A career in payroll can be very rewarding and there are lots of different job opportunities and ways you can climb the ladder.
The only problem is, this is a competitive industry and your CV really needs to stand out if you hope to secure an interview.
Below, we’ve put together an example of a payroll administrator CV to help you create a strong application that gets you noticed.
- Payroll Administrator CV example
- Structuring and formatting your CV
- Writing your CV profile
- Detailing work experience
- Your education
- Skills required for your Payroll Administrator CV
Payroll Administrator CV example
Before you start writing your own CV, take a look at the example Payroll Administrator CV above to give yourself a basic understanding of the style and format that recruiters and hiring managers prefer to see.
Also, take note of the type of content that is included to impress recruiters, and how the most relevant information is made prominent.
Payroll Administrator CV structure and format
If they can find the information they need quickly, they’ll be happy; but if they struggle, your application could be overlooked.
A simple and logical structure will always create a better reading experience than a complex structure, and with a few simple formatting tricks, you’ll be good to go.
- Length: Recruiters will be immediately put off by lengthy CVs – with hundreds of applications to read through, they simply don’t have the time! Grabbing their attention with a short, snappy and highly relevant CV is far more likely to lead to success. Aim for two sides of A4 or less.
- Readability: By clearly formatting your section headings (bold, or a different colour font, do the trick) and breaking up big chunks of text into snappy bullet points, time-strapped recruiters will be able to skim through your CV with ease.
- Design: While it’s okay to add your own spin to your CV, avoid overdoing the design. If you go for something elaborate, you might end up frustrating recruiters who, above anything, value simplicity and clarity.
- Avoid photos: Don’t add photos, images or profile pictures to your CV. Not only do they take up much-needed CV space, but they’re actually completely unnecessary and won’t boost your CV at all.
Structuring your CV
As you write your CV, work to the simple but effective structure below:
- Name and contact details – Pop them at the top of your CV, so it’s easy for recruiters to contact you.
- CV profile – Write a snappy overview of what makes you a good fit for the role; discussing your key experience, skills and accomplishments.
- Core skills section – Add a short but snappy list of your relevant skills and knowledge.
- Work experience – A list of your relevant work experience, starting with your current role.
- Education – A summary of your relevant qualifications and professional/vocational training.
- Hobbies and interests – An optional sections, which you could use to write a short description of any relevant hobbies or interests.
Now I’ll guide you through exactly what you should include in each CV section.
CV Contact Details
Begin by sharing your contact details, so it’s easy for employers to give you a call.
Keep to the basics, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It should sound professional, with no slang or nicknames. Make a new one for your job applications if necessary.
- Location – Simply share your vague location, for example ‘Manchester’, rather than a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Remember to update them before you send your application.
Payroll Administrator CV Profile
Recruiters read through countless applications every day.
If they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll simply move onto the next one.
This short and snappy summary sits at the top of your CV, and should give a high-level overview of why you’re a good match for the job.
This way, you can ensure that busy recruiters see your suitability from the outset, and so, feel your CV is worth their time.
Tips for creating an impactful CV profile:
- Keep it brief: Recruiters have piles of CVs to read through and limited time to dedicate to each, so it pays to showcase your abilities in as few words as possible. 3-4 lines is ideal.
- Tailor it: Not tailoring your profile (and the rest of your CV) to the role you’re applying for, is the worst CV mistake you could make. Before setting pen to paper, look over the job ad and make a note of the skills and experience required. Then, incorporate your findings throughout.
- Don’t add an objective: Avoid discussing your career goals in your CV profile – if you think they’re necessary, briefly mention them in your cover letter instead.
- Avoid cliches: If your CV is riddled with clichès like “Dynamic thought-leader”, hit that delete button. Phrases like these are like a broken record to recruiters, who read them countless times per day. Hard facts, skills, knowledge and results are sure to yield far better results.
What to include in your Payroll Administrator CV profile?
- Summary of experience: To give employers an idea of your capabilities, show them your track record by giving an overview of the types of companies you have worked for in the past and the roles you have carried out for previous employers – but keep it high level and save the details for your experience section.
- Relevant skills: Employers need to know what skills you can bring to their organisation, and ideally they want to see skills that match their job vacancy. So, research your target roles thoroughly and add the most important Payroll Administrator skills to your profile.
- Essential qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Payroll Administrator qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
Quick tip: If spelling and grammar are not a strong point of yours, make use of a writing assistant tool like Grammarly. It’ll help you avoid overlooking spelling mistakes and grammar errors and, best of all, is completely free!
Core skills section
Next, you should create a bullet pointed list of your core skills, formatted into 2-3 columns.
Here, you should focus on including the most important skills or knowledge listed in the job advertisement.
This will instantly prove that you’re an ideal candidate, even if a recruiter only has time to briefly scan your CV.
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Work experience/Career history
Next up is your work experience section, which is normally the longest part of your CV.
Start with your current (or most recent) job and work your way backwards through your experience.
Can’t fit all your roles? Allow more space for your recent career history and shorten down descriptions for your older roles.
Structuring your roles
The structure of your work experience section can seriously affect its impact.
This is generally the biggest section of a CV, and with no thought to structure, it can look bulky and important information can get lost.
Use my 3-step structure below to allow for easy navigation, so employers can find what they are looking for:
Start with a solid introduction to your role as a whole, in order to build some context.
Explain the nature of the organisation you worked for, the size of the team you were part of, who you reported to and what the overarching purpose of your job was.
Next, write up a punchy list of your daily duties and responsibilities, using bullet points.
Wherever you can, point out how you put your hard skills and knowledge to use – especially skills which are applicable to your target role.
To finish off each role and prove the impact you made, list 1-3 stand out achievements, results or accomplishments.
This could be anything which had a positive outcome for the company you worked for, or perhaps a client/customer.
Where applicable, quantify your examples with facts and figures.
At the bottom of your CV is your full education section. You can list your formal academic qualifications, such as:
- A levels
As well as any specific Payroll Administrator qualifications that are essential to the jobs you are applying for.
Note down the name of the qualification, the organisation at which you studied, and the date of completion.
Interests and hobbies
Although this is an optional section, it can be useful if your hobbies and interests will add further depth to your CV.
Interests which are related to the sector you are applying to, or which show transferable skills like leadership or teamwork, can worth listing.
On the other hand, generic hobbies like “going out with friends” won’t add any value to your application, so are best left off your CV.
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Essential skills for your Payroll Administrator CV
Tailoring your CV to the roles you are applying for is key to success, so make sure to read through the job descriptions and tailor your skills accordingly.
However, commonly desired Payroll Administrator skills include:
IT skills: Payroll positions require you to be proficient in industry software such as Excel, Sage, Quickbooks, etc.
Attention to detail: When calculating salaries, checking hours and dealing with other financial tasks, you need to have a keen eye for detail and be able to spot any potentially costly mistakes
Timekeeping: Employees expect their wages to be paid on time each month; therefore timekeeping skills are a must
Flexibility: As a payroll assistant, you’ll be supporting other administrators and therefore, you might be asked to take on additional responsibilities during busy periods
Problem-solving: Whether you face an unexpected challenge or an employee is having problems with their payment, you need to be proactive and solve these issues as efficiently as possible
Writing your Payroll Administrator CV
An interview-winning CV for a Payroll Administrator role, needs to be both visually pleasing and packed with targeted content.
Whilst it needs to detail your experience, accomplishments and relevant skills, it also needs to be as clear and easy to read as possible.
Remember to research the role and review the job ad before applying, so you’re able to match yourself up to the requirements.
If you follow these guidelines and keep motivated in your job search, you should land an interview in no time.
Best of luck with your next application!