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge on permits, certificates and documents mandatory for government departments.

  • Initiate comprehensive account assessments to check viability, stability and profitability of business operations.

  • Reconciled accounts and reviewed all materials, including surplus, income, expense data, net worth and assets.

  • Train XX new employees on accounting principles and company procedures.

  • Accurately document all cash, credit, fixed assets, accrued expenses and line of credit transactions.

  • Prepare documents, reports and presentations using advanced software proficiencies.

  • Cooperate with senior leaders to create operating budgets and initiate financial planning.

  • Improve operational efficiency by XX%, overhauling data collection, analysis and modeling, to enhance practices and increase customer retention.


Company | Location | Year to Year


  • Collaborated with the auditing team to ensure full compliance with governing bodies and limit regulatory risks.

  • Supported monthly reporting analysis to achieve validation of internal reports and to reconcile production operations and the general ledger.

  • Created final certification reports for XX small businesses and mitigated monthly audit risks.

  • Analyzed and researched reporting issues to improve accounting operations procedures.

  • Tracked various statistics and kept detailed records to support the human resources department.

  • Proactively researched technical tax issues related to consulting projects.

  • Modified a comprehensive financial reporting package to reflect growing organizational complexity.

  • Coached and advised clients in business plans and processes to achieve profit objectives.

Junior Accountant

Company | Location | Year to Year


  • Reviewed and processed client payments, including electronic payments and check deposits, followed up with customers to collect information and verify details.

  • Reviewed and processed employee expense reports and vendor invoices for payment.

  • Contributed to financial management conversion by performing functionality, capability and system integrity testing prior to launch.

  • Generated financial statements and facilitated account closing procedures each month.

  • Enhanced audit controls by improving planning and testing processes.

  • Cooperated with engineering, manufacturing and corporate accounting to verify that quality standards were met.

  • Created periodic reports comparing budgeted costs to actual costs.



Complete School Name, City, St/Country: List Graduation Years If Within the Last Ten Years
Complete Degree Name (Candidate) – Major (GPA: List if over 3.3)

  • Relevant Coursework: List coursework taken (even include those you are planning on taking)

  • Awards/Honors: List any awards, honors or big achievements

  • Clubs/Activities: List clubs and activities in which you participated

  • Relevant Projects: List 2-3 projects you have worked on

Key hard & soft skills for Certified Public Accountant

So far, the advice you’ve learned makes it seem like your resume should just be a list of numerical accomplishments. While those are supremely important, you can’t forget about interpersonal skills because a well-rounded CPA resume should not only highlight technical competencies but also emphasize essential soft skills that are crucial for success in the accounting and finance field. Here's why both types of skills are important:

Hard skills

Things that you know how to do because of education and experience fall into the hard skill category. As a Certified Public Accountant, these skills demonstrate your technical proficiency and expertise in performing accounting/finance-related functions of your job. For example:

  • Financial analysis

  • Tax preparation

  • Auditing

  • Using accounting software

  • Regulatory compliance, like GAAP

Soft skills

While all of those hard skills (and more) are of the utmost importance in getting your job done, you don’t work in a bubble. You have to be able to interact with others, solve problems, and contribute as a part of a team. 

Examples of soft skills for CPAs include:

  • Communication

  • Problem-solving

  • Attention to detail

  • Teamwork

  • Analytical thinking

Why both types of skills matter

For some employers, soft skills can be the thing that gets you a job offer. If Madam Hiring Manager has two candidates to choose from who both have equal knowledge of relevant hard skills, it’s the soft skills that will help her make her final choice. By presenting a strong mix of hard and soft skills into your Certified Public Accountant resume you give future employers a comprehensive view of your abilities, including:

  • Holistic competence

  • Adaptability

  • Client relations

  • Career progression

When reading job descriptions and applying for new roles, pay special attention to soft skills as well as hard skills and tailor your resume to each application you send out so that you demonstrate how well you’ll perform in each role. 

Summary & Last Words

When you sit down to craft your compelling Certified Public Accountant resume, remember that it isn't meant to be a mere chronicle of your experiences -- it's your platform to shine. Your commitment to meticulously creating your resume is an investment in your own potential, signaling to prospective employers that you're not just another candidate; you're a skilled and accomplished CPA ready to make a difference. 

Each section you refine, each achievement you quantify, and each skill you spotlight paints a vivid picture of your unique value. It may take a bit more time, but as you polish your resume to mirror individual job descriptions, envision the doors it will open, the connections it will forge, and the rewarding career it will set in motion. It may be words on a piece of paper, but where it takes you is limited only by your aspirations and the unwavering dedication you bring to the table. 

Introduction to ZipJob: Professional Resume Writers

If you think of your resume as one of the most important financial documents you own – because without it, you can’t pay bills, go on vacation, or save for retirement – then hiring the professional resume writers at ZipJob just makes sense. After all, what better investment can you make than in yourself and your future? ZipJob’s writers understand the finance industry and the nuances of the CPA field. In a world where you have to present yourself as the best, having a professional writer in your corner will ensure that you’re always putting your best foot forward.

Why You Should Make Use of Our Resume Writing Services to Land Your Next Job as Certified Public Accountant

ZipJob has built a name for itself by using the same technology that companies use to find job seekers. That allows us to help propel your career, whether you’re just starting out as a CPA or have decades of experience under your belt. The resume your ZipJob writer will create will be optimized with relevant keywords that will get you past the ATS and impress a hiring manager. 

Resume Writing Service for Certified Public Accountant: Let us write your resume

Part of the success of ZipJob’s process also extends to the highly collaborative approach your writer will take in crafting your final document. By collaborating with you, we can gather the right insights and showcase your skills in the financial arena that sets you up to reach new career heights. 

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