Payroll Specialist Resume| Tips & Examples

In every company, a payroll specialist ensures that the employees are paid their salaries accurately and on time. Managing various aspects of payroll administration, payroll professionals play an important part in maintaining employee satisfaction, legal compliance and ensure a smooth functioning of an organisation.

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Senior- Level Payroll Specialist Resume Example

Cole Jackson
Senior Payroll Specialist

Resume Summary

Experienced and detail-oriented payroll specialist with 8+ years of experience in payroll management, tax compliance and streamlining payroll processing. Adept at monitoring payroll deductions for tax and other benefits. Committed to ensuring transparency with employee's payrolls and contributing to the smooth functioning of the organisation.

Work Experience

Senior Payroll Specialist
XUI Logistics Solutions, Columbus, Ohio
January 2017- Present

  • Manage a payroll team of 10 employees, monitoring the timely and accurate processing of the salaries for 1000+ employees.
  • Conduct regular orientation and training sessions for staff on new software and tax regulations.
  • Collaborate with human resources to streamline and improve efficiency of maintaining employee's confidential salary information, direct deposit information and tax deductions.
  • Spearheading the implementation of optimised processes which have led to reduction of payroll errors by 20%.
  • Prepare and lead tax compliance efforts including submission of quarterly and year-end reports.

Payroll Manager
HNY Solutions & Co, Columbus Ohio
May 2014- December 2016

  • Processed payroll for a midsize company with over 500 employees.
  • Spearheaded the implementation of a new payroll system helping with the seamless migration of employee data.
  • Managed payroll budgeting and identified cost-saving avenues to optimise payroll expenses.
  • Conducted payroll data audits at regular intervals to maintain transparency and resolve discrepancies.
  • Acted as the main point of contact for the payroll paperwork for new hires and maintained employee satisfaction.


Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
University of Ohio, Columbus, Ohio
Graduation Date: September, 2013


  • Payroll Processing
  • Data entry and analysis
  • Proficient in ADP payroll system, Quickbooks and Gusto
  • General Ledger
  • Financial reports
  • Leadership skills
  • Team building skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills


Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)


Member of the American Payroll Association (Since 2018)

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If you are thinking about applying for this position, you will need a stand out payroll specialist resume that does justice to highlighting your qualities, relevant skills and experience. In a competitive job market your resume is your gateway to landing your dream job and we are here to help you do exactly that. In this all-inclusive guide, we will take you through the key elements of making an excellent payroll resume that will catch the attention of recruiters, hiring managers and potential employers.

Payroll Specialist Resume

Duties of a Payroll Specialist

Most payroll specialists are responsible for managing and executing payroll procedures for the organisation they are part of. As a payroll specialist you will have a lot of responsibilities to ensure that the employees get their salaries and compensation on time. Here's an overview of the wide range of responsibilities that come with a payroll specialist position.

Calculating Payroll

The main responsibility of a payroll specialist is to calculate employee wages and salaries for hourly and salaried employees and factor in overtime, bonuses and deductions.

Tax Compliance

A payroll specialist ensures that the company is in compliance with tax laws and regulations. They ensure that the correct amount of tax, social security and other deductions are withheld from employers paycheck and paid to the right authorities.

Record Keeping

For auditory and compliance purposes, payroll professionals maintain detailed record of all payroll transactions which includes paystubs, tax forms and payroll reports.

Managing Deductions and Benefits

Payroll specialists are responsible for managing various deductions from employee's paychecks such as health insurance, contribution to retirement accounts and administer employee benefits like paid time off and ensure that it is correctly reflected in the payroll.

Resolving Payroll Issues

A payroll specialist is responsible for investigating and promptly rectifying any payroll discrepancies or errors that might occur. This includes looking into employee inquiries and concerns regarding their salaries and compensation.

Collaborating with Human Resources and other departments

Payroll specialists are expected to efficiently communicate with human resources and finance departments and bridge any gaps that the employees might be facing by providing accurate and timely information. As a payroll specialist, you need to have transparent communication with the employees in collaboration with these departments.

Adopting the Use of Technology

A lot of companies have adopted the use of payroll software and accounting software to help streamline the salary processing system. Payroll specialists are required to have the knowledge of using, managing and updating these softwares.

Payroll Specialist Resume Examples

To best demonstrate the art of making payroll specialist resumes, here are examples of a senior-level, mid-level and entry-level positions for a payroll job.

Mid-Level Payroll Specialist Resume Example

Samatha Reuben

Payroll Specialist


Resume Summary

Dedicated payroll specialist with 4+ years of experience in processing of payroll and expertise in tax compliance. Committed to improvement of processes and team collaboration to contribute to the betterment of an organisation's payroll department.

Work Experience

Payroll Specialist

WBY solutions, New York

April 2021- Present

  • Process bi weekly payroll for 800+ employees in a professional and timely manner
  • Provide training and support to junior team members in using required software for efficient processing of employee payrolls.
  • Coordinate with the human resources department to maintain employee records which includes direct deposit information and tax withholdings.
  • Heading the automation of payroll processes and reducing manual tasks resulting in 10% reduction in processing time.
  • Maintain employee data integrity by organising regular audits to avoid any payroll discrepancies.

Payroll Assistant

VHG Logistics, New York

January 2020-March 2021

  • Assisted senior payroll specialists in processing payroll for 200+ employees.
  • Maintained employee records and escalated any payroll related issues to senior management.
  • Helped with preparing and maintaining payroll taxes, documents and year-end tax filings for the company.
  • Addressed employee queries related to payrolls and helped resolve discrepancy issues leading to no payroll liabilities.

Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting

Florida University, Tampa Florida

Graduation Date: September, 2019

  • Proficient in ADP and Quickbooks
  • Financial reports
  • Knowledge of federal and state payroll tax laws
  • Team player
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Administrative skills
  • Project management
  • Leadership skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
  • Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP)

Entry-level Payroll Specialist Resume Example

Jamie Green


Resume Summary

Hard working and motivated college graduate with a Bachelor's degree in accounting. Seeking an opportunity as an entry level payroll specialist to help with a company's accurate payroll processing and contribute to the organisation's success.

Internship Experience

Payroll Intern

GFI Logistics, Columbus, Ohio

May 2022- May 2023

  • Maintained data entry for employee time and attendance records.
  • Supported senior payroll specialist in administrative tasks.
  • Assisted payroll team to generate payroll for 300+ employees.

Bachelor of Science in Accounting

University of Ohio

Graduation Date: January 2022

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint)
  • Attention to detail
  • Accurate data entry
  • Strong mathematical skills
  • Quick Learner
  • Adaptable

How to Write a Payroll Specialist Resume?

A payroll specialist is an integral part of every organization and is vital to maintaining employee satisfaction, legal compliance and organizational efficiency. To ensure that your payroll specialist resume gets the attention of hiring managers, let’s take a look at various components that need to be showcased and carefully highlighted in your resume.

Payroll Specialist Resume

Pick the Right Resume Format

There are multiple resume formats to choose from but the most commonly used ones are as follows:

  • Chronological
  • Functional
  • Hybrid

The most commonly used format is the chronological resume format. It lists your prior work experience and education section in reverse chronological order. It is considered to be the most impactful resume format amongst candidates seeking a job as it shows hiring managers what you have learnt on the job and it is extremely easy for them to read through your work history.

A functional resume puts more weightage on your skills and qualifications rather than your prior work experience. This format is usually used by entry-level candidates or people with huge gaps in their work history.

A hybrid resume, as the name suggests, is a combination of the chronological and functional resume format. It sheds a light on both your experience and key skills and qualifications

For a payroll specialist job, we highly recommend following a chronological resume format as the main focus of your resume will be your prior work history.

Structure of a Payroll Specialist Resume

You cannot discount the importance a structure of resume has to play in getting the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. The payroll specialist resume structure should include the following sections.

  • Header
  • Professional summary
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Relevant skills
  • Certifications

Make a Header

A professional resume starts with a header section. Add the following details in the header section of your resume.

  • Full Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn Profile

Ensure that this information has been correctly logged in as that is how a hiring manager will be able to get in touch with you. So, remember to double check all the information and avoid making any mistakes while listing your contact information.

Write a Powerful Professional Summary

A professional summary is the part of your resume that showcases your work experience and reflects a strong background in the finance industry. For a job title such as a payroll specialist, it is important to emphasise a solid background in payroll administration. This section should contain 4-5 sentences which put focus on the following details.

  • Your job title
  • Key work experience with the number of years worked
  • Mention measurable accomplishments on the job
  • Expertise you bring and the unique values you offer to the company

For instance, when it comes to a payroll specialist position, you can draw attention to your expertise in payroll administration, financial accuracy and commitment to safeguarding data security. Remember to keep this section concise and to the point.

Mention Prior Work Experience

The work experience section is the core section of your payroll specialist resume. Don't rush this section and methodically add a detailed and clear description of your previous roles, with an emphasis on your responsibilities and accomplishments as a payroll specialist. It is always essential to touch upon your achievements with measurable examples. For instance, you can quantify your achievements on the job like this- “Accurately processed bi-weekly payroll for over 800 employees in a timely manner”. Shine a light on all teams you have managed and also acknowledge any recognition you have received professionally. Use bullet points and action verbs to make it structured and easy to read.

Add Relevant Educational Background

To become a certified payroll professional, you will need a bachelor degree in commerce, accounting, finance or related fields. Hiring managers will prefer candidates that have the required educational qualifications and backgrounds when looking to fill this position. In case you have a higher educational degree like a masters in any of the related fields, mention that first followed by the subsequent graduate and undergraduate levels in a reverse chronological order.

Highlight Relevant Key Skills

The skills section of your payroll specialist resume is where you get to showcase your technical and interpersonal skills. It is highly recommended to use bullet points to ensure easy readability and see that your skills align with the job requirement. Here are some of the relevant skills you can include in your payroll specialist resume.
  • Payroll Processing
  • Tax Compliance
  • Payroll Data Analysis
  • ADP workforce
  • Knowledge of Payroll software
  • Audit and reconciliations
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Time Management
  • Attention to detail
  • Quick problem solving

Mention Relevant Certifications

If you have payroll specialist certifications, it heightens your credibility and makes you a capable candidate and a frontrunner in the eyes of any hiring manager. Obtaining and mentioning these certificate courses will give you an added advantage in propelling your career. Some of the certificate courses to become a notable payroll professional are as follows.

  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
  • Payroll Certification
  • Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP)

Tips to Format and Style Your Payroll Specialist Resumes

A clean and professional look is what you should aim for while designing your payroll specialist resume. It can play an important part in creating a good impression with a potential employer or hiring manager. Enhance your payroll specialist resume with these amazing formatting and styling tips.

  • Make sure to use a professional resume font such as Arial, Calibri, Helvetica with a font size between 10 and 12 points for your main text and slightly bigger size (13-14) for the headers.
  • Maintain consistent formatting and styling throughout your payroll specialist resume.
  • Always use bullet points and concise phrases and avoid long paragraphs.
  • Use a crisp professional tone and language and avoid using abbreviations without explanation.

Make Your Payroll Specialist Resume ATS Friendly

With the smart usage of keywords in your payroll specialist resume, you can increase your chances of your resume not getting filtered out by the applicant tracking system (ATS) software and then you can land an interview with an actual hiring manager. Since applicant tracking systems are used to filter resumes based on the keywords fed in by the companies itself, it is necessary to thoroughly check the job description section of the job listing and customise your resume to use the exact same keywords in your resume. Here's how you can effortlessly incorporate these keywords into your payroll specialist resume.

Payroll Specialist Resume

Carefully Scan Job Postings

The first step is to carefully read the job posting for the payroll specialist position you are applying for. Highlight the keywords and phrases that are repeated in the job description. These keywords represent the skills, qualifications and experience that are most valued by the employer.

Mention the Exact Keywords in Your Skills Section

In the skills section, add and include skills that are relevant to the payroll specialist role. Make sure that they actually align with your qualifications and skill set. Some of the soft and hard skills you can include in your payroll specialist resume are mentioned below.

Hard Skills
  • Payroll software
  • ADP payroll system
  • Mathematics
  • Data Entry
  • Tax Compliance
  • Microsoft Office (Excel, Spreadsheets)
  • Strong communication skills
  • Confidentiality
  • Organisation skills
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail

Customise your resume

Customise your resume for each job application and tailor it to perfectly align with the job requirements and qualifications mentioned by the employer. It is advisable to scan each section in your resume carefully and see where you can add those exact but relevant keywords and phrases to shoot your payroll specialist resume to the top of the pile.

Proofread and Testing

The last step of making an ATS-friendly payroll specialist resume is to proofread and scan for any grammatical and spelling errors, punctuation and formatting errors that might lower your score and get your resume filtered out. If you would like to test out your resume to see how it scores with an ATS software, there are several online tools where you can feed in your resume and get relevant feedback.

Benefits of Using a Resume Template to Enhance Your Payroll Specialist Resume

Payroll Specialist Resume

Making a resume from scratch can be a daunting task and there is no harm to take a little help and use a resume builder and a resume template to give yourself the best shot in getting the job you want. Here are some of the benefits of using a resume template.

  • Professional Aesthetic- Resume templates are designed by industry professionals with a lot of experience to ensure a polished and professional looking resume.
  • Time-Saving- Resume builders often have pre designed resume templates where you just need to fill in your details. This saves a significant amount of time compared to making a resume from scratch.
  • Consistency- Using a pre designed template ensures a consistency in formatting, font and layout throughout your resume.
  • Keyword Optimisation- Online resume builders often integrate keyword optimisation tools, helping you pin point and incorporate industry-specific keywords relevant to payroll specialist role. This will help your resume pass the ATS softwares used by many companies.
  • Reduction in errors- Templates often have built-in spelling and grammar check features, reducing the chances of typos and ensuring your resume has zero errors

Check out our multiple resume examples and templates to build a job winning payroll resume.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the multitude of responsibilities that come with being a payroll specialist.
  • Pick a chronological (reverse) format for your payroll specialist resume.
  • Use bullet points and action verbs to detail your professional work experience.
  • Highlight key technical skills and put focus on your reliability to be trusted with employee payrolls.
  • Maintain consistent formatting and styling throughout your resume.
  • Make your resume compatible with ATS softwares.
  • Mention the exact keywords used in company's job postings in your resume skills section.
  • You can use a tried and tested template and save yourself the time to make a resume from scratch.

Now that you are fully equipped with all the know-hows of going about crafting an outstanding payroll resume, we wish you all the luck with your job hunt!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the role of a payroll specialists?

In any organisation, a payroll specialist ensures that the employees are compensated on time. Here's a list of the wide range of responsibilities that come with a payroll specialist position.

  • Calculating Payroll
  • Tax Compliance
  • Record Keeping
  • Managing Deductions and Benefits
  • Resolving Payroll Issues
  • Collaborating with human resources and finance departments
  • Adopting the Use of Technology

What are the keywords to be used in a payroll specialist resume?

The most common keywords and skills found in a payroll specialist resume and job listings are as follows.

  • Payroll reports
  • Payroll processing
  • ADP Payroll
  • Payroll administration
  • Human Resources
  • Human Resources Information Systems
  • Employee Records
  • Accounting
  • Performance Management

What are the skills required to be a payroll specialist?

Payroll specialists require a wide range of skills to do their job efficiently. Apart from the technical know-how, payroll specialists need to be equipped with soft skills to effectively manage a company's payroll systems. Here is a list of some of the skills that a payroll specialist would need.

Hard Skills
  • Payroll software
  • ADP payroll system
  • Mathematics
  • Data Entry
  • Tax Compliance
  • Microsoft Office (Excel, Spreadsheets)
Soft Skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Confidentiality
  • Organisation skills
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail

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