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Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Resume Sample & Guide

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Resume Sample & Guide

In this guide, we’ll add up all your skills, subtract unnecessary items, and factor in your experience to write a CPA resume that’ll pay dividends and earn you an interview.

As seen in:

CPA Resume Sample


Rose J. Castaneda, CPA

Certified Public Accountant

(727) 349-9999


Summary of Qualifications


Results-oriented certified public accountant with 5+ years of experience working in the St. Petersburg area. Skilled in all areas of finance and accounting, from individuals to large businesses. Reduced spending by $100,000 each in 5 small businesses. Seeking to leverage top corporate finance experience and individual finance planning to become the certified public accountant at Alta Street Capital.


Work Experience


Certified Public Accountant
May 2016–July 2019
Clearwater Financial Advisors, St. Petersburg, FL

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Organized and maintained corporate financial records for more than a dozen companies.
  • Planned key financial strategies for corporations and smaller businesses, and insured that companies were defended against audits and market fluctuations.
  • Advised board members and management on financial decisions and investment opportunities.
  • Balanced budgets and analyzed accounting ledgers for accuracy and direction.

Key Achievements

  • Saved 5 small businesses over $100,000 each through financial planning and tax preparation procedures.


Certified Public Accountant
April 2014–April 2016
First Florida Financials, St. Petersburg, FL

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Performed tax accounting and audit defense procedures for individual clients and small- and medium-sized businesses.
  • Facilitated early retirement planning for individual clients and families with net worths over $5 million.
  • Made recommendations for better use of savings, investments, and bank balances.
  • Eliminated risk of fraud and identity theft for clients through various strategic finance procedures.




Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

Pass: 2014

Score: 98/99


Bachelor of Science in Finance

Thomas Edison State University, Trenton, NJ

Graduation: 2013

Relevant Coursework: Business Administration, Corporate Regulations and Compliance, Accounting Fundamentals, Foundational Business Finance, Fundamentals of Investments, Financial Decision-Making, Modern Business Concepts, Personal Tax Preparation & Accounting.


Key Skills


  • Estate Planning
  • Corporate Finance & Accounting
  • Financial Planning & Analysis
  • Tax Preparation & Audit Defense
  • Federal & State Regulatory Compliance
  • International Tax Regulations




  • Florida State Licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA)




  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)




  • Spanish: Native Proficiency

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.


cpa resume templates

Sample CPA Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.


Here are some other CPA-related accounting resume examples to view:



Above these links was our version of the best sample CPA resume.


Now, let’s get to yours— 


Here’s how to write a CPA resume:


1. Choose a Great Format for a CPA Resume Template


A Certified Public Accountant, commonly referred to by its abbreviation CPA, is a person licensed or certified to provide financial services related to accounting, such as tax preparation and financial planning, to the public. A CPA resume needs to show the employer that you have the financial background, finance skills, and accounting experience to deserve an interview.


To write a resume certified public accountant employers will love, there’s something to do before you begin writing— 


You must format CPA resume templates for easy readability.


This is how to format a CPA resume template:



Pro Tip: How to save your public accounting resume? Stick with the resume PDF format unless the CPA job description says otherwise. PDF documents appear nicely on any device, whereas Word documents may look funny on some. 


2. Write A CPA Resume Objective or Summary Statement


Like a great elevator pitch or your deal-winning sales spiel, the resume profile is a brief paragraph effectively introducing you as a candidate.


It comes in two varieties, the objective and the summary.


Been a certified public accountant for ages?


Go with the career summary


The summary statement on CPA resumes is perfect for experienced accountants. You’ll use this heading statement to talk up your financial skills, accounting expertise, and general background as a CPA. Include a numbered accomplishment to really get your message across.


First time as a CPA or writing a CPA candidate resume?


Go with the career objective


In order to overlook your lack of CPA resume experience, you’ll instead talk up your past experience, skills, and background in a way which makes sense for accounting jobs. However, still include a numbered win from your past experience to verify your talents to them.


Pro Tip: To make sure your heading statement’s as solid as your bookkeeping skills, write it last. With this method, you’ll have the rest of your finished resume to look back upon to locate the best opportunities to list in the intro paragraph.


3. Create the Best CPA Job Description for a Resume

Like a general ledger, the resume work experience section must be documented correctly. 




This is how to write a CPA job description on a resume:


  • Go reverse-chronologically by starting with your most recent or current job first.
  • Add the business job title, employment dates, and the company’s name and location.
  • Use 5 or 6 bullet points to outline your accounting job responsibilities and duties.
  • Start each bullet entry with power verbs (e.g., audited, planned) to make a powerful statement.
  • Give an achievement or two with numbers to quantify just how great you were at your past workplaces. 


Pro Tip: Learn how to tailor a resume to a specific job, rather than sending one generic resume to every CPA job description you find on Indeed. Like generic financial advice, it’s useless for this institution.


4. Make Your Certified Public Accountant Resume Education Section Shine


Just as you adhere to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), there are guidelines to follow when listing education on a resume.


Here’s the gist:


  • Use reverse-chronological order in your education, as well, by listing your most advanced degree at the top.
  • Provide your major name, the school’s name and locale, your completion date, and any classwork you had related to finance and accounting.
  • Since you need a degree (or at least 120 credits) to become a CPA in most states, don’t add high school on resumes for CPAs.


Pro Tip: If you’re writing a resume without experience, such as a CPA-eligible resume, your degree in finance may be more impressive than your work experience. In this case, switch these sections so the education is on top, giving the hiring manager the most salient info first.


5. Highlight Your Accounting Skills on a CPA Resume


There were 1.4 million CPAs and other accountants in 2016, and that number is set to explode 10% by 2026, adding another 140,000 employees.


You’re in a crazy-large applicant pool.




To impress the finance department head or financial consultancy firm, highlight your relevant skills in the best way possible:


General Accounting Skills for CPA Resumes—Examples 



Now, here’s how to put those skills onto a resume for accounting professionals:


  • List your job skills and abilities you have which relate to work as a certified public accountant.
  • Don’t forget to include both soft skills and hard skills.
  • Go back to the CPA job ad’s responsibilities section to locate the best resume keywords to use.
  • If they line up, add that skill to your tax accounting or CPA auditor resume.


Pro Tip: Use similar wording in your skills list for CPA jobs as you find in the job ad. If they ask for Microsoft Office skills and you put you’re awesome at Word and Excel, any software scanner (the ATS) might not put two and two together like a human would, costing you an interview, potentially.


When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.


6. Add Extra Sections to Your CPA Resume 


Extra sections on a resume help to round you out as an accounting candidate, showing you’re more than just the professional skills and experience you added.




Here are top sections to add for an experienced or entry-level CPA resume:


CPA Resume Examples—Extra Sections 



Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:


matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

7. Attach a CPA Cover Letter to Accounting Resumes

Do you need a cover letter for a resume for CPA jobs?


More than half of all employers prefer a cover letter, so not sending one cuts your chances in half from the start.


So, always include a cover letter for CPA applications.


Here are a few tips for how to write a CPA cover letter:


  • Learn how to format a cover letter, just like with the resume, before you start writing.
  • The best way to start a cover letter is with a strong, concise introductory statement.
  • Explain to the CPA employer why you’re the best accountant to consider.
  • Show them that this office is the ideal place for your skills and experience.
  • Include a quantifiable achievement to prove you have the abilities they’re looking for.
  • Close it using a cover letter conclusion and a strong call to action.


Need to know how long a cover letter should be? That guide has the answers!


Pro Tip: Remember to follow up on your job application by sending an email after waiting a week or so.


Got any questions about how to write CPA resumes? Need more CPA, CPA candidate, and CPA eligible resume examples? Let’s talk about it below in the comments area, and thank you for reading!

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Christian Eilers
Christian is a career expert who has been writing for Zety since 2017. From job hunting to acing interviews to settling in on the first days at a new career, his guides cover the entire career spectrum.
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