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How to Write a Compliance Specialist Resume: A Comprehensive Guide

Here are some additional ways to make sure you stand out from the crowd when applying for a compliance specialist position.

How to Write a Compliance Specialist Resume: A Comprehensive Guide
Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
5 min read

The world of compliance can seem like a mystery to newcomers. There are so many regulations and standards that it can be overwhelming. The goal of this article is to provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary to become a successful compliance specialist.

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The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of compliance: internal and external. Internal compliance means the company has their own set of rules, while external means the company has agreed to follow laws set by law makers, regulators, or other authorities. In order to work as a compliance specialist, you need to either have an education or experience in one or both areas. We’ll go over what you should put on your resume for either type of compliance background below.

What is a Compliance Specialist?

A compliance specialist is someone who ensures that organizations are in compliance with the laws set out by authorities. They have to review policies, procedures, and operations to ensure they are following the law.

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Compliance specialists can work in many different industries. A few of those include finance, healthcare, transportation, construction, and more. A successful candidate for this position would need either an education or experience in one or both areas of internal and external compliance.

Pick the Ideal Format for your Compliance Specialist Resume

Your resume should be formatted based on your background.

  • If you have an education in compliance, the ideal format for your resume is a professional summary followed by work experience.
  • If you have experience in compliance, list any relevant credentials and certifications first followed by your work history.

Highlight your Good Parts in Resume Objective or Resume Summary

Many people who work in compliance will add a line on their resume that says something similar to “Computer literate and have strong attention to detail.” You can also include any certifications you have, or even list your knowledge of a particular law.

Write the Best Compliance Specialist Job Description for a Resume

If you don’t have experience, then your best bet is to put the following on your resume:

Education

Bachelor’s of Science in Business (Compliance)

Internship

Compliance Department, ABC Company

Work Experience

Manager of Compliance Department, ABC Company

Education Section

If you have an education in compliance, then the education section of your resume should mention the degree you received and when. You can also include any classes or certificates you’ve earned in this section. The most important thing to remember is to list the date when you obtained your degree or certification.

List your Skills as Compliance Specialist

List your skills as a compliance specialist.

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Skills that are related to compliance include:

  • Understanding the regulatory environment
  • Understanding of internal/external compliance
  • Writing and reviewing policies and procedures
  • Performing audits
  • Resolving issues with staff members
  • Recognizing emerging risks

This is a very condensed list, but it gives you an idea of what skills any company would be looking for in a compliance specialist candidate.

Include a Cover Letter for your Compliance Specialist Resume

A cover letter is always a good idea, but it’s especially important when you are seeking employment. A cover letter lets the hiring manager know that you are serious about the job opportunity and interested in learning more about the position. A cover letter also gives you an opportunity to explain any gaps in your experience or education. It's worth taking some time to think of a unique, creative, and compelling cover letter to send with your compliance specialist resume.

Tips for Job Interviews

When you’re applying for a compliance specialist position, it’s important to have your resume in tip-top shape. This is especially true if you’re lacking any experience in the field. To make sure your resume speaks to the specific qualifications they are looking for, make sure to highlight your experience with best practices and terminology.

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For external compliance specialists, it’s good practice to mention any time you worked with laws or regulations set by regulators or lawmakers. For example, if you spent time working with an organization that was regulated by the EPA, then mention that on your resume. If you have experience enforcing standards set by lawmakers or other authorities, then this is also an excellent topic to include on your resume.

If you are currently working in compliance and looking for a new job, be sure to emphasize any accomplishments related to best practices and industry standards. Include any certifications received while at your current company so companies looking for someone qualified will know that you are one of them.

Key Takeaways

  • The world of compliance can seem like a mystery to newcomers. There are so many regulations and standards that it can be overwhelming.
  • In order to work as a compliance specialist, you need to either have an education or experience in one or both areas.
  • If you have an education in compliance, your resume should include what you studied and where you studied it, any awards or recognition for excellent performance, and any internships related to the field.
  • If you have experience in compliance, your resume should include the company you worked for, the position you held there, and any relevant certificates or licenses.