How to Avoid the Downsides of Using an Accounting Resume Template

Looking over a resume

When you’re searching for a job, you’ll find plenty of career advice regarding salary negotiations and working with recruiters. You’ll also find an accounting resume template or two to use. Using an accounting resume template is a good way to ensure you cover the bases, but a cookie-cutter resume won’t help you stand out from the crowd.

Here are three potential downsides of using an accounting resume template, as well as how to work around using one:

1. An accounting resume template can be drab

To get to the interview stage, your resume needs to make an impression. Some resume templates aren’t easy on the eye, and they don’t offer many options for your typefaces and font sizes. The result can be a visually unexciting piece of paper that looks overstuffed with information.

The fix: Choose an accounting resume template that offers a greater choice of typefaces and sizes. You don’t want anything too out of the ordinary, so a good rule of thumb is to use no more than two different typefaces. The template should also let you break up resume information by using text boxes, columns or bullets.


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2. Everyone is using an accounting resume template 

We all know how a Google search works. You scan the first page of results and choose something that suits your needs. Few people extend their search past that first page. So if you choose the top accounting resume templates that your query brings up, your competition probably does the same thing. And that’s not good when you need to stand out.

The fix: Look past the first page of search results. Try queries other than “accounting resume template,” so you get a broader range of results. Some of those resumes may not be customized for accounting professionals, but they can be tweaked to fit your needs. For example, many graphic designers now use resume templates that feature infographics. Although these templates weren’t created specifically for finance professionals, they can be effective to present qualifications and experience as data — especially if you routinely work with data in your position. But keep in mind that creative professionals are typically allowed to be a bit more playful with their resumes. So make sure your resume is appropriate for the finance role you’re seeking.

3. User error happens more than you think

Accounting resume templates come loaded with stock language and placeholder text. If you use one, there’s a risk you may overlook these placeholders while populating the template. Or you might even forget to change the file name. Sending a resume loaded with errors to a potential employer will definitely not make a good first impression.

The fix: Don’t email your resume until you’ve gone over it with a fine-toothed comb. Then have someone else who understands your job-search goals look it over a second time. It may be helpful to review a printed copy. Sometimes it’s easier to catch errors on paper than on a computer screen.

An accounting resume template can help you catch an employer’s eyes when your final document is properly formatted and proofread carefully. Use these tips to perfect your resume and get your job search off to a good start.

Take a look at What Your Accounting Resume Should Look Like in 2016.

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If you're wondering what hiring managers consider red flags in resumes, read Things That Make You Go Hmmm.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and was updated recently to reflect more current informtion.

Tags: Resume