Resume: Payroll Clerk

Click on the text with and information will expand where you will see what resources and tools are recommended to help you properly assess the abilities of these candidates.

Role applied for:

  • A Payroll Clerk position in a manufacturing company in Richmond, BC

Key considerations:

  • Does the candidate’s English language proficiency support them to meet essential skill requirements?
  • Is the candidate familiar with or demonstrate an ability to learn the payroll software system?
  • Is the experience of the candidate appropriate to contributing to the role?

Elvia G.

Surrey, BC  Email:


To obtain a position in Finance department or HR department, and apply all knowledge and skills for accurate payment of employees and payroll taxes. Looking for a great company to develop all of my skills learned thru previous experiences, in order to help out to reach and exceed company goals.


  • Conduct payroll system updates (including testing/maintaining payroll system, master file, code files, tax tables, etc.)
  • Execute payroll processing cycle (in-house or outside service)
  • Process supplemental employment-related taxable income updates (relocation, awards, dividend equivalents, tuition refunds, company cars, stock programs, financial planning, etc.)
  • Prepare internal monthly, quarterly and annual payroll reports
  • Develop policies and procedures for payroll processing and time-keeping systems

Professional Development Courses

Institution: EF International Language School Courses: English
Vancouver, BC
Completion: 05/2011

Professional Credentials

Challenge – I would ideally like this role to progress into progressive accounting positions (which are regulated and require a license). There is no indication that this person is working toward an accounting designation, but some of our other candidates are. Does this lack of development mean I should screen the candidate out?

Solution – During the resume review process, your primary concern is ensuring that candidates meet the minimum professional requirements to move forward in the screening process. At the level of payroll clerk no licenses are required for the role so this is not a factor at this stage.

Professional development activity factors may however come into play during the interview stage where questions regarding professional pursuits and success can provide you with information about the candidate’s specific areas of interest, initiative drive, etc. which can help to inform the selection process.

It should also be noted that the career path from a payroll clerk typically moves to either finance or human resources. Decisions about the career path are ultimately the choice of the incumbent in the role, not the organization. Thus, while there may be foreseeable job openings in the accounting department, this does not guarantee that the Payroll Clerk will want to proceed to this role.

Language Proficiency

Challenge – There are minor grammatical challenges in the resume summary but overall the candidate’s use of the English language appears strong, but did the candidate write their own resume? There is a reference to a local English language school but it isn’t one that we are familiar with. How do I proceed with checking language proficiency?

Solution – Begin with the English language school. Do an Internet search to locate the training program that is referenced, then contact the school identified and request details regarding: the curriculum, instructor qualifications, minimum passing requirements, and their clients. Use the information provided to assess whether the candidate meets the minimum language proficiency requirements for the role.

If you are skeptical regarding the quality of the testing / programming, you may wish to review the options outlined on the Assessing Language Proficiency page, under the challenge heading: A language score is not provided on the New Canadian’s resume, what do I do?



Degree: Licenciatura, Management

Major: Business Management at Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México, Mexico

Date of Graduation: 2006

Academic Credentials

Challenge – I wasn’t familiar with the university listed so we conducted a quick Internet search and discovered that the Universidad Iberoamericana is a private university. This has made me nervous about the quality of education. Furthermore, I don’t know what a “Licenciatura” is.

Solution – While the Internet can be a great source of information, it shouldn’t be a basis for assumptions. All information needs to be assessed and verified in an objective way. The focus is on the equivalence of the education, not where the education took place or what it is called.

If a specific academic credential is required for the role, academic equivalence can be assessed by one of the organizations on the Assessing Academic Credentials page.

If you would like suggestions about how to request an assessment of academic credentials from the candidate, see the Assessing Academic Credentials page, under the challenge heading: Can I request that a candidate has his / her academic credentials assessed? Who pays for a candidate’s academic credential assessment?


Professional Work Experience: International Payroll Analyst – 09/2009 – 01/2011 Honeywell, Mexico


  • Completed a payroll system update and maintain the system ongoing
  • Developed a training binder and provide the payroll training and instruction for new employees
  • Update and maintain all payroll policies and procedures to make things run very smoothly in the department


  • Administration of year-end payroll tax activities
  • Ensure compliance to local security and tax legislation
  • Execute payroll processing cycle (in-house or outside service)
  • Process employment verifications and government information requests,local time and attendance files, out-of-cycle payroll adjustment requests, remittances and supplemental employment-related taxable income updates
  • Journal entry preparation and month end closing for payroll finances
  • Payment of Locale specific payroll taxes
  • Prepare and file annual government employee payroll tax documents
  • Prepare internal monthly, quarterly and annual payroll reports
  • Prepare unemployment reports and pay unemployment taxes
  • Respond to inquiries and resolve problems (general, payroll tax, direct deposit, etc.)

International Experience

Challenge – The candidate seems to be over qualified for the payroll position that we’ve posted for. I’m not sure what to do with the candidate.

Solution – Many candidates who are new to Canada find it difficult to gain employment in their field. Often they anticipate that it will be easier to obtain employment, or are advised by others to apply for roles at a lower level in order to gain access into an organization. Alternatively, the candidate’s experience may be translated onto the resume in a way that is not accurate. The only way to fully understand which is the case, is to do a phone screening interview. Go here for suggested phone screening questions, and how to proceed based on the responses, see the Assessing International Experience page, under the challenge heading: Based on the qualifications and experience noted on the resume, this candidate appears to be over qualified for the role. Should I screen them out of the process?


Professional Work Experience: HR Coordinator – 05/2007 – 08/2009 Target, Mexico


  • Creating controls for standardize all processes so the payroll can run better every period.


  • Making the necessary arrangements with the payroll outsourced manager to give the severance to employees, pay their savings fund and disperse food coupons to all the company employees.
  • Creation of policy manuals and procedures involved with my responsibilities.
  • Consolidate all the payroll incidences of all stores and corporate to verify that the information of all the payroll process is correct.
  • Creating reports every payroll period for each employee to evaluate working hours.
  • Link between stores and vendors in every issue related to all the payroll process.

International Experience

Challenge – The companies that this candidate has worked for are familiar and are based in North America. Does this tell me anything about the candidate that I should keep in mind?

Solution – During the resume review process, your primary concern is ensuring that candidates meet the minimum experience requirements to move forward in the screening process. The focus is what has been done and achieved previously, rather than where.

That being said, information about the companies and company cultures that the candidate works well in can be valuable information to seek during the interview process. You may also wish to ask about if or how the candidate’s role interacted with Canadian offices in order to get a better understanding of the candidate’s understanding of Canadian culture.

I am not familiar with the organizations listed, let alone their reputations, and the role titles are confusing. Should I screen this person out?

Professional Work Experience: Financial Analyst – 05/2006 – 05/2007 Target, Mexico


  • Seen to be a top performer for accuracy in my role


  • Perform accounting reconciliations and analysis of all expense accounts of the company to evaluate deviations that needed to create accruals.

International Experience

Challenge – The majority of this candidate’s experience is in retail companies and we are a manufacturing company. Does this matter?

Solution – For many occupations, skills are transferable across industries. What you are screening for is the ability to meet the core requirements for the role (e.g., any academic, professional and language qualifications) and the ability of the candidate to learn to perform the additional requirements for the role in the way that your company does them (e.g., companies will use different accounting software, have different policies and procedures, etc.). Thus, while the IT Skills outlined may not include the specific payroll system that your organization uses, you should be looking for evidence that the candidate is able to learn to use new payroll systems. For roles which require limited knowledge of the market and competitive landscape this is particularly true (typically entry and junior individual contributor roles).

I am not familiar with the organizations listed, let alone their reputations, and the role titles are confusing. Should I screen this person out?


Volunteer Experience

  • None at this time

Other Work Experience

Sales Floor Team Member – 02/2005 – 05/2006 Best Buy, Mexico


English: All Attributes – Advanced
Spanish: All Attributes – Advanced


  • None at this time


English: All Attributes – Advanced
Spanish: All Attributes – Advanced

IT Skills

  • Microsoft Office Suite – Intermediate
  • Computer Operations – Intermediate
  • Empower Software – Intermediate
  • Paycor Software – Intermediate
  • Stargarden HR Suite – Intermediate

Soft Skills

  • Communication Skills – Intermediate
  • Financial Analysis – Intermediate
  • Confidentiality – Intermediate
  • Detail Orientation – Advanced