Accountants: 3 Things to Never Drop From Your ResumeMGR Accounting Recruiters in
While reviewing resumes of candidates recently and comparing them to the needs of our clients, it occurred to me that while there are many articles pertaining to how short a resume should be (including some I have written), I haven’t noticed any that address items that should be on your resume no matter when they occurred.
The reality is that at least for accounting, there are a few items that employers tend to value no matter how long ago they occurred. Three of these items are as follows:
- Public accounting experience. Regardless of how long ago you worked for a CPA firm, there are some hiring managers that will value that experience many years into the future. The challenge is that for some people going back that far may cause your resume to be too lengthy, depending on the amount of experience you have. One solution is to only go as far back in your employment history as would be workable for a 1-2 page resume, and then list a separate section of “Other Relevant Experience”. This technique keeps your resume to a reasonable length and still allows you to show your public accounting experience even if it was several years prior.
- Certifications. Occasionally we will come across an applicant that achieved a certification (CPA, CMA, etc) and let it lapse because they felt it wasn’t important to their career at the time. It is still valuable to list having possessed the certification on your resume for the time period that it was active, even if it isn’t current at the moment. You have to be careful and not mislead anyone into believing you still have the certification or that it is still current; however, you can list it as inactive or list it along with the years that you held the certification. For example: “CPA certified 1995-2005”.
- Military experience. This is also an item that you should consider leaving on your resume regardless of how long ago it was. Showing that you have served your country in the military, along with the discipline and people skills that you obtain while performing such service, is generally well-respected and valued by employers. If the experience is too far back in your work history to make it practical to list on your resume, consider using the “Other Relevant Experience” section that is described above as a way of fitting it in to your resume without extending it past 2 pages.
Consider using these tips the next time you revise or update your resume for a job search. While keeping your resume to 2 pages or less is a must, there are a few things you can do to fit in critical experience while still following that general rule.
As always, I wish you the best in your search.
By Mark Goldman CPA