Accountants can make or break a company’s finances—they’re essential to running a successful business. However, it means companies hire new accountants with extreme care since they want to know their finances are in good hands. As a result, getting hired as an accountant is a competitive and tricky process.
You know you have the skills and qualifications to make any company proud, but convincing them to hire you is a different matter entirely. Even your amazing accountant resume might not get you the job. But it’s hard to argue with both a killer resume and an astounding cover letter. Problem is, writing an amazing cover letter can be harder than building a resume, especially if your forte is more with financial concepts than elegant prose.
We get it. No one wants to crank out extra time on their cover letter. But taking the time to make it shine is what makes other candidates stand out, so it’s well worth the extra minutes you’ll spend. BeamJobs is here to help you worry less and write better with our cover letter examples and writing guide, so you can wow hiring managers and get the accounting job of your dreams.
Why this cover letter works
Why this cover letter works
Why this cover letter works
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An amazing accountant cover letter is essentially two things: specific and separate from your resume. Your cover letter should stand on its own as a concise, detailed document that highlights your qualifications.
Many people use the same cover letter over and over, but that won’t impress your future employer. Just as you can see financial trouble from a mile away, your employers can spot a recycled cover letter within seconds. So, you need to tailor your cover letter to each job for which you apply.
Stuck on where to start? Let the accountant job description you’ve found guide you. Is the company looking for someone who has experience with Quickbooks? Explain how you used it to manage invoices for annual grants to the community college you worked for last year. Does the job ad mention a need for improved accounting processes? Describe how you implemented a mentorship program that reduced error rates by 33%.
Do your research to confidently address how you can meet the company’s needs. You can also address the soft and hard skills they require; if they need someone to assist with annual audits, discuss how your time reconciling accounts means you have a keen attention to detail and a strong grasp of GAAP and FASB standards. In essence, take what you know and use it to show you have the necessary skills.
Most cover letters just summarize their accompanying resume in boring, professional jargon, which won’t inspire someone to hire you.
Your accountant cover letter must convince the employer to seriously consider you even if they haven’t seen your resume. It needs to dig deeper than your resume allows and tell the story of your career.
What are your crowning achievements, and how did they positively impact your workplace or clients’ financial operations? Always refer back to why you’re applying for this role and how you will change the company for the better.
Think of it this way: your resume is a shallow pool, but your cover letter is a narrow trench. One gives a general overview of all your qualifications while the other explores a few experiences in-depth. Below, we’ve shared two examples that dive into the trench.
Both mention responsibilities that should also be on the resume, but they explain the significance of their work and what happened afterward.
Now that you know what to include, let’s discuss how to include it. Keep in mind this is still a letter; it should be informative without going over a page, and it needs to sound professional without being stuffy.
Much like a normal letter, imagine you’re having a conversation. You need to be professional, but you should also be relatable and interesting. And just like a good conversation, you should always circle back to how you can improve the employer’s business.
The good news is you can revise your cover letter before you send it. Review your cover letter with the same precision you apply when reviewing financial transactions. As you revise, shorten your sentences, improve your word choice, and establish your personality. We won’t say it’s easy, but revision is an essential step to writing a cover letter that gets you the job.
Staring at a blank page can be intimidating, especially when it comes to cover letters. Never fear, BeamJobs is here! Use our outline to organize your cover letter to perfection.
Your contact info: Your future employer will need to contact you at some point, so include your number, email, and your location (city and state). And of course, they’ll need your full name, so don’t forget to enter that into your template. Many employers also ask to see your LinkedIn profile.
Formatting: Whether you’re using a template or a block format, leave your name out of your address. If you’re using a template, put your name on the letterhead. If you’re using a block format, only include your name in your signature.
Date: Every letter needs a date, but if you’re using a template or outline, don’t forget to change the date when you submit. If you sent your letter in April but started drafting it in February, the hiring manager may look at you funny.
Formatting: Write out the full date, not just the month and year, e.g. April 11, 2022.
Inside address: It sounds a bit counter-intuitive to include the inside address (aka the recipient’s address) since most cover letters are virtual, but it shows the employer you have done your research and it makes it look more professional and complete.
Include the hiring manager’s name, their title, and the company’s address at the top of your cover letter, left-justified. If you can’t find the company’s complete address or the hiring manager’s name, don’t stress. Try checking on LinkedIn, Facebook, their website, and other job boards.
Stone Environmental Human Resources/Office Administrator
535 Stone Cutters Way
Montpelier, VT 05602
Formatting: Each part of the address should be on a new line. Double space between the inside address and greeting.
Greeting: Just like a good handshake, a good greeting (also called the salutation) helps you make the right first impression. Always say “Dear [Name]” instead of “hello” or any other iteration. (It is a business letter, after all.) Then, address the employer/hiring manager by name. This shows you’ve taken the time to research who’s in charge of the hiring process.
Formatting: After your greeting, you can use either a colon or a comma; colons are typically used in business letters, but a comma works if the company is more casual. Whether you use a comma or a colon, don’t forget to include their title of “Mr.” or Ms.” and don’t ever just use their first name.
Body: The body of your accountant cover letter should cover why you’re interested in the position, your credentials, and your enthusiasm for future discussion. Let’s take a look at each section:
Opening paragraph: Just like a good book, you’ve got to get your reader hooked from the first line. That’s hard to accomplish, though, which is why so many cover letter openings sound like this (and yes, we’ve seen this actual example!):
When I found the job listing at Alterra Mountain Company, it sounded like a dream come true.
While this has potential, it’s generic and lifeless. Even the cliché “dream come true” phrase can’t strengthen this intro. This example, though, enthusiastically shows your interest and your credentials:
I first heard about Alterra Mountain Company when you joined the Climate Collaborative Charter, and ever since, I’ve wanted to join your community of passionate outdoor adventurers who love the mountains and their communities with equal fervor. As a CAPP with four years of accounts payable experience, I know I can manage your travel and expense systems, resolve system issues, and support Alterra Mountain staff as your Travel & Expenses Accounts Payable Specialist.
This tells the employer that the candidate, Malik Bashir, not only knows about but values the company’s mission. He also makes it clear that he’s studied what this role will entail.
If you’re struggling to write your intro, write a few openers until you get one that sounds right. Sometimes it takes a few tries, and that’s okay—just keep trying until you hit one that’s focused and engaging.
Paragraphs 2-3: These paragraphs support your claims in the opening paragraph. Each paragraph should focus on a clear accomplishment. Maybe you managed grants totaling over $15 million for a community college, or maybe you initiated daily reporting to reduce manual reporting work hours.
Avoid the temptation to tackle too much per paragraph; you can’t go into as much detail (save the list of your credentials for your resume, instead). Here’s a good example of a focused discussion of a significant milestone:
Within the hospitality industry, I have three years of experience working as an accountant for the Goode Company Restaurant Group. I learned how to work within a team-oriented and deadline-driven environment while managing multiple accounts. By the end of my time there, I had lowered the cost per invoice and invoice exception rate by 17 percent, and through my partnership with management, improved the budget to actual variance by 13 percent.
This paragraph gives a general overview of the candidate’s past role without getting sidetracked. It also includes some phrases from the job description, including “team-oriented” and “deadline-driven” while including metrics.
Closing paragraph: Finish strong with a sentence summary of how your values and qualifications align with what the company needs. Lastly, give a call to action. Whatever you do, don’t end the way 99 percent of other accountants will:
I believe I would be a good fit for the senior accountant position, and I hope to talk more with you soon about my qualifications.
It’s not that those sentiments are untrue, but they are, once again, generic and lifeless. This close, however, will leave a positive lasting impression:
Achieving these goals has been rewarding, but I’m excited to master new skills and handle multiple dynamic projects that will help provide scientific tools, information, and analyses to help clients solve environmental challenges. Stone Environmental is a place where I can live my values, grow my skills, collaborate with a motivated, talented team, and assist employees directly. I would be thrilled to share more of my experience with you and look forward to connecting soon.
Formatting: Single-space the text in your body, but be sure to double space between paragraphs.
Signature: Make sure you say “thank you” if you didn’t do that in the closing paragraph. Then sign off with a professional closing phrase along with your name.
Formatting: If you’re presenting any hard copies of your accountant cover letter, you’ll want to physically sign the document, so quadruple space after the closing phrase to leave enough room for your signature in handy black/blue ink.
Enclosure(s): Lots of cover letters miss this step, but this alerts the hiring manager to what will follow after your knockout cover letter. As an accountant, you’ll likely want to include your resume, the job application form, and any reference letters requested in the job ad. Employers may also ask for your college transcript or CPA/CMA licenses, although many just ask for the application and your resume.
2 letters of recommendation
Formatting: Use the singular or plural form of “enclosure” depending on how many documents you attach. If you say “enclosures” but only have your resume, it feels like you copied and pasted it from a template.
Now that you have the resources you need to make your cover letter shine, don’t neglect your accountant resume. They’re two sides of the same coin, so make sure your resume is just as polished as your cover letter. After all, your resume is where you can list all the duties you excel at, such as analyzing balance sheet accounts and checking compliance with financial policies and procedures.
We know—it’s exhausting writing financial reports all day only to have to write a resume on top of your cover letter. We ease the process with our 11 steps on how to write a great resume, and we have free resume templates like this one, which you can edit right now, to help you start (or rewrite) your resume.
You have what it takes, so let our tools empower you to take your career documents from general to great. We’re cheering for you, and when you land your next accounting role, be sure and let us in on your great news!