How to write a payroll administrator CV: template and sample

Updated 12 April 2023

Payroll professionals are important to a company's budgetary and compensation system, as they handle all financial and labour budget records. If you possess a background in maths, finance or payroll accounting, a management role in payroll administration may appeal to you. Learning how to write a CV for a payroll administrator role can help you prepare strong application materials and increase your employability. In this article, we discuss the meaning of a payroll administrator CV, give a step-by-step guide on how to write one and provide a template and sample to guide you in writing yours.

What is a payroll administrator CV?

A payroll administrator CV is a document that showcases the qualifications and expertise of a candidate applying for the role of a payroll administrator. Payroll administrators manage a company's payroll processes, including calculating and paying employees' wages and salaries and processing tax deductions. Depending on the organisation, they may also perform administrative tasks, such as preparing pay cheques and distributing them to employees. They may also ensure that employees update their tax and social security information periodically and that the system works effectively.

Related: What is payroll processing? (Types, how-to guide and tips)

How to write a payroll administrator CV

The following is a step-by-step guide you can follow to write an effective CV for a payroll administrator role:

1. Understand the role

It's beneficial for candidates to understand a payroll administrator's duties, which may include managing the company's payroll and benefits programme. A payroll administrator's role in certain companies may involve maintaining the company's health insurance plans, including any employer-sponsored retirement plans. The role may vary depending on location and organisation, so it's beneficial to research the payroll administrator job postings in your area. The following are some of the general duties that payroll administrators typically perform:

  • monitoring and coordinating payroll processes

  • handling and dispersing employee compensation by issuing cheques or making direct deposits

  • determining payroll commitments through the calculation of income taxes, unemployment contributions and employees' compensation

  • addressing employee queries with record keeping, pay cheques and other payroll-related issues

  • providing tax forms and related documents to individuals and helping them with their completion

  • partnering with other divisions in the organisation, including human resources, to manage employee records

2. Insert contact details and write a professional summary

Display your contact information at the top of the page, including your phone number, email and address. A professional summary is a short but comprehensive paragraph that provides the recruiter with an overview of your qualifications and expertise for the role. It includes details about your experience, skills and education relevant to the payroll administrator role. In addition, you may mention your certifications or training demonstrating your accounting and data handling skills. You can also use this section to state your interest in the payroll administrator role and the qualities that make you a good candidate.

Related: CV summary examples (and 5 steps for how to write one)

3. Include details about your experience

Many recruiting managers expect payroll administrator candidates to possess a comprehensive knowledge of payroll fundamentals and team management. This section of your CV may include any roles you've held in the past that developed the skills and knowledge you require to perform your duties in this position. Experience in leadership or management roles shows you have transferable skills. You may include any volunteering related to the job, such as leading a finance management team for a non-profit organisation.

Related: How to give leadership experience examples

4. Add educational information

Include any education or training related to payroll administration, including degrees you've earned and courses you took. Employers may prefer candidates with bachelor's degrees or higher. Obtaining a degree in fields such as finance, business administration or human resources and including it on your CV may increase your chances of getting employment. You may also participate in suitable professional training programmes, such as financial management and taxation, computer literacy or accounting, and include the details on your CV.

5. List your skills

Study the job description for the position before listing your relevant skills. Describe skills that demonstrate that you're knowledgeable about certain aspects of the particular industry. This can include knowledge of specific software programs and record-keeping tools. You may also add skills that demonstrate your leadership qualities. Here are some skills that you may add to a CV for a payroll administrator role:

  • Communication: Payroll administrators often require the ability to engage with others and convey their thoughts while handling payroll-related issues.

  • Time management: Payroll administrators handle multiple responsibilities to ensure correct and timely payment of employee salaries and wages.

  • Computer proficiency: A payroll administrator frequently requires the ability to type and utilise various computer programs.

  • Legal knowledge: Payroll processing requires legal knowledge of specific procedures, including tax legislation, to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. This skill may indicate to the recruiter that you can handle the role's legal aspects.

  • Data entry: Professionals in payroll administration may utilise software and technologies that ensure the numeric accuracy of compensation payments.

  • Teamwork: A payroll administrator role sometimes involves collaborating with colleagues and supervisors from other areas of the organisation, including human resources and management. Including this skill on your CV shows you can collaborate with other departments,

Related: How to become a payroll specialist (with duties and skills)

6. Mention additional certifications

Some companies require candidates to possess professional certificates. Obtaining professional certifications and mentioning them on your CV can strengthen your application. Some professional credentials demonstrate your qualification for management and leadership roles, which are invaluable skills for payroll administrator roles. Certification courses can also increase your understanding of your responsibilities and field and help impress your recruiter.

7. Review your CV

After writing your CV, review it to ensure that the document is professional, easy to read and uses correct grammar and spelling. Examine your CV for consistency and accurate details, such as company names, titles and periods of employment. You may find it easier to proofread a printed copy of your CV.

Related: How to create an enhanced CV (and why it's important)

CV template for payroll administrator

The following is a CV template for a payroll administrator role:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable] [Phone number] | [Email address] | [City]

Professional Summary [Two to three sentences that highlight years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as a professional.]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates] [Company Name] | [City]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates] [Company Name] | [City]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

[Degree and subject] | [Name of school or university] [City]

[Certification name], [Host organisation] - [Year completed or expiration date]

CV sample for a payroll administrator's role

Here's a CV sample for a payroll administrator role to use as a guide:

John Thomasson, PhD 07344 590989 | | Liverpool

Professional Summary Professional payroll administrator with over ten years of experience in expense processing, payroll management, tax returns and auditing. Seeking to use my leadership and payroll expertise to work in a reputable organisation in the technology industry.

Experience Payroll Manager | May 2021–August 2022 F&Co. Media House | Liverpool

  • achieved 90% on-time submission of payroll information by interacting strategically with departmental supervisors

  • aided the development of an effective procedure for staff payment processing, reducing irregularities by 10%

  • compiled, validated and organised paperwork for administering rewards, including pension schemes, holidays and health insurance

  • educated personnel on operating the digital payroll platform

  • handled all auditing processes and tax returns

Payroll Specialist | December 2006–April 2021 Olly & Co. Technologies | Liverpool

  • replied in under 12 hours to every payroll enquiry and concern, leading to a continuous overall satisfaction level of 95%

  • delivered data and reports on payroll issues, compensation schemes and collective bargaining clauses to supervisors

  • collaborated with the human resources department to ensure the periodic update of payment records

Word processing software proficiency | Data entry | Employee onboarding | Report writing | Communication

Doctor of Accounting | Humming Institute of Accounting Liverpool
Master of Financial and Records Management | Humming Institute of Accounting Liverpool
Bachelor of Administration | Archy Higher College Liverpool

Advanced Payroll Management, Open Course Institute - 2020

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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