8 Finance and Accounting Cover Letter Tips

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Looking for a job in finance or accounting? A strong cover letter will not just help you stand out; it also improves your chances of getting hired.

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Photo credit: Senivpetro

Although there is no dearth of entry-level or senior-level jobs in finance, the first step to get your dream job is to draft a winning cover letter. Your cover letter is the first thing your prospective employer will look at before they go on to read the CV. Many human resource experts will testify that they'll judge an application based on the cover letter and may even bypass your CV if it is not what they expect. 

So if you are in the process of applying for finance jobs, be prepared with a cover letter that puts across a good first impression about you. Here are a few simple tips to help you get started!

1. Read the requirements thoroughly

A generic cover letter won't hold your employer's attention for long; you need to make it specific and personalized. To do this, start by reading the requirements thoroughly and make notes on how your skills and experiences fit the role. Once you are ready, start the actual process of writing the cover letter.

2. Start with a proper greeting

If you were to receive multiple job applications starting with 'To whomsoever, it may concern', 'Dear Sir/Madam', and one with 'Hello Mr. X', which one are you more likely to remember?

Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes - you'll realize that adding their name in the greeting always has a stronger impact. It reflects that you have gone through the pains to know the organization and recruiter. 

To be sure you are writing to the right person, check the job requirement on LinkedIn and the company website. Usually, it will also include the name of the hiring manager and their profile.

3. Get to the point

Waste no time in writing about the purpose of the communication. State the role you are applying for and where you read about the open position. This is crucial since many candidates fail to mention the job they are applying for. If there are similar open positions, the hiring manager may consider you for a different role.

Here's an example of how to begin your cover letter, "I am writing to express my interest in the Junior Financial Account position at your organization. I have read the necessary skills and requirements on your website and would make a valuable addition to your company."

4. State your experience outright

Recruiters want to know if you are the best fit for the role, so be sure to mention your relevant experience and how it has prepared you for the job. Highlight any financial experience that helps you stand out - however, remember to keep this short and limit it to only a few sentences.

Here, the most important points that the hiring personnel will look at is the years of experience, previous organization (if applicable), and educational qualification.

5. Choose the most relevant skills

Once you have their attention, it's time to make an impression. Highlight your accounting and finance skills in bullet points to make it easier to read. There is a difference between technical and soft skills, so make sure you segregate them accordingly.

Some technical skills to include are:

  1. Financial Management

  2. MS Excel

  3. Accounting Principles

  4. Accounting Standards

  5. Accounting Techniques

  6. Reconciling Balance Statements

  7. Tax Filing

  8. Tax Planning

  9. Tax Reporting

  10. Trial Balance

  11. Working with Numbers

  12. Microsoft Office

  13. SQL

  14. SAP

Some soft skills that you can include are:

  1. Attention to detail

  2. Time management skills

  3. Organizational skills

  4. Adaptability

  5. Prioritization

  6. Planning

  7. Analytical and critical thinking skills

  8. Communication skills

  9. Decision-making

  10. Problem-solving

  11. Teamwork

6. Focus on analytical skills

Finance and accounting jobs require strong analytical skills, and you need to focus on how you can add value to the organization. Depending on the job role and your experience, mention analytical skills such as:

  • Expertise in reviewing and interpreting financial records

  • Knowledge of particular compliance or tax reports

  • A certification in financial planning 

7. Proofread before you hit send

Finance and accounting are all about attention to detail, and the simplest of typos or grammatical errors can end up spoiling your reputation. Since the expectation in this job role is for the candidate to be thorough in their communication and spot errors, make sure your cover letter reflects it.

You may use grammar-checking tools to be sure, but there is no substitute for proofreading the cover letter yourself. It is even suggested to have a trusted friend or family member look at it before sending it across. Find out why you should edit your CV and Cover Letter before applying for a job.

8. Keep it short and precise

Finally, make sure your cover letter is short and to the point. Unlike a CV, the cover letter acts as a means of introducing yourself as the candidate. It's a brief overview of how you can be an asset to the company.

As such, including extracurriculars or other less relevant skills and experiences in your cover letter is strongly discouraged. They can be added to the CV instead or mentioned during your interview.

Even when you list only the essentials, stick to the standard format and length - one page long and spanning 200-400 words. 

In conclusion

Whether you're an aspiring accounting student or seeking better opportunities in the finance world, these cover letter tips will help you create an impeccable first impression on your employers.

Remember that not all jobs will be the right fit for you, so always be honest and showcase who you are in the best way possible. For more on writing a killer cover letter, you can explore the course on how to write a cover letter.

 

About the Author

Judy Fitzgerald is a licensed CPA in North Carolina and the founder of judyfitzgerald.net. After spending some time in public accounting and then consulting, she noticed how financially illiterate people were. Hence, she started writing about crunching numbers and the performance of financial markets in order to educate people that need help.

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Comments

    kevin | February 17, 2021 11:35

    Great insights indeed, would you be kind enough and provide a sample of the cover letter

    Hilda | February 14, 2021 14:44

    Thank you ,very interesting tips. Is it possible to get a cover letter tips for one changing a career to Finance and Accounting? Any tips will be appreciated.


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