Do’s and Don’ts of F&A Resume Writing

Hiring managers skim through a ton of resumes daily and need to identify quickly which ones make the cut and which ones don’t. It is tough to summarize your career on a single document –skillfully articulating positions you’ve held, certifications you’ve earned and companies you’ve worked for.

Whether you’re creating a new resume from scratch or updating a current one, here are some of our do’s and don’ts to help you to put together a purposeful career document that brings you closer to your next job.


1. Choose a Functional Resume Format

Most finance resumes use a chronological approach to display work experience. Experiment with a functional format that follows the chronological listing of work experience along with a detailed list of skills and certifications. Include a headline that clearly communicates your goals and qualifications. Customize your summary for each position, research what the company is looking for in a candidate and make note of those attributes in your summary statement. Make your summary unique, let it tell the interviewer something about yourself that the rest of your resume won’t.

2. Quantify Your Experience

The work experience section of your resume is the most daunting one to highlight. Numbers make a huge difference to any resume, try to quantify as much of your experience as possible. If you’re hesitant to use exact figures, consider using range, percentage increases/decreases, frequency, and scale to emphasize your impact. For example; responsible for preparing multiple financial reports on a weekly basis has a better impact than responsible for the preparation of financial reports. Similarly, managed a portfolio of over 500 clients, 50+ calls per day, recovered 2+ million in 2018 sounds much better than dealt with high-volume collections and recovered millions for the company.

3. Include Specific Keywords

Be specific with your skills, certifications and use strategic keywords relevant to the job description. Only those candidates whose resume matches to what recruiters are looking for will make it to the top of the pile. Some finance keywords to consider include finance analysis, corporate accounting, financial planning, budgeting, tax accounting etc. Don’t overdo it with F&A acronyms and technical jargon. Technical expertise is crucial for a career in finance, but employers want to see proof of soft skills such as critical thinking, communication, and time management.


1. Use Too Many Empty Words

Avoid excessive use of terms like “detail-oriented”, “results-driven” or “change agent”. Include terms that are specific to your skills and abilities. Discard any flattery, unnecessary descriptions or words that don’t add value to your professional career. Ideal F&A resume length should be 2 pages – every word is precious!

2. Focus on Job Titles

Employers may be more interested in your job accomplishments than job title. Reduce your focus on job titles and add more weight to your accomplishments within a specific role, positive changes you’ve helped to implement, and accounting software that you’ve mastered

3. Overdue Work Experience

There is no need to mention every job you’ve had, especially if it is not related to the role you’re currently pursuing. Limit your work experience to positions that align with your qualifications and career goals.

Resume Tips 2020

By Ali Farooq, Recruitment Team Lead

Job seekers often dread writing resumes. They either don’t know where to begin, how to quantify skills or how to highlight a diversified work background? Our list of resume tips will guide you in crafting a job-winning resume.

Focus on Relevant Skills & Work Experience

It is difficult to detail every accomplishment or job you’ve had in your career without making your resume overly lengthy. What really helps is customizing your resume based on jobs you want to apply for. Highlight relevant skills and work experience that position you as an ideal candidate for these specific roles. List the software’s that you’re proficient in and outline projects you have worked on. Refrain from stating the obvious such as great organizational skills, know how to use Microsoft Office, or that you speak English. This adds unnecessary additional bulk to your resume.

Demonstrate Your Worth Using Numbers

Numbers are attention grabbing and helps in conveying your career story effortlessly. Recruiters and Hiring managers are often strapped for time. Therefore, include results in numbers and percentages to detail your impressive work history. Be as specific as possible without having too much text on your resume.

Showcase the Certifications You Hold

In the Finance and Accounting field, certifications are crucial. They demonstrate skills, knowledge and a candidate’s dedication. Certifications prove that the candidate is a motivated learner who wants to enhance his/her skill set. Whether you’re actively pursuing or have completed a certification, be sure to always mention it in your resume – it can give your resume a boost over other candidates.

Format Correctly & Drive Attention to the Top of Your Resume

A correctly formatted resume showcases professionalism and attention to detail. Always use easy to read fonts, double check the grammar and space your content appropriately. Avoid abbreviations as they can be counterproductive. Finance professionals use multiple abbreviations such as AP is “Accounts Payable” and CF is “Cash Flow”; Assume that, the recruiter reviewing your resume may not have the same level of understanding and can overlook such key details. Make sure to include an eye-catching headline and summary that compels hiring managers to read more about you.

Use Relevant Keywords

Recruiting and AI now work hand in hand. Most companies have an applicant tracking system in place to sort through resumes. In order to ensure that your resume gets noticed, you must use relevant keywords from the job posting. Both ATS and recruiters tend to skim through resumes for specific keywords that match the job criteria.

Find your next Finance. Accounting & Administrative job with PTC Recruiting. We are a specialized accounting and finance recruiting firm with nearly three decades of experience filling positions for some of the best employers across GTA and southern Ontario.