Accountants: 3 Items to NEVER Drop From Your Resume

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3 Items to NEVER Drop from Your Resume

There are many resources online on the topic of what to include in your resume, but there aren’t many resources that tell you what to make absolutely sure you always include, or at least never drop, from your resume if you are an accountant no matter how long ago they occurred.

The reality is that at least for accounting, there are a few items that employers tend to value no matter when they happened. 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 helps keep your resume to a reasonable length and still allows you to show your public accounting experience even if it was several years prior.
  • Certifications. If you had a certification (CPA, CMA, CIA, etc) and let it lapse at one point, it is still valuable to list having possessed the certification on your resume for the time period that it was active. 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”. The mere fact that you once held the certification will be a differentiator to some employers. (Please note, keeping the certification active is far more valuable, but nevertheless even having the certification at one point will be positively viewed by many employers.)
  • 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 past 2 pages.

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. Using this ‘exception to the rule’ and always including these 3 items on your resume will serve you well.

I wish you the best. Have a great week! There’s more to come…

Mark Goldman CPA