5 Tips To Create A Stellar Resume

Writing a great resume is a balancing act. You need to outline your portfolio with professional keywords in your field, but also stand out from the pack. In addition, you need to strike a balance between presenting brief career highlights for recruiters who view resumes at a high-level while describing a greater depth of your experience for hiring managers who are taking a deeper dive.

1. Select the right format

Choosing the right format for your resume depends on your industry or profession. Careers like banking, finance, and law are considered traditional, while positions in advertising, fashion, art, and innovative technologies are more creative. Many fields are somewhere in between.

As a rule of thumb, standard resume formats are expected in traditional fields. On the other hand, job seekers in creative fields have used innovative new formats including video, websites, social media tools, and even handmade books and artifacts to craft successful resumes.

2. Customize your resume

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 61 percent of employers prefer a resume that is customized to an open position.2 CareerBuilder also found that 48 percent of employers spend less than two minutes reading a resume.

That means you should prepare a separate resume for each job that you apply to, preferably using bullet points and highlighting your most relevant skills and experience.

3. Select a suitable length

Most of the time, one page is best because you generally are writing for busy recruiters. But occasionally, two pages may win you the job, especially for hiring managers looking for a range of experience, according to specialists convened by Monster.com.3

Whatever you do, choose your words carefully so that you are not featuring outdated or irrelevant skills.

4. Be selective with word choice

Here’s a warning to resume writers: avoid clichés and outdated expressions. Hiring managers and recruiters in a recent survey by CareerBuilder ranked these as words as the most offensive:4

  • Best of breed
  • Go-getter
  • Think outside the box
  • Synergy
  • Go-to person

The hiring executives also gave examples of words they would like to see on resumes, including:

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Trained/ mentored
  • Managed
  • Created

5. Avoid formatting mistakes

These days, resumes are often scanned by machines to determine if you have the relevant requirements. Make your resume “machine-readable” by keeping it to a standard font, without special features such as italics or underlining.5

Many employers also advise having text only and no images or graphics.6

With these tips and a mention of your higher education, you could achieve your goals and land the job you have been waiting for!

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Sources:

1Fortune.com. Congrats, MBA Grads. http://fortune.com/2015/05/19/mba-graduates-starting-salary/

2CareerBuilder.com. Employers Reveal Biggest Resume Blunders in Annual Survey. http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?ed=12%2F31%2F2015&id=pr909&sd=8%2F13%2F2015

3Monster.com. The one-page resume vs. the two-page resume. http://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/one-page-or-two-page-resume

4CareerBuilder.com. Hiring managers rank best and worst words on a resume in a recent CareerBuilder survey. http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?id=pr809&sd=3/13/2014&ed=03/13/2014

5Dummies.com. How to create a scannable resume. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-create-a-scannable-resume.html

6CBSMoneyWatch: 10 resume errors that will land you in the trash. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/10-resume-errors-that-will-land-you-in-the-trash/

Count on a Great Accounting Resume!

Professional Accounting Resume Tips

Your resume has to stand out in a pile of papers. Once it is noticed, it also has to demonstrate you know the accounting industry.

An effective resume delivers the information employers need up front and then provides something memorable or different.

A professional accounting resume is no different, with your skills presented front and center. Using accounting lingo naturally throughout also shows you’re familiar and comfortable with the everyday language you will need. 

The basic role of a resume is to demonstrate to an employer that you can handle required tasks using acquired skills supported by proper educational qualifications. What people often forget to do is shape their resume to the job description presented to them.

Career Objective Related to the Accounting Position

As an accounting job candidate, you should talk about the company in your objective, making it as specific as possible and linking back to your skills. Use short-term goals first, rather than long-term, generic goals. “To be employed at a company I respect at a job I love” doesn’t cut it anymore, if it ever did.

Keep this objective short, just one or two sentences.

What Accounting Companies Look for in a Hire

Those who hire for accountancy positions do not want generic resumes that could be sent to any employer out there. Start with that idea as you build your resume.

Employers want to know your skills, clear examples of work ethic and effort and, finally, some hint of your personality. A professional resume for an accountant provides this in clear sections with bulleted lists, not a narrative. Your story comes in your cover letter, which should be equally focused without rambling.

List Accounting Skills, Competencies, and Credentials

A resume needs to persuade with facts, not speculation. If you don’t have the skills the company is requesting, you probably shouldn’t be applying. To make your resume stand out, add a quick narrative sentence at the top of this section, saying, “As well as possessing the skills you have noted as requirements, other skills make me a more compelling prospect.”

Then list your applicable degrees, certifications, and other education. People often separate these, into education and skills, but there’s really no need – they all speak directly to your ability to do the job.

A master’s degree gets noticed quickly in a professional accountant resume, especially if you’ve been able to complete it in a shorter amount of time than is usual. Being a CPA or noting you’re currently pursuing a CPA or other similar, major qualification is important, too. It shows you know what is expected and that you are developing professionally even while seeking employment.

A truly well-crafted resume will cite examples of how a degree or qualification helped solve a real-life problem at work.

A familiarity with laws and legalities can be hard to get across on a resume but it’s a skill employers do look for and notice. If you’ve taken special courses or classes in these areas, note them. If you haven’t, look to learn this critical information, as well.

Any awards or special distinctions come at the end of the resume. There, those related to accounting come first. Then follow those only with those relevant to the position to which you are applying.

Essential Accounting Software Skills

Finding out ahead of time the software a company uses is a good step. That way, if you’re familiar with you can put it at the top. If you’re not, you can research it and learn it.

Finding out can be as simple as calling up and saying you’re applying for a job and wanted to know the main software the company uses.

If you have special skills in software programs used in accounting that go beyond the usual QuickBooks or Microsoft Excel, mention that, too. Many accountancy programs apply to specific industries, such as banking, warehouse management, or healthcare. Broadening your technical expertise to include some of these industry-specific packages is extremely useful.

Familiarity with Quickbooks, Sage50, Xero, Turbo Tax, or even something basic such as the Wave Accounting app for small business, goes a long way to increasing your attractiveness to a broad range of employers, as well.

Accountancy Employment History

Be as detailed as possible by bullet pointing responsibilities and accomplishments achieved in various job positions. When information is specific such as “managed databases for multiple company offices” or “reduced credit repayment to under 90 days for 80% of clients”, it demonstrates the changes you are likely to bring to the new job.

The most common way to present this past information is chronological, but it’s not necessary. Add only those positions where you did work relevant to the current position. Write a sentence at the top, telling your prospective employer that you’re doing this, so they don’t have to speculate why they see strange gaps in your employment.

This way of presenting your employment history is something different and therefore memorable, without being in any way confusing.

Final Impression

In your closing paragraph, explain why this role is important to you and what you do to keep your interest level high and your knowledge growing. Character traits you want to get across are that you’re organized, manage your time well, welcome change, and communicate effectively.

Broadcast Your Accounting Career Resume

Finally, with this great resume in hand, it needs to be seen.

The big firms are a great place to start, but don’t forget to post your resume on city or regional job boards. Finance and accounting organizations also post job listings, such as this one at the American Institute of CPAs. They also allow you to build career profiles, asking the questions they know employers want to know. Because accounting recruiters know the jobs and can organize them well, these type of sites are great places to have your resume seen.

Interviewing can be an intimidating task. Having a strong resume behind you will not only impress your prospective employer but, will give you confidence throughout your interview. If you have never built a resume before, use the above as an outline or give your existing one a refresh.

To learn more about the Master of Accountancy program at The University of Scranton, click here.

Looking for a Change: Transitioning from Nursing into Health Informatics

If you currently work in nursing and are thinking about transitioning into a career in health informatics, you’re not alone. Nurses are increasingly interested in health informatics as technology plays a bigger role in the work they do in hospitals and other healthcare settings.  Most people who enroll in a master’s in health informatics program come from either a healthcare or business background.1

Health informatics is a growing field with ample opportunity for employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for medical and health services managers (under which health informatics falls) is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2014–2024.2 In addition, the average health informatics salary is almost six figures; as of May 2016, the median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $96,540.2

If you’re considering transitioning from a career in nursing to health informatics, here’s what you need to know.

Health informatics is an interdisciplinary field of work that combines research, data, and medical practice; it’s a career at the intersection of healthcare and technology.3 Some examples of the type of work you might do in health informatics include:

  • Training healthcare staff on recordkeeping processes, increasing patient record accuracy, and addressing technology-related issues in patient care
  • Securing and managing data to help clinicians practice evidence-based medicine and improve quality of care
  • Solving complex administrative problems through data analysis

The Challenges of Becoming a Health Informatics Innovator

Nurses make great candidates for transitioning into a career in health informatics. Why? They are already familiar with the delivery of the care side of the field and have experience with both the clinical process and patient management process.

However, it can be a challenge to get up-to-speed on the technological aspects of the industry, which is why it’s so important to get the proper training. Health informatics requires more technical expertise than you might expect, far beyond what you may be used to for the practice of nursing in a hospital setting.

Look for a master’s in health informatics program that provides more support for learning the technical aspect of the field. Experience with healthcare business and operations, the ability to bring people and processes together, and an understanding of how the end user will use the information you provide may also contribute to your success as a health informatics innovator.

Positioning Yourself for Success

The University of Scranton’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) curriculum is designed to prepare you for a successful career. In addition to providing an integrative approach to patient care, the program provides you with a comprehensive understanding in health care systems, business intelligence, database applications, and information technology so you may excel in the health informatics field.

To learn more about Health Informatics education at The University of Scranton, click here.
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Resources:
  1. “Health information 101.” AHIMA.org. http://www.ahima.org/careers/healthinfo?tabid=what(accessed February 4, 2017).
  2. “Occupational outlook handbook: Medical and health services managers.” BLS.gov. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm(accessed February 4, 2017).
  3. Rouse, M. ”Definition: Health informatics.” SearchHealthIT.TechTarget.com. http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/health-informatics(accessed April 5, 2017).