Payroll Specialist Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this Payroll Specialist resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Payroll specialists are responsible for managing the administrative aspects of payroll—collecting data from managers and HR teams, calculating taxes and other deductions, preparing checks, and distributing them to employees. Payroll specialists are also sometimes called payroll administrators or payroll coordinators.

Because payroll is such a sensitive topic for most employees, payroll specialists need to be careful when communicating changes or updates. They also need to be detail-oriented and organized—you’ll need to be able to follow specific guidelines and regulations when calculating paychecks. And because payroll is often a highly regulated space, you’ll need to be familiar with federal and state laws as well as company policies.

Here are some tips and an example to help you write a stellar payroll specialist resume that hiring managers will love.

Jennifer Thomas
Houston, TX | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]

Experienced payroll specialist with a proven track record of providing efficient and accurate paychecks for over 10,000 employees. Proven ability to handle complex payroll processes, maintain compliance with state and federal regulations, and respond to employee inquiries. seeks an opportunity to use expertise in a corporate environment.

Houston Community College Jun '10
A.A.S. in Business Administration
Company A, Payroll Specialist Jan '17 – Current
  • Processed bi-weekly payroll for over 100 employees using PeopleSoft and ensured accuracy of all timecards, overtime, deductions, etc.
  • Maintained a detailed knowledge of the company’s compensation plan to ensure proper pay rates for each job classification.
  • Provided support in resolving any issues related to employee time reporting or payroll processing within specified deadlines.
  • Assisted with annual salary reviews by collecting information from managers on base salaries and merit increases for approximately 200 employees per year.
  • Created new hire paperwork including W-4s, I-9s, offer letters, tax documents as well as other HR documentation such as training sign offs and performance evaluations when needed.
Company B, Payroll Specialist Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Implemented a new system to track and monitor employee absences, resulting in an average of 5% decrease in absence rate
  • Created reports for payroll audits that included all transactions related to payroll processing
  • Reviewed time sheets and approved payroll for over 100 employees per month
  • Ensured compliance with federal tax regulations by monitoring withholding rates and maintaining records on garnishments
  • Prepared checks for distribution at the end of each pay period using ADP Payroll Software
Company C, Payroll Clerk Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Processed payroll for approximately 500 employees on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Maintained and updated employee records in the payroll system.
  • Resolved payroll discrepancies by collecting and analyzing information.
  • Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
  • Certified Payroll Manager (CPM)
  • Certified Payroll Administrator (CPA)

Industry Knowledge: US Federal and State Taxes, Payroll Taxes, ACA, ADP, Paychex, ADP Workforce Now, Intuit
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite, QuickBooks, Oracle, Sage
Soft Skills: Written and Verbal Communication, Leadership, Problem Solving, Organizational Skills, Attention to Detail, Time Management, Teamwork

How to Write a Payroll Specialist Resume

Here’s how to write a payroll specialist resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

The best way to make your resume stand out is to use specific examples and numbers. So rather than saying you “managed payroll for 100 employees,” you could say you “managed payroll for 100 employees, reducing annual payroll costs by $200K through new tax code updates.”

The second bullet point is much stronger because it provides specific details about what you did and the results of your work. It also includes a quantifiable number—$200K—which always makes a stronger impression on recruiters and hiring managers.

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you apply for a payroll specialist role, your resume is likely to be scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS) for certain keywords. This program looks for certain terms related to the job, like “salary management” or “timekeeping,” in order to determine whether your skills are a match for the job opening. If you don’t have the right keywords on your resume, the ATS might discard your application before a human ever sees it.

To increase your chances of getting an interview, use this list of common payroll specialist keywords as a starting point to help you identify the skills and experience you want to emphasize on your resume:

  • Payroll
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • ADP Payroll
  • Payroll Processing
  • Payroll Administration
  • Benefits Administration
  • Employee Relations
  • Employee Benefits Design
  • Payroll Services
  • Onboarding
  • Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
  • Account Reconciliation
  • New Hire Orientations
  • U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Personnel Management
  • Team Building
  • Data Entry
  • Accounting
  • Accounts Payable
  • Payroll Taxes
  • QuickBooks
  • Accounts Receivable (AR)
  • Accounts Payable & Receivable
  • Finance
  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft Access
  • Teamwork
  • Administration
  • Clerical Skills
  • Organizational Development

Showcase Your Technical Skills

Payroll specialists use a variety of software programs to complete their work, so it’s important to list any relevant technical skills you have. Programs like Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Google Suite (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar), and social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are all commonly used by payroll specialists. Additionally, payroll specialists may be called on to use specific software programs relevant to their industry, so it’s important to be familiar with as many programs as possible.


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