Reviewing resumes for potential CPA articling students can be a difficult process. Our HR department is evaluating you, the applicant, for an interview based on a piece of paper. Don’t make it easy for us to dismiss you.
Here are a few important points to remember:
1. Your cover letter should be addressed to the correct firm. You might laugh at this, but at least two applicants per year don’t make it past the first look because of this oversight.
2. Do not list your accounting classes on your resume. Every applicant has taken the same or similar classes during their post-secondary education. These classes do not set you apart.
3. Do not list inapplicable hobbies on your resume. The hobbies listed need to show us a skillset that would be beneficial to us as your potential employer.
4. Do provide a list of your relevant education. It is helpful to know where you are graduating from, with which degree and when.
5. List all work history. Your work history does not need to be industry specific, but you need to show that you are employable. If you have a gap in your work history, this might be something you want to address in your cover letter.
6. List volunteer positions held. Show us that you are community minded.
7. Provide a list of references. Include approximately three using both references from your latest work history and volunteer experience. We don’t want to talk to your professor unless you were a Teaching Assistant.
8. Ensure that the format is easy to read. Be mindful of the font size and amount of information on each page. Be concise.
9. Ensure to spell check and edit for grammar. You are applying for a position that will require you to communicate regularly with a variety of people. Don’t give us doubt in your ability to do this clearly.
10. Attach your unofficial transcripts.
Remember that you are being evaluated via a piece of paper. If you want to be more than just a piece of paper, make sure to attend the CPA Meet Your Employer events in Edmonton and Lethbridge and the Accounting Spotlight at the DSB in Red Deer to introduce yourself to us.