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5 Simple-ish Steps for Using ChatGPT to Write Your Accountant Resume

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All your hard work has paid off, and you’re ready to start your career as an accountant. But while you’re great with facts and figures, summarizing everything you’ve done is something you’re not as excited about. 

Fortunately, technology can lend a helping hand. You can use ChatGPT to help create your accountant resume and even tailor it to a specific job description. How? With the right prompts and a little bit of encouragement, you can write a stand-out resume that gets results.

How to Write an Accountant Resume With ChatGPT

No matter what kind of accountant role you’re pursuing (certified public accountant, chartered accountant, tax accountant, certified management accountant), your job search will likely include applying for open positions. And that, of course, means you need a resume that summarizes your skills, experience, and accomplishments and demonstrates why you’re perfect for the role.

But asking ChatGPT to create a resume for any role requires some “hand-holding” from you. In addition to the type of accounting job you’re applying for, you need to let ChatGPT know what you’re capable of, what you’ve achieved, and when it’s on the right (or wrong) track.

Here’s how to have ChatGPT help you write your accountant resume.

Step 1: Ask ChatGPT to Create an Accountant Resume

Asking ChatGPT to do anything means starting with a prompt. As our testing has shown, the more specific and detailed the input, the better the output. Here’s the prompt I used for my accountant resume:

The first prompt I used when asking ChatGPT to write my accountant resume

This prompt has a ton of information. Let’s break it down.

First, I asked ChatGPT to “act as if you’re a college senior graduating in three months.” This gives my request some context and limits. Without them, ChatGPT might include information for a seasoned accountant, which isn’t what I’m looking for.

Second, I told ChatGPT I had completed two internships and specified what each focused on. This helps ChatGPT focus the output on those areas instead of creating something broad and perhaps too general.

Third, I asked ChatGPT not to include my contact information or “references available upon request.” In my past ChatGPT resume writing tests, the bot tended to include this information even though it’s no longer needed.

Forage Find

Including “references available upon request” isn’t wrong. However, it takes up valuable space you could use for another skill that’s relevant to the job.

Finally, I instructed ChatGPT to include a summary of qualifications instead of an objective. While experts disagree about having a qualification statement on a resume, they all agree that you shouldn’t include an objective.

Here’s what ChatGPT created:

The first accountant resume ChatGPT generated

Overall, this is a great outline for an entry-level accountant resume. ChatGPT included information about the two internships I completed with relevant details. For example, the audit internship mentions I analyzed audit data to assess the effectiveness of internal controls.

ChatGPT also wrote an objective statement that, while a bit fluffy and vague, gives me an excellent starting point to write my summary of qualifications. Unfortunately, the bot missed the part about “references available upon request.” Technically, though, you could argue that it didn’t include it as a “phrase.”

Step 2: Tailor Your Accountant Resume to a Job Description

But there are two problems with this resume. First, it’s nothing but hallucinations. Despite the detailed prompt, I didn’t include any truthful information about myself, which is why ChatGPT made stuff up.

That’s OK. This rough draft is in good enough shape that I could use it as a guide and fill in the details. For example, the first bullet under the tax internship says:

Assisted senior tax accountants in preparing individual and corporate tax returns, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations

That’s a pretty good bullet point. And assuming I did something like this during my internship, I could add details about what industries the corporations were in and mention some of the applicable laws and regulations.

But in addition to personalizing my accountant resume, I should tailor it to the job description. And I asked ChatGPT to help me out.

Forage Find

Tailoring a resume doesn’t mean rewriting all of it every time you apply for a job. It means tweaking it with relevant skills and abilities so the hiring manager sees how you’re a good fit for that particular role.

This time, I wanted ChatGPT to know exactly what I was looking for:

The second prompt I used with ChatGPT

This prompt starts with a compliment, an integral part of the training. When I let ChatGPT know it’s getting things right, it’s more likely to create an output that’s close to what I’m looking for.

I also asked ChatGPT to stick to the information on the resume. Limiting ChatGPT to the current resume stops it from adding hallucinations that come from the job description.

And I divided this into two prompts: telling ChatGPT what I was going to do and making sure it understood me, then inputting the job description. I could have made this one big prompt and not asked ChatGPT if it understood. But because ChatGPT included “references available upon request” in the first draft, I want to ensure ChatGPT gets this right:

The second resume ChatGPT generated

Let’s start at the bottom of this accountant resume.

ChatGPT says it tailored the resume to emphasize:

  • The ability to manage tax and accounting assignments
  • Delivering high-quality services
  • Demonstrating leadership skills
  • A focus on excellent team and project management abilities

The job description does not explicitly mention “the ability to manage tax and accounting assignments,” but it does say the candidate needs the ability to manage multiple engagements. “Deliver high-quality services,” and “demonstrate leadership skills” are straight from the job description, as are “excellent team and project management” abilities.

OK. There’s nothing wrong with explaining which parts of the job description the accountant resume targets. But did ChatGPT deliver?

Analyzing the Tailored Accountant Resume

There’s a lot going on in this resume, so let’s focus on the summary of qualifications:

The summary of qualification on the accountant resume

The second and third sentences are almost word-for-word from the job description. While that’s not something you should do on your accountant resume (or any resume), it is a useful outline. You could use those sentences as a jumping-off point and give more specific examples of how you manage multiple engagements or provide effective solutions to clients.

This summary also mentions skills and abilities but not how I used them. Including outcomes on your resume, in your cover letter, and during the interview can make a significant difference in your candidacy.

>>MORE: How to Use the STAR Method for Interview Questions

For example, instead of saying “demonstrated leadership skills,” it would be better if I gave an example of my leadership skills. What’s more, this resume includes “demonstrated leadership abilities” twice, once in the summary and once under skills. I should delete one of them and use that space for something else.

Step 3: Ask ChatGPT to Talk About Outcomes

Ideally, my prompt would have included examples of what I’ve accomplished in previous roles, internships, clubs, or even in class (like leading a group project). But often, we’re our own worst critics and can have difficulty assessing our achievements.

This is where ChatGPT can help. Go through the bullets and ask ChatGPT for some inspiration:

ChatGPT's rewrite of an accountant resume bullet point

Once again, I didn’t actually do this. But, if I didn’t know where to start or how to explain what the outcome of my actions were, this is a great roadmap on what I could include and how to phrase it.

Forage Find

As you ask ChatGPT to rewrite your resume bullet points, make sure your prompt explains that you’re looking for a short answer. Otherwise, the rewrite may be too long for a resume.

But this could be better. For example, I should state what the “significant cost savings” is in either dollars or a percentage. And I would delete “increased satisfaction among team members.” While that may be true, I have no real way to demonstrate that on my accountant resume. A better place to include that kind of information might be in the cover letter or to use said team members as my professional references.

Step 4: Ask for More Ideas

Using ChatGPT’s suggestions to help you talk about your hard skills is a smart way to leverage this technology. And despite the fluffy way ChatGPT tends to discuss soft skills, there are ways to prompt the bot to create better outputs about them.

For example, one of the items on the resume is: Developed team members through mentoring and training initiatives. This is an excellent example of the leadership abilities I claim to have, but as a resume bullet point, it could be better. So, I asked ChatGPT to try again.

Here’s where things get interesting.

The second bullet I asked ChatGPT to rewrite showing I put in the wrong bullet

That’s the wrong bullet point! But I have to admit, ChatGPT did a nice job on this. It’s a bit long but describes the specific type of training I created (tax law updates) and how I delivered the information (interactive workshops). ChatGPT even went the extra step and mentioned the outcome (enhance understanding of tax issues and improve ability to implement solutions).

But this isn’t what I wanted, so I tried again and explained the problem to ChatGPT:

The correct bullet point from the accountant resume I wanted ChatGPT to rewrite

This is OK. It explains what the focus of the training was but not how I delivered it. Also, saying I trained someone on “professional growth” is a bit broad and vague. That could cover a lot of things.

Forage Find

The big “secret” of ChatGPT is better input equals better output — keeping this in mind will help you write better prompts.

So, I tried once more:

The final rewrite of the bullet point

You’ll notice I told ChatGPT I wasn’t happy with the first version but reused the prompt. This output is better than the first version but not as great as my “mistake” version. But my misstep is an excellent demonstration of how detailed and specific prompts work compared to more vague or broader prompts.

Step 5: Make the Resume Yours

For the most part, the accountant resumes ChatGPT produced are solid, but I wouldn’t submit these as my application. Even if everything on it is true, it doesn’t sound like me. It sounds like a robot wrote it.

So, the final step of this process is to make the resume yours.

Take what ChatGPT wrote and treat that as an outline, a guide, or inspiration, and rewrite the resume in your voice. You can use the parts that ChatGPT did well, but make sure most of the resume is in your voice and style.

ChatGPT can save you time and help cut through writer’s block, but lots of people use ChatGPT the same way. So, invest the time in personalizing ChatGPT’s output to ensure your application materials don’t sound like everyone else’s.

Learn about other ways ChatGPT can help your job search:

Image credit: Canva

Rachel Pelta is the Head Writer at Forage. Previously, she was a Content Specialist at FlexJobs, writing articles for job seekers and employers. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, The Ladders, MSN, and Money Talks News.

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