You'd probably prefer a visit to the dentist's office over writing your resume. But if you keep a few tips in mind, you can tailor your resume for that staff accountant job you've got your eye on and possibly even nail the job. Just remember to tweak your resume's job objective for each employer. That way, you show a prospective employer right off that you're just the person they need.
Most people get resume writing backwards. While a resume is about your experience, skills and education, it's really not about you. When it's done right, your resume reflects how you fit the employer's job requirements. If the staff accountant job you want requires someone with analytical skills, don't focus on your technical skills. An objective for that kind of job might read, "To obtain a staff accountant position where my keen analytical and reporting skills provide company leaders with the business information they need to improve the bottom line." A little long in the tooth, but it might just get your foot in the door.
Avoid making the mistake of telling the prospective employer what you want in a job; rather let him know how you fill the employment need. A bad example of a staff accountant job objective reads: "I want a position in the accounting field where my degree and four years of experience will lead to an accounting supervisory position." Create a more employer-focused job objective where maybe a construction company needs a staff accountant who already knows a specific software. That job objective would read: "Objective: A position with a construction firm requiring experience with XYZ software gained with three years of experience billing clients and tracking job costs on a project-by-project basis."
Sample Job Objectives
Pluck words from the employer's advertisement if it matches your education, certification, experience or background and put it into the job objective. Try this one on for size: "Seeking a position with a dynamic international financial firm that needs a detail-oriented staff accountant with five years' experience in financial analyzation, general ledger, accounts receivable and customer collections." Another one for a government agency advertising for a budget accountant might read, "Objective: A position with a government agency that makes use of my five years' government accounting experience in budget analysis, preparation and staff supervision."
Killer Keyword Objectives
Large companies often file resumes in databases. If you don't include the right keywords in your job objective, your resume might just fall into the company's black hole. If the employer wants an expert in a specific spreadsheet program, include its keywords in your objective. "Objective: A position that utilizes my advanced skills coding macros and building massive linked workbooks and worksheets in XYZ spreadsheet program." The point behind a killer objective is to let the employer know that you are exactly the person they need.
Job Objective or Not
Many resume writing experts tell you to ditch the job objective on your resume. They say this because most people just don't understand that the job objective should reflect your employer's needs, not yours. Whatever you want to call it, it doesn't have to be a job objective -- it could simply be a statement, a profile, a summary, whatever; just include it in the prime real estate of your resume at the top. No employer concerns himself with what you want in a job; they're looking for the person that has what they want in an employee.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.