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Resume Critique (Accounting)

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[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 9, 2009
139 posts
122 upvotes
Vancouver

Resume Critique (Accounting)

Hi all,

I was wondering if any of you can help me critique my resume. I am an aspiring CPA and I hope to land a position in the big 4. Any recommendations outside of the resume is appreciated as well.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7yrhs6ctb2aqa ... e.pdf?dl=0

Thanks!
6 replies
Member
User avatar
Mar 2, 2012
391 posts
2359 upvotes
North Bay
Improved vendor relationships by resolving 4-year outstanding payments at two major accounts

Just being picky but should you remove the - ??? and type four instead for 4?? Like I said just being picky. lol....
Any other volunteer work? Doesn't have to be job related....

Cover page is a must, attach a criminal check?? Not sure about this job but it is a must in many positions.
Sr. Member
Feb 19, 2009
587 posts
77 upvotes
USA
1) always use a summary of qualifications, nobody wants to read 8 or however many bulletpoints you have. keep the summary limited to 3 or 4 key points, with most of them only 1 line long
2) add volunteer and club experiences in a separate section
3) i can see you "managed" stuff and "created" stuff but what skills do they show? don't highlight what you did, but highlight what skills they demonstrate... organization, prioritization, computing skills...
4) quantifying w/o context? $400,000 per month = how many transactions? are you fast, efficient, and accurate vs other people? managing over 800/600 invoices - what does the "managing" comprise of? what are you actually doing?
5) max 3 responsibilities/accomplishments per job. nobody wants to read 6-8 bullet points.

EDIT: and a few other things...
6) use less words and simpler, direct sentence structure to get your point across. "Provided recommendations" = "Recommended". "Through implementation" = "by implementing"
7) every point should have the same tense and structure. improved =/= reconciling.
8) be specific... "Resolved customer issues by analyzing priorities of the company and customer, and determining solutions that appealed to both" - that says NOTHING. What did you actually do? Lol I "determine solutions" all the time for all sorts of things. Make this measurable with an actual end result.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 9, 2009
139 posts
122 upvotes
Vancouver
overboard wrote: 1) always use a summary of qualifications, nobody wants to read 8 or however many bulletpoints you have. keep the summary limited to 3 or 4 key points, with most of them only 1 line long
2) add volunteer and club experiences in a separate section
3) i can see you "managed" stuff and "created" stuff but what skills do they show? don't highlight what you did, but highlight what skills they demonstrate... organization, prioritization, computing skills...
4) quantifying w/o context? $400,000 per month = how many transactions? are you fast, efficient, and accurate vs other people? managing over 800/600 invoices - what does the "managing" comprise of? what are you actually doing?
5) max 3 responsibilities/accomplishments per job. nobody wants to read 6-8 bullet points.

EDIT: and a few other things...
6) use less words and simpler, direct sentence structure to get your point across. "Provided recommendations" = "Recommended". "Through implementation" = "by implementing"
7) every point should have the same tense and structure. improved =/= reconciling.
8) be specific... "Resolved customer issues by analyzing priorities of the company and customer, and determining solutions that appealed to both" - that says NOTHING. What did you actually do? Lol I "determine solutions" all the time for all sorts of things. Make this measurable with an actual end result.
Thanks for the tips!

1) This is the only relevant accounting position I currently have. Should I list out my other positions in marketing/sales to drop down to 3-4 bullets per position?
2) Will do, I did this originally because it is relevant to the accounting field
3) Thanks for this, would saying something on the lines of "Organizing and inputting over 800 incoming and 600 outgoing invoices on a monthly basis" sound better?
6) Thanks will update this for sure
7) I was thinking in the sense of it if its been done already, I can use "ed" vs "ing" which is ongoing
8) Will try to change this, I know this sentence was giving me a headache cause it was hard to quantify customer service sometimes
Member
Nov 24, 2011
278 posts
75 upvotes
Mississauga
overboard wrote: 1) always use a summary of qualifications, nobody wants to read 8 or however many bulletpoints you have. keep the summary limited to 3 or 4 key points, with most of them only 1 line long
No summary of qualifications unless you have a ton of experience to summarize.

I work for a 500-1000 person consulting firm and I have seen almost everyone's resume. For anyone below middle management, < 1% have a summary of qualifications.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 9, 2009
139 posts
122 upvotes
Vancouver
JuliTheNub wrote: No summary of qualifications unless you have a ton of experience to summarize.

I work for a 500-1000 person consulting firm and I have seen almost everyone's resume. For anyone below middle management, < 1% have a summary of qualifications.
Any recommendations that you can provide Juli?
Sr. Member
Aug 30, 2008
909 posts
184 upvotes
ON
You CAN put some skills in a summary at the top. You just have to make sure they're not "tasks you did" but actually skills. This is more important if the job description asks for specific skills as well.

For example, somebody in your role might have skills like...

- Experience with SAP (or whatever type of software you have, I know it wasn't actually SAP), excellent Excel skills...accountants love those spreadsheets. They deal with tons of data. It makes auditing 100x more effective if you know how to advanced functions in excel!
- Excellent communication skills (through being the main client contact at your company)
- Organization skills (through all the stuff you had to keep track of)
- Problem solving (finding solutions for clients at your business development job)
- Familiar with XYZ industries (i.e. if your clients were in a certain industry and the big 4 audit firms audit this type of industry, having a background could be useful.)

I think your most interesting job is the business development job. At big 4 firms, it's all about the relationships, client management, selling business solutions (not so much when you are a junior but as you move up, it's a HUGE plus)... if you can tie your skills to the skills the firms desire, your resume will be that much stronger. Think about what you'll need to succeed as an auditor... and tie your skills in accordingly.

Right now, you dwelled a lot on your accountant job. It sounds boring, sorry. :( You definitely need to cut that down to the important things that you think will help you succeed at a big 4 firm. (See above.)

Other random points
- Tax Clinic is good but probably 90% of accounting students have this on their resume. I know I did LOL. I might move this down lower into its own separate "volunteer/extracurricular" section
- I don't know how determining variances helped to establish customer rapport.

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