Tax Preparer Resumes | Free Downloadable Templates, Examples and Guide
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Tax preparers are accountable for preparing and filing general tax forms. They ensure clients pay the right amount and maximize their refunds by submitting tax forms on their behalf. Your resume needs to reflect your financial competency to apply for an interview successfully. We wrote this resume-writing guide to help you write an effective tax preparer resume, including downloadable free templates and relevant examples.
Tax Preparer Resume
Tax Preparer Resume
A well-structured and strategic tax preparer resume will divide your professional information into individual sections that make it easy to follow. These are the standard sections that you’ll include on most resumes:
- Contact section: provides your name, email address, LinkedIn ID, phone number and location.
- Opening statement: a strong summary statement or career objective.
- Work history section: summarizes your work experience in reverse-chronological order.
- Skills section: displays your hard, soft and technical skills.
- Education section: provides details about your educational background.
- Custom section: displays your certifications, licenses, extracurriculars and project details.
Free Downloadable Resume Templates
Prepare to Write Your Resume
Resume-writing can seem complicated, but it follows a simple formula that, with enough practice, can make you a skilled applicant.
- Read the job description carefully and note down all relevant keywords, skills or qualifications that you share. For example, most recruiters look for candidates who’re "well-versed in tax laws" or "accounting skills" when recruiting tax preparers. Identifying and highlighting those skills and your related accomplishments will give you a competitive edge.
- Craft a list of your most valuable skills, such as tax law, and financial or social knowledge. You will mention up to eight of them in a dedicated skills section and a few more throughout your professional summary and work history.
- Include any achievements, certifications or licenses relevant to the position, such as your preparer tax identification number (PTIN,) state license or certified public accountant (CPA) credential.
- Avoid errors in grammar, punctuation or spelling. Hiring managers generally use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter applicants, and any mistakes can potentially get flagged. For your resume to rank well on an ATS, ensure it contains keywords, skills, previous employers, experience and schools/colleges attended. Also, ensure your resume is formatted correctly and uses an AI-friendly font, such as Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman or something similar in 11-12 point size.
- Keep the resume concise and proofread it attentively. Avoid the first-person pronouns; rather than saying "I managed the files and reports of the clients," say "managed the files and reports of the clients."
Find out how to frame a resume for the position of a tax preparer using our resume examples. Taking the time to look through examples of what your resume should contain and how it should look can help you create a competitive document.
Choose the Right Resume Format
The proper resume format gives your resume a professional structure. Each format organizes your resume’s key sections (skills or work history) in different orders according to your strengths.
The three most accepted resume formats are the chronological, functional and combination.
Select a format that fits your experience level and skill set.
- The chronological format is the most prominent and is best suited for candidates with extensive experience, as it emphasizes a long and steady employment history. We strongly recommend using this format if you have over 10 years of experience working and can service many clients or handle complicated business accounts.
- A functional format emphasizes skills, allowing you to highlight specific strengths and transferable skills vital to employers. It is ideal for career changers or students.
- A combination resume combines the other two formats. Since this resume lends equal importance to skills and work experience, we recommend this to tax preparers at the junior or midlevel of their career.
To learn more about the formats, visit our resume formats guide.
How to Write Your Resume With Examples
Once the information-gathering process is complete, start writing your resume. Our writing guides make it easy for you to craft an interview-ready tax preparer's resume.
1. Develop an opening strategy.
Your resume starts with a brief elevator pitch focusing on your professional accomplishments, skills and abilities to give the recruiter a glimpse of your caliber. You can opt for either a summary statement or a career objective as your opening statement, depending on your experience. We can help you craft both effectively.
Consider writing a career objective or an introduction that focuses on transferable skills and how you aim to improve your tax prep skills through real-world experience if you're a recent graduate, a freelancer or switching careers.
Go for a summary statement or brief breakdown of relevant experience and accomplishments that you can replicate to benefit a new tax preparation firm if you are an experienced professional.
Here are good and poor examples of how to write a career objective for a tax preparer.
“Highly skilled tax preparer seeking employment with a reputable company. During my tenure with the organization, I hope to develop my skills and excel at tax preparation.”
We consider this career objective poor since it does not convey the candidate's qualifications or experience in tax preparation; instead, it explains their desire to join a firm and improve their skills. If you’re a recent graduate, you could make this example better by specifying which branches of tax law you specialize in, where you studied or what internships readied you for an entry-level role.
“Highly skilled recent graduate with a 3.8 GPA, looking for an entry-level tax preparer position. During a 6-month internship program, I identified systematic report mismanagement that saved one of the key clients $15,000. The internship also provided me with training in KPI management, budgeting, tax filing and improved my customer service skills.”
This career objective is a better example since it mentions:
- Internship experience
- Job-relevant skills
- Academic qualifications and grades
Refer to these tips and the below example if you choose to write a summary statement.
- Use quantifiable numbers, such as percentages, and supporting evidence to demonstrate your successful track record. You might say, "successfully contributed to an increase of at least 15% in tax returns per client," rather than "contributed to an increase in tax returns."
- List some job-specific skills, especially if they’re mentioned in the job ad.
- If you hold any certifications or licenses that demonstrate your skills as a tax preparer, share them.
Take a look at this example of a summary statement to better understand how to execute this strategy:
“Systematic tax preparation professional with five years of experience and solid time management and advanced problem-solving skills. Proficient in QuickBooks, ProSeries Professional, Lacerte and financial and data analysis. Accredited Certified Tax Professional (CTP®) since 2021.”
2. Your skills can work to your advantage.
Your skills section can include up to eight different skills, including a mix of soft, hard and technical skills. All three resume formats include a dedicated skills section where you list up to eight skills in a bullet list.
However, a functional resume goes into detail about your skills in three to four descriptive bullet points. Let's look at an example of a functional’s expanded skills section:
- Provided clients with methodical guidance on how to fill out their W4s for tax purposes by analyzing the accounting exigencies and techniques.
- During tax season, ensured 10+ tax forms were filled in their entirety and accurately on a daily basis.
- Performed methodical reviews of documents to identify inconsistencies and rectify discrepancies.
Here are some soft, hard and technical skills you might want to include in your resume.
Soft Skills determine how harmoniously and cooperatively you interact with others at work. Some examples are:
- Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)
- Time management
- Leadership skills
- Presence of mind
Hard skills are job-specific and come from practice, education and practical experience. Some examples for tax preparers are:
- Analytical thinking
- Tax filing
- Tax returns
- Reporting and documentation
- Advanced bookkeeping skills
- Knowledge of income-tax regulations
- Financial analysis
- Invoice coding
- Knowledge of internal revenue services (IRS)
Technical skills refer to the ability to use digital tools, procedures and software for job-related purposes. Some examples are:
- Adept at tax preparation software, such as TaxAct, QuickBooks and TurboTax.
- Knowledge of KPI management tools, such as Scoro, InetSoft, Tableau and others.
- Proficiency in excel software such as MS Excel and Google Sheets.
- Expertise in project management tools such as Trello, Proofhub and Jira.
- Stay abreast of tax laws, rules and regulations.
Find more skills for tax preparers in our Resume Builder. Use our resume-builder tool to build your resume rapidly by choosing from suggested skills and prewritten content specifically for tax preparers.
3. Briefly describe your past employment history.
Recruiters can determine an experienced candidate's expertise by reviewing their past roles in the same industry. List your work experiences in reverse-chronological order, starting with the most recent.
Each job entry must include the following information:
- the job title
- the company name
- the company’s location
- dates of employment
Describe your past accomplishments and tasks using three or four bullet points below each entry.
Learn how to frame your work history with this example:
- Review clients’ income.
- Interview clients for details.
- File individual and partnership tax returns.
A hiring manager will find it challenging to evaluate a candidate's value and abilities from a vague description such as this one.
- Identify potential deductions and credits by reviewing income for 75+ clients monthly.
- Interview 50+ clients to obtain additional information about their taxable income.
- Utilize Ultra Tax software to draft and file individual tax returns.
In this example, the numbers and details illustrate the candidate's qualifications and caliber.
Follow these tips for a stronger work history section:
- Quantify your accomplishments by adding numbers such as the number of team members you led or the number of tax returns you filed.
- Illustrate how your skills help you carry out your duties.
- Use action verbs such as “maintained,” “executed,” “identified” or similar verbs to your resume.
- Put your skills in line with the job advertisement's keywords to improve your resume.
4. Partition the remaining information into separate sections.
A prospective employer can check your education qualifications to determine if you possess the basic qualifications required for the position. Start with your highest academic degree or diploma relevant to your field.
Make sure each entry includes the following:
- Your degree and major
- School or institution name and location
- Graduation date (if you have only a high school diploma or GED, skip the graduation date.)
A bachelor's degree in finance or accounting is often enough to qualify as a tax preparer. However, you can upgrade your career by obtaining a higher degree in the same field. Additionally, you can incorporate details of other relevant credentials, such as electronic filing identification numbers (EFIN) and Preparer tax identification numbers (PTIN).
Custom Sections: licenses, training and certifications
Create a custom section for all the additional certifications relevant to your role as a tax preparer. A tax preparer must have or consider acquiring the following credentials to excel in their career:
This certificate teaches tax professionals how to keep up to date with the ever-changing tax laws and appropriately plan for and ensure compliance with applicable tax regulations within your jurisdiction and globally.
Any agent who prepares federal tax returns for compensation must have a PTIN before preparing returns.
Take the CB exam to give your bookkeeping career a head start. This program can provide you with the advanced bookkeeping knowledge needed to enhance your career.
Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite products, particularly Excel, is essential for tax preparers. This certification can allow you to demonstrate your proficiency in Excel and other Microsoft applications.
Some additional educational options that you can consider are:
- Master’s Degree in Taxation
- Associate Degree in Accounting
- Certificate Program in Accounting
- Online MBA Program in Accounting
- Advanced Individual Income Tax Preparation Course
Your personal information sits at the top of your resume and includes crucial details like your full name, city and state of residence, telephone number and professional email address. If you run a private office, consider adding a link to your professional website or LinkedIn account.
What are the top three skills of a tax preparer?
To be a successful tax preparer, an individual must possess a broad range of skills. Among those, there are three that every professional should have:
- Ability to multitask
- Knowledge of income tax regulations
- Strong customer service skills
How can a tax preparer stand out?
To stand out as a tax preparer, you want your resume to exhibit your strong understanding of tax laws, rules and regulations in this competitive market. Make yourself visible by using social media and speak about the software you use, your clients and your strengths.
What are some daily duties of a tax preparer?
Some daily duties of a tax preparer include:
- Reviewing clients’ income.
- Offering tax preparation advice to clients.
- Preparing and submitting tax returns for clients.
- Verifying the accuracy of tax forms.
- Reviewing account details.
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