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Payroll Specialist Resume Example & Job Description [+Skills]

Payroll Specialist Resume Example & Job Description [+Skills]

For laypeople, garden leave means digging deep into hobbies. But, for you, they must still be on the payroll. So prove you know what’s what in an ADP-worthy payroll resume.

As seen in:

So—

 

How many reminders to approve time cards have you sent to date?

 

That’s precisely the number of job applications recruiters have to go through to find the perfect candidate. 

 

For each role.

 

You wish employees took mercy on you, so be an example with your payroll specialist resume. The recruiter won’t even think about reading another one when they’re done with yours.

 

This guide will show you: 

 

  • A payroll resume sample better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to write a payroll specialist resume that will land you more interviews.
  • Tips and samples of payroll resume skills and objective.
  • How to describe your job experience on a resume for a payroll specialist to get any job you want.

 

Here’s a payroll specialist resume sample made with our builder.

 

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.

 

Create your resume now

 

payroll specialist resume example
payroll specialist resume example

Payroll specialist resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Feeling like taking a quick glance over other resume examples? Check related guides:

 

 

Payroll Resume Example

 

Tammy M. Friedman, FPC

Payroll Specialist

4429 Raccoon Run

Seattle, WA 98109

206-977-5232

tammymfriedman@email.com

linkedin.com/in/tammymfriendman

 

Summary

 

FPC-certified payroll specialist with strong administrative skills, seeking to bring pinpoint accuracy to Workable Inc. Detail-oriented professional with 5+ years of experience processing employee payroll information. Delivered a presentation during the National Payroll Week, leading to receiving 15 internship applications from students.

 

Experience

 

Payroll Specialist

Pay Inc., Seattle, WA

January 2016–present

  • Prepared and delivered 25+ presentations about timekeeping systems during the onboarding sessions.
  • Produced a catalog listing tax reforms and their application for the board meetings every month.
  • Monitored leave time for over 100 employees.
  • Administered employee documentation, including payroll, taxes, and benefits in ADP Workforce Now in collaboration with HR.
  • Gathering payroll statistical data per quarter for HR contract management.

Key achievement: Acted as Payroll Ambassador, leading to receiving over 15 internship applications during the National Payroll Week in the office.

 

HR Administrator

OHr, Seattle, WA

October 2015–December 2015

  • Responded to requests regarding employee paychecks with an average 96% satisfaction rate.
  • Completed, verified, and issued over 20 contract workers’ timekeeping cards to the respective agencies monthly.
  • Compiled payroll and HR updates into a biweekly company newsletter.

 

Education

 

2015 BABA, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (Accounting)

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

 

Skills

 

  • Data entry and analysis
  • Wave, Quick Books, ADP
  • SAP
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Monitoring skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills

 

Certificates

 

  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP), expected completion in 2021
  • Fundamental Payroll Certification, 2017

 

Membership

 

The American Payroll Association (APA)

  • An active member since 2017.
  • Helped organize a PayTalk Podcast with Deloitte’s Principle and Managing Director.

 

Hobbies & Interests

 

  • Listening to the Let’s Fix Work podcast.
  • Helping with my children’s math homework.

 

Here’s how to write a payroll resume and work your way out to a new job:

 

1. Process Your Payroll Resume Format With Profit

 

You’re an expert in entering and processing data.

 

So you know how important are its recipients and users. They beg for clarity.

 

Why don’t you, then, pick a modern resume template and start right off with formatting?

 

Go for the reverse-chronological resume format. Apply it to the resume structure (making your work experience section explicit) and layout (sharing the most recent information up top).

 

Divide your resume into separate sections:

 

  • Resume header
  • Resume summary or resume objective
  • Work experience
  • Education (As an entry-level candidate, you’re welcome to move it under the resume summary / objective section.)
  • Skills
  • Other

 

And here are main clues to how you should make your resume entries:

 

 

Giving bribes is illegal. But let’s move on to your job accomplishments paying their way.

Now it really comes down to scanning resumes. Pass this recruitment stage by: Writing An ATS-Friendly Resume

2. Cash In the Job Description in Your Payroll Resume

 

Contractors or full-time workers—who’s who?

 

You’d better match them to correct employee groups or face an angry mob who didn’t get paid.

 

Similarly, if you don’t match your resume to the job description, say adiós to a career opportunity and don’t get paid either.

 

Know this—

 

Recruiters and hiring managers take only six to seven seconds to decide whether you’re fit or not. Horrifying, no?

 

They look for specific qualities and skills. And, they want to schedule interviews only with those who can prove it. 

 

Go to the job posting and find keywords you should use in your resume. Break it down as if you prepared a pay stub.

 

See how you list your payroll experience if the ad says (1) has communication skills, (2) works with user interface database, (3) translates and implements tax reforms, and (4) cross-collaborates with HR:

 

Payroll Resume Job Description Sample

RIGHT

Payroll Specialist

Pay Inc., Seattle, WA

January 2016–present

  • Prepared and delivered 25+ presentations about timekeeping systems during the onboarding sessions.
  • Produced a catalog listing tax reforms and their application for the board meetings every month.
  • Calculated and monitored leaves for over 100 employees.
  • Administered employee documentation, including payroll, taxes, and benefits in ADP Workforce Now in collaboration with HR.
  • Gathering payroll statistical data per quarter for HR contract management.

Key achievement: Acted as a Payroll Ambassador, leading to receiving over 15 internship applications during the National Payroll Week in the office.

WRONG

Pay Inc. 2016 - 2021

  • Delivered presentations during onboarding sessions.
  • Delivered lists of tax reforms to the board meetings.
  • Responsible for monitoring leave time for the employees.
  • Data entry: entering employee documentation into the system.

Start each bullet point with an action verb. This way, you show you did something instead of listing your payroll duties. 

 

Quantify wherever you can. Prove you work hard and make an impact in your workplace.

 

Use the S.T.A.R. method. Show you have achievements through your actions.

 

Be relevant. Respond to what your hiring team is looking for. Everything you need is in the job description.

 

Pay attention to formatting. Don’t ruin your chances because you didn’t work out the details. It’s part of your job.

 

Now let’s take a look at an entry-level payroll resume.

 

Entry-Level Payroll Duties for a Resume

RIGHT

HR Administrator

OHr, Seattle, WA

October 2015–December 2015

  • Responded to requests regarding employee paychecks with average 96% satisfaction rate.
  • Completed, verified, and issued over 20 contract workers timekeeping cards to the respective agencies.
  • Compiled HR and payroll updates into biweekly company newsletters.
WRONG

HR Administrator

OHr, Seattle, WA

October 2015–December 2015

  • Answered employee questions about paychecks.
  • Agencies received timekeeping cards for their contract workers.
  • Wrote a company newsletter.

You can do your job right, but you for sure need to learn how to write about it.

 

Managers expect that entry-level applicants have little to no experience. But, if you do have any, make sure it stands out. 

 

Quantify your accomplishments. List actions, not responsibilities. Use power words. Relate to the job ad.

 

Your successful formula served on a plate.

See how to demonstrate your strengths in the resume: 30+ Ways To Prove Your Strengths On A Resume

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.

3. Move Up the Ladder With Your Degree

 

You’re no stranger to a background check.

 

So pray to tell—

 

Is it worth lying on your resume? We don’t think so. 

 

Is it worth mentioning you finished college when in fact, you didn’t? It’s your risk to take. 

 

Your career is in your hands, so don’t blow it with not telling the truth. 

 

Let’s go straight to examples:

 

Payroll Resume Example

Right

2015 BABA, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (Accounting)

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Perfect.

 

You have relevant experience, so you don’t need to go into the details. Add the graduation date and spell out the full name of your degree. Don’t ask the hiring team to work out what BABA means.

 

Junior Payroll Specialist Resume Sample

Right

Honors BABA, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Relevant coursework: Financial Accounting, Introduction to Law, Introduction to Information Systems

Graduated in 2015

In resumes where education is your experience, show off what you did and how well you did it. If you worked hard, let everyone see it. Add information about receiving Latin honors or making the Dean’s list

 

Relevant coursework on your resume is perfect proof of your knowledge in the field and the skills you’re working towards. 

Do you miss a few credits to graduate? See our guide about An Incomplete Degree On A Resume

4. Excel With Skills Always Designed for Payroll

 

To join the ranks of the best out there, you pay top dollar because growing your skillset doesn’t come cheap. And—

 

You need to prove your payroll skills at every corner of your job application.

 

Start with a list of relevant skills on your resume and get reimbursed for your efforts with a job.

 

Payroll Resume Skills

 

 

Now—

 

Avoid copying that list or fear the consequences of pasting without formatting.

 

Stay relevant and refer to the job description to check what skills your hiring manager wants to see on a payroll resume. 

 

The below example is a response to the required (1) knowledge of tax law, (2) experience in using HRIS and payroll software, (3) skillful reporting in Microsoft Office Suite or similar, (4) strong interpersonal skills, (5) attention to detail, and (6) effective communication.

 

Sample Payroll Skills Section for a Resume

Right
  • Knowledge and application of The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Experienced in Workday, QuickBooks, ADP
  • Skilled in reporting in SAP
  • MS Office fluency
  • Decision-making skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Collaboration
  • Detail-oriented
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

 What a great mix!

 

Both soft skills and hard skills should find their place on your resume. It’s a perfect combination of a payroll specialist who applies their knowledge into keeping employee records and relationship building. 

 

What about an entry-level candidate’s skillset:

 

Entry-Level Skills for a Sample Payroll Resume

Right
  • Fundamentals of Labor Law
  • MS Excel – Proficient
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Effective communication skills

Graduate or student resumes won’t show many technical skills because they’re obtainable at a specific job. Instead, write what you’ve learned at school or during internships and what applies to the job description. There are five top skills employers look for in entry-level candidates, so prove them right!

There are more than 99 skills you can put on your resume. See them in our guide: Resume Skills For All Professions

5. Certify Your Way to Success in the Additional Sections

 

How many times have you gone through job boards and seen the must-haves and nice-to-haves? 

 

Countless.

 

And, how many times have you lost a job opportunity because you didn’t make room for those additional items in your resume? sigh

 

Do that no more. Because it says optional, it doesn’t mean it’s there without reason. It’s another way of saying:

 

“We’ll spend less time, money, and resources to teach you.” 

 

or

 

“Show us you’re passionate about payroll but better.”

 

See the examples of additional sections that’ll work in your resume for a payroll specialist:

 

 

And now, see how they should work on your resume:

 

Payroll Professional Resume Extra Sections

Right

Certificates

 

  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP), expected completion in 2021
  • Fundamental Payroll Certification, 2017

 

Membership

 

The American Payroll Association (APA)

  • An active member since 2017.
  • Helped organize a PayTalk Podcast with Deloitte’s Principle and Managing Director.

 

Hobbies & Interests

 

  • Listening to the Let’s Fix Work podcast.
  • Helping with my children’s math homework.
Wrong

Certificates

 

  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
  • Fundamental Payroll Certification

 

Membership 

 

  • The American Payroll Association (APA)

It all comes down to a list of what you accomplished outside of work. But—

 

That list needs to refer to the industry and the position you’re after. Mentioning social media certification won’t tell your hiring manager much about what you can bring to the payroll team.

 

Memberships can, too, be tricky—yet, highly recommended. If you belong to a club or organization, do say a few words about what you do or what the membership involves. Don’t be passive. 

 

No Experience Payroll Resume Sample

Right

Shadow work

  • Work-shadowed a payroll professional at a consulting firm with ~30 employees.

 

Hobbies & Interests

  • Fixing car parts
Wrong
  • I’m interested in cars.
  • Watched a payroll specialist at their job.
 

Use additional sections to refer to the desired payroll skills. Resumes with no experience should be full of cues that you aren’t a clock watcher. Hobbies & interests can help you prove you’re a problem solver and that you have an eye for detail. 

To do or not to do? The answer is in this guide: Resume Dos and Don’ts

6. Pay Your Dues in the Payroll Resume Summary or Resume Objective

 

What do you do when an up-the-wall employee approaches you and asks to explain why they hadn’t got paid for their overtime? Facts and solutions—apart from the loud inner cry of hopelessness—are the things you provide.

 

While building your resume profile, you’ll find yourself in a similar position. You need to convince your hiring team that you are the solution, and you can prove it. Do that by creating a resume summary or objective.

 

  • A resume summary is a brief About you section at the top of your resume. It introduces your skills and achievements to the employer with a strong focus on your experience.
  • A resume objective, on the other hand, zooms in on your skills and career goals. It’s perfect for students and entry-levels. 

 

Both summary and objective should say you’ll make sure Christmas comes early to the employees.

 

See how you can do that:

 

Payroll Resume Summary 

Right

FPC-certified payroll specialist with strong administrative skills, seeking to bring spotless accuracy to Workable Inc. Detail-oriented professional with 5+ years of experience processing employee payroll information. Delivered a presentation during the National Payroll Week, leading to receiving 15 internship applications from students.

Wrong

I’m a payroll professional with administrative skills seeking a specialist position at Workable Inc. I have over 5 years of experience in payroll. At Workable Inc., I’ll show I’m detail-oriented and focused on delivering accurate pay on time.

OK. So—

 

The second example makes tracking records in Excel seem exciting.

 

Intrigue the hiring manager so much they’ll carry on with the resume, not wish to go back to writing words on their calculators. (Great fun, though!)

 

Start strong with an adjective. You’re welcome to mention your certifications and hard and soft skills. But most importantly—highlight your biggest achievement. You should find it in your experience section, so there’s no need to rack your brains and come up with a new one.

 

Now to the resume objective for freshers:

 

Payroll Resume Objective 

Right

Diligent B.A. in Business Administration with Honors seeking entry-level payroll position at Workable Inc. Determined to add pinpoint accuracy to the payroll team’s portfolio and get hands-on experience with tax payroll processes. Work-shadowed a payroll specialist at a 30-employee company. 

Wrong

I’m a hardworking Business Administration graduate with Honors. I’d love to secure a position in the payroll team. I’m determined to put theory into practice.

Blah blah blah… 

 

Boring!

 

That’s how the second example sounds. It’s too generic, and your hiring manager will notice that. It'll work with anything, really, when you replace the word payroll. Thus, making you ordinary.

 

Hear us out loud and clear—

 

You won’t get the gig if you don’t stand out. 

Read more on matching your resume with the resume keywords:Resume Keywords: From the Job Ad to the Office

7. Break the Bank With a Cover Letter for a Payroll Specialist

 

You can’t bank on the recruiter to invite you for an interview after reading your professional payroll specialist resume. There’s a missing piece in your application, and you play to win, don’t you? 

 

Keep your eyes on the prize and hit the jackpot with a perfect cover letter.

 

So—

 

Start by researching the company you’re applying to and find out about them a little—what’s in the news, on their website, social media, or blog.

 

Work through the job posting. You’ll find there keywords you should use in the cover letter, too. 

 

Format your cover letter and attach it to your resume. If you’re adding more attachments, list them alphabetically in the cover letter enclosure. This way, your hiring manager won’t miss anything when they’re pressed for time.

 

As in your resume, create a clear cover letter outline that echoes your motivation to join the company.

 

Write your cover letter introduction in a way to hook the reader and lure them in. Write something surprising—and relevant—you’ve learned recently or elaborate on one of your accomplishments. Then move on to proving your qualifications needed to do the job. Refer to them in bullet points to make scanning easier. And for the last part of your cover letter, reinstate your enthusiasm towards joining the company and make an offer by saying what you’ll bring to the team.

 

Fit all of that onto one page and get your money’s worth.

Dive deeper into the art of cover letters: Write A Cover Letter To Win The Job

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.

Key Takeaways

 

A job-winning resume formula you can take to the bank:

 

  • Format the interface of your payroll resume.
  • Build your payroll specialist job descriptions around the requirements from the job posting.
  • Link to your accomplishments and payroll skillset in every resume section.
  • Submit a killer resume summary or resume objective.
  • Make a winning entry with a strong cover letter supporting your resume.

 

And—

 

This is it! You’ve done it.

 

Now, we’d love to hear from you: 

 

  • What are the biggest challenges of writing a resume? 
  • Which part do you struggle with the most? 
  • What’s your opinion on cover letters?

 

Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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Katarzyna Furman
Katarzyna is an empathetic career expert dedicated to encouraging growth in job hunters through building perfect resumes, CVs, and cover letters. At Zety, she gives her advice to make you realize you have a successful track record that only needs to see the daylight.

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