Tips for Accountants: How to Differentiate Yourself in a Job Application


To win a job in today’s competitive accounting and finance marketplace, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition.

This means understanding how the strengths you bring to the table benefit the company you’re applying to. It means showing progression on your resume and highlighting your achievements.

Want to be the person who crosses the finish line first? Then make sure your job application contains the following three elements.

Tailored to the Industry
Even if you don’t have experience in the specific industry you’re applying to, you still need to tailor your job application to get buy-in. Highlight your transferable skills, outline why you’re a fit for the core requirements of the role and consider creating different resumes for different industries. For example, we had a candidate with three different resumes. One was project focused. Another reflected her experience in financial institutions, and the third was focused on the mining industry. Remember, a generic resume will not separate you from the pack.

Show Progression
Any job application is a reflection of the choices that you’ve made throughout your career. Ideally, both in education and experience, there would be a progression. This allows the employer to see how you’ve grown your skill set and your career. Essentially, a great job application demonstrates that you’ve made strategic, purposeful choices designed to advance your occupational goals.

If you want to impress a prospective employer, connect your achievements to the company’s ambitions. For example, perhaps through your research you’ve unearthed that the organization is going to implement a new software program. You’ve just finished taking the lead on a big software implementation, managing the ensuing pitfalls and driving results in spite of them. This achievement needs to be front and centre on your job application.

At the end of the day, companies want individuals who can ramp up quickly, show motivation and deliver for the organization. A job application that demonstrates progression, with achievements and skills that are relevant, is the one that stands out above the rest.