Adding Keywords to Your Resume

Hiring managers scan resumes for keywords that they included in their job descriptions. Many companies are even using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan for those keywords and eliminate resumes that are missing them. By embedding keywords in your resume, you will demonstrate that you fit the requirements of the position and help you pass the initial scanning phase.

The following keyword tips will help your resume stay at the top of the pile.

Pick Terms Used in the Job Description

Turn to the job description as your guide. You’ll find keywords included among the qualifications and responsibilities. Select those that align with your knowledge and skills. Reinforce as appropriate in your summary of current and past positions.

Keep Keywords Specific

Job descriptions present only the surface of all you have accomplished thus far in your career. Even job responsibility terms fall short of stating the depth of skill you have acquired. Be specific and succinct so that hiring managers have a clear picture of your capabilities.

  • Example: Rather than “human resource specialist” state “managed employee engagement and retention.”

Make It Active!

Avoid the pitfall of passive language. Write in active voice by making the subject in the sentence perform the action.

  • Example: Managed a team that increased new portfolio accounts by 20% within six months of promotion.

Write Data-Driven Descriptions

Make skill and accomplishment descriptions shine by using data or success outcomes. This adds to the active language you are infusing into your resume. Recruitment and hiring managers will quickly get the sense that you are a dynamic, action-oriented employee.

  • The example above combines active voice with a data description.

Keep It Real

Turn to the thesaurus to search for fresh keywords. At the same time, keep your selection real. Choose terms that are in your resume, or that you use regularly during conversations. At the same time, be sure that your resume does not appear to be intentionally stuffed with key words.

Write with Applicant Tracking Systems in Mind

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and applicant tracking systems (ATS) are now central to many organizations’ recruitment and hiring processes. Sharpen your AI and ATS knowledge to hone in on optimum keywords. Select those that best describe your experience and use a few times in your resume. That, and an error-free resume assures you won’t be BOT-bypassed!

For more resume tips, check out Why and How to Write a Cover Letter

Beacon Resources is seeking premier talent for interim, interim-to-hire or direct hire accounting and finance positions. click here to find out about our available positions.

job interview questions

Job Interview Questions

Interviews are a two-way street. You get to ask questions, just as those have been asked of you. The answers you receive give vital information about how good of a fit the company is for you. Below are some pointers to help you select the best job interview questions for your next interview.

Ask Job Interview Questions About the Company

Learn more about the company. Doing so assures that you are making a well-informed decision. Prepare a few questions. Decide which one(s) to ask based on how the interview unfolds.

  • Inquire about the on-boarding and new employee phase. These responses reveal the organization’s attention to detail and investment in new employees.
  • How do you celebrate success? Answers here let you know if honoring success is embedded in company culture. You will also learn if celebration is a formal or informal process.
  • What opportunities are offered for professional development? This is a crucial question about the commitment an organization makes in employees and overall corporate quality.
  • What do you like best about working here? Listen for a sincere response that indicates engagement and enthusiasm.

Ask Job-focused Questions

Ask pointed job interview questions. Doing so fills in details not covered in job postings.

  • What are the standout qualifications for the position? Answers to this question go beyond the details of skills and qualifications. One is learning the style of the most suitable candidate.
  • Determine if there are factors that limit your getting the job. Inquiring about your perceived limitations offers you the opportunity to address these. It also lets you know if your chance of getting the position is good or otherwise.

Inquire About the Department

Let’s face it, the quality of departments varies, even within a solid organization. Answers to these questions offer you insights to help you decide if this is a position you want.

  • Ask how the department does its work. This information lets you know about work processes and the department’s culture.
  • How is success measured? This response gives you an idea if the department uses outcome measures that you find suitable for individual employees as well as the group.

For more job interview tips, check out Talking About Your Weakness in a Job Interview.

Beacon Resources is currently seeking premier talent for interim, interim-to-hire or direct hire accounting and finance positions. Click here for a listing of our current job openings.

cover letter

Why and How to Write a Cover Letter

Rationale for Cover Letters

Cover letters should offer a concise description of a given topic. More often than not this is associated with submission of your resume for a specific position. When your role involves consultation or project management, a cover letter introduces a plan’s overview and your role in its success.

Job Application Cover Letter Format

Make your cover letter stand out with clear, active language, and accuracy.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Open with a professional salutation followed by an opening that includes your name and the position for which you are applying. Add a succinct statement of why you are interested in the job.
  • Prepare a solid second paragraph that summarizes the values and skills that make you an outstanding candidate for the position.
    • Use active language, including objective outcomes that highlight your abilities.

Example: Managed a customer satisfaction team which improved consumer feedback 25% over a six-month period.

  • Include select words from the job posting that match your professional attributes/skill set.

Example: Committed to assuring portfolio management that aligns with customers’ financial priorities.

  • Next, state your professional goals and briefly describe how these contribute to the posted position.
  • Close professionally.

Project Proposal Cover Letter Format

A well written proposal cover letter increases the chances of getting your submission reviewed. If you are a consultant or a special projects manager, you know the value of time and need to get right to the point. Hours spent preparing a project proposal deserve a letter that makes yours stand out.

  • Open with a professional greeting followed by your name and the group you represent, if appropriate. Include a brief statement of intent.
  • Write a central paragraph that summarizes you or your group’s rationale for proposal submission. List assets and accomplishments. Use active voice.
  • Concisely list materials included in your submission.
  • End with a strong value statement that conveys your ability to achieve outstanding project performance.
  • Include professional contact information and close professionally.

Cover Letter Last Step

Check all your materials for accuracy. Doing so lets the reader know your ability to manage the details.


For more job seeker tips, check out, Avoid Common Resume Mistakes


hiring process

Job Seekers Can Expedite the Hiring Process

In-spite of low unemployment and high demand for skilled candidates, job seekers are still finding the hiring process slow. With many companies cautiously requesting three or even four interviews, candidates are waiting weeks for a hiring decision.  What is the cause for this cautiously long process? Hiring Managers want to avoid costly hiring mistakes. As a job seeker, understand that you need to be patient.  However, don’t  assume that you can’t accelerate the hiring process. There are steps you can take that may help the hiring manager come to a decision faster.

Strategy #1 Before Leaving

Before leaving the interview confirm that the hiring manager has all the information needed from you. For example,  ask: “Do you need to know anything about my skills or background that we haven’t discussed already?”

You want to make sure that you address any potential reservations the hiring manager may have. This will give you the chance to provide more insight into your skill set.  Or you can discuss plans to acquire training in the areas that the employer feels that you are lacking.

Also, make sure you know the next steps in the hiring process before you leave the interview.  Ask about timelines for 2nd interviews or for final decisions. This not only provides insight into how motivated the employer is,  but also lets you know when to follow up.

Strategy #2 Hiring Process Follow Up Plan

Your first priority, as a job seeker is to stay top-of-mind with the hiring manager after the interview. The best way to do so is by having a strategic following-up plan.  Be  persistent, but not a pest.

Unless instructed otherwise, send a thank-you note within 24 hours of an interview. If you were interviewed by several people, write one to everyone individually. In addition to being polite and professional, sending thank-you notes reaffirms your interest in the position.

If you haven’t heard back from the hiring manager after a week, call them. But, be aware of your tone. Don’t be too demanding. It’s imperative to be considerate and polite when following-up. Keep emotions at bay.

If the hiring manager has no update, politely ask when you can expect to hear back and reaffirm your interest in the position.

If you haven’t been given a decision or called for a follow-up interview after another week passes, call the hiring manager once more and ask if you’re still being considered for the position.   In the event they seem reluctant to hear from you, it is probably time to move on.

Strategy #3 Keep Your Options Open

You are wise to be applying for several positions for which you are qualified. One hidden benefit of this approach is that having more than one business interested in you can move hiring along. When you are offered a position, inform the hiring manager at your preferred organization. If you are in top contention there, you may receive their offer too.

  • How to do it: Politely let the hiring lead know that you have received interest and need to respond in a matter of days. Be clear to the hiring manager that the position you have been offered is second in line to them. They will appreciate your professionalism and transparent approach.


Learn how Beacon Resources can help you in your accounting and finance job search.

Interview Etiquette: During Your Job Interview

Interview Etiquette: During Your Job Interview

Whether you are interviewing for your first job or your last, job interviews can seem intimidating. You can relieve some of this trepidation by being preparing and knowing basic job interview etiquette. During the interview itself, there are a few things to be mindful of so that you make the best first impression possible.

Body Language

While most job seekers focus on their answers, you also need to be aware of the impression you are giving off with your body. As soon as you enter, you want to give the interviewer a strong handshake. Throughout the meeting, maintain eye contact and smile.

You also want to be mindful of any nervous habits you may have. Some people tap their foot on the floor while others passively click on a pen. Practicing beforehand can make you aware of what you do unconsciously so that you can avoid certain habits during the actual job interview.

Speech Patterns

If you have a tendency to talk fast, then work on speaking slowly and clearly. There is no need to rush through the job interview. You also want to avoid sounding “over-prepared.” What this means is that you want it to seem as though you are coming up with at least a portion of the response on the fly. You do not want to sound like a robot.

Job Interview Story Telling

A huge mistake people make in job interviews is saying they possess a skill without providing any backup information. Saying you are a great leader is one thing, but telling a story where you led a team to success is much more memorable.

If you are looking for a career in finance and accounting, then you should submit a resume to Beacon Resources. We work with employers and employees to help everyone meet their needs.