What are Recruiters Looking for in Accounting?


Recruiters take only a few minutes to scan your CV. They must be able to tell at a glance that you are a good fit for the position. A CV that’s too complicated and whose logic is not clear will inevitably end up in the round file!

The key words are simple and clear, for everything concerning your application: CV, cover letter and recruiting interview. You need to make who you are and what you can do crystal clear. Bookkeeping, payroll or accounts payable—your specialty must jump out at the recruiter.

Be specific; recruiters are waiting for you to make them a proposal. They must be able to easily pinpoint your skills, e.g. drawing up financial statements, balancing accounts, reconciling the bank balance, calculating and preparing payroll, preparing cheques and salary deductions forms.


Be yourself! Your application must reflect and positively present your accounting know-how.

It is therefore not recommended to apply for a job that doesn’t suit you, because you’ll be wasting your time. If most of your experience lies in payroll and you enjoy this specialty, don’t apply for a job in accounts payable or inventory.

Instead, focus only on those offers that you find motivating and for which you are qualified. These applications deserve your full attention.


According to Renée Belleville, Accountemps hiring manager and temporary recruiting specialist in accounting, the following qualities are sought after for accounting technicians: thoroughness, organization, method-oriented, professionalism, ethics and respect.

Discretion is also a desired quality if the job involves a high level of responsibility, especially in the area of payroll.


Personal qualities are essential, but applicants require adequate accounting skills too.  These skills are usually listed in the ad. You must make sure you have the desired proficiency in these areas, highlight them in your application and prepare to show them to the employer.

Beyond technical skills, recruiters want to know about your professional and interpersonal skills e.g. teamwork and multitasking skills, and ability to meet tight deadlines.

Employers’ expectations vary depending on the job. A collection professional will have to show perseverance, excellent communication and negotiation skills. Thoroughness and attention to detail will rank first for inventory jobs.

When recruiting a supervisor, the focus is on the ability to manage a team and train employees.


Recruiters are primarily concerned about whether you are still up-to-date. You should therefore emphasize the current nature of your experience, show that you are familiar with the latest accounting principles, new practices and modern tools, such as office systems, spreadsheets and accounting software.

To reassure employers, highlight the fact that you get along with co-workers of any age, and that you are a dynamic, motivated worker.

Don’t dwell on your extensive knowledge and long experience; be accurate and stick to what recruiters are looking for.


If you’ve just entered the job market, your main difficulty lies in proving that you can do the job despite your relative youth.

Support your statements by showcasing relevant experiences such as student or volunteer jobs. If they have no clear link to accounting, describe the transferable skills you developed and how they apply to the advertised job.

For example, if the job requires experience in bank reconciliation, draw a parallel with your student job as a cashier, in which you had to prepare deposits and perform margin calculations.

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