This is most likely the first or second thing a potential employer or recruiter will look over to get familiar with you. This is especially true as a more technically savvy generation is moving into the hiring positions. Your LinkedIn profile is essentially a resume now too, so it is important to have that updated as well. Having an updated LinkedIn profile that can show you will be an asset to a company is what will lead to the right opportunities. Below are some must haves for your LinkedIn profile that can also be applied to your resume.
Picture – This needs to be a professional business photo of YOU. This means crop out other people or take a photo of just yourself. Leave the Facebook photos for Facebook. In your photo wear business professional clothing or business casual clothing. This may seem like a no-brainer for a lot of people, but surprisingly some people do not understand this. Your profile photo will be your first impression, make it a good one.
Job Description – There are 4 items that are a must for your job description on LinkedIn as an accounting professional.
1. Bullet points – List your current and past job description in bullet points. It is much easier to read and convey information. You don’t want it to be a struggle to read through you work history.
2. Action words – Start EVERY bullet point off with an action word and try not to use the same action word twice per job. Try and use these top ten action words for Accounting resumes and LinkedIn:
Analyze, Audit, Balance, Develop, Forecast, Lead, Manage, Plan, Standardize, and Reconcile
Of course you are free to use other actions words, but these ten carry a lot of weight in the accounting world. Remember when describing your previous job to make all these action words past tense.
3. Numerical amounts – Another tip for your job description is to include specific numerical amounts. Numerical amounts help people visualize. If you manage a $100,000 budget for your company include the dollar amount. If you handle the day to day financial operations for a restaurant include an estimate of the sales revenue. Maybe you saved the company money, give an estimate of how much you saved the company.
4. Locations – If you have interned or worked at a company that has many geographic locations include this information into your job description. Companies like to see that you have experience working with other business cultures and personalities that may be different from one location to another.
Analyze month end profit/loss reports for two $5,000,000 plants and benchmark monthly results between the plants.
Lead cost reduction effort to reduce accounts payable balances saving $35,000 in 2015 and 2016 by paying invoices on time.
Mange day to day accounting operations for 8 locations across the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Featured Skills & Endorsements – When selecting your skills you need to start by looking over your job description and adding your action words already laid out in the section above. For example if one of your action words is “Forecast”, look for “Forecasting” and add it to your profile. The skill section is also the time to show off knowledge with specific accounting applications, federal regulations, and tax codes.
SOX, SAP, Oracle, Quickbooks, Excel, Powerpoint, 1040 returns, and S corporations.
These are only a few examples of the thousands of skills different accountants have. Take your time and really think about skills you have used or are using at your job now. Recruiters that are trying to place a specific position will look through this section.
Remember that your LinkedIn profile may be the first or second impression of you to a company. It is important to take your time and think through the layout, content, and ease of reading. Make sure you display your skills that are applicable to the career field you are in and that it is formatted in a professional manner. This can make or break whether you get an interview.