Author: Dina Barabash, Content Development & Web Specialist
As you prepare to look for your first professional job or take the first step on your career path in the accounting profession, you will want to update your resume. This process may be tricky, so there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.
First, be sure to create a Professional Development section in your resume. Here, you can highlight your CPA Exam experience and success. Include the Exam sections you have already completed and those that you have scheduled to complete. If you are far along in the Exam process, you may want to position this section in a higher and more prominent area of your resume.
Did you know that some recruiters use an applicant tracking systems (ATS)? This program can scan your resume in search of keywords that match a job opening. Therefore, it is vital to include keywords in your resume and tailor your resume to the position you are applying for. One way to include keywords is to read through the job description (which should always be your first step) and see which duties you have performed. Once you make this determination, add it to your resume!
Be sure to include your educational experience as well, beginning with your most recent education and including special skills or courses you have completed. However, according to the AICPA, stay away from the obvious. For example, all accounting majors take Principles and Intermediate. AICPA advices that if you are just beginning your academic career, consider the courses or minors that may help you become more marketable to employers.
Compose a short summary of yourself for the top of your resume. In a few sentences, try to describe yourself and your expertise or intention as best you can. In addition, you will want to state that you are a CPA Exam candidate in this section. Do not be afraid that this is going to deter employers from taking you seriously. Make it clear to your potential employer that you plan to obtain your CPA licensure.
Now that you have composed a well thought-out resume, it is time to ace your next job interview! Good luck on your journey to becoming a CPA!
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