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4 Tips to Supercharge Your Résumé this Summer

by Monette Anderson | Jun 06, 2017
WSCPA Student Member Networking at Reception

The school year is over (or almost over) and Washington is hitting its summer stride. If you don’t have an internship lined up and are wondering how to make the most of your summer, we’ve got some tips that will make you a more competitive candidate for fall recruiting. Even if you do have an internship, it will still be worth your time to pick something on this list to do this summer so you can turn your dream internship into your dream job.

Learn New Skills

Any experience or skills on a résumé are better than none. So plunge into your current part-time job or get a new job this summer and rethink how you can make those skill sets applicable to your future accounting career. Customer service, helping with the bookkeeping and any leadership experience are all things you can add to your résumé. You may want to revisit our tips for making the most of your résumé bullet points.

Alternately, you could round out your résumé with volunteer work that shows leadership skills and initiative. Pro tip: Volunteer at non-profits affiliated with your dream firm. Did you see on Facebook that they had a day of service at the local animal shelter? Do they boast that they allow staff time on the clock to be a Big Brother or Big Sister or work in some other mentorship capacity? Do they support any local non-profits monetarily? Those might be great organizations to hone in your volunteer service efforts, as it will make you seem like a good cultural fit. You might even get to meet people from your dream firm.

Network

You may be tired of hearing everyone talk about networking all the time, but allow me to share these two statistics with you:

  • 85% of jobs are filled via networking
  • The average CEO has 930 LinkedIn connections

The more people who know about you and your career goals, the more you are creating an army of connections out there working on your behalf. If you continue to frame networking as making lifelong friends you can contribute to, you’ll always have people who will be saying good things about you and keeping you in mind for opportunities.

Attend WSCPA networking events as well as other young professional networking events near you. Informational interviews are an amazing and underutilized tool for making strong connections. I have been an advocate of this method for years, and at a recent leadership event I attended, I saw once again how powerful this tool can be. One of the panelists told us a story about getting a call unexpectedly about a job opportunity from someone she did not know. On inquiry, she found out that years earlier she’d sat down with him for an informational interview and he’d put her résumé in a drawer because she’d made such a strong impression on him. He didn’t have the right job for her at the time, but he kept her résumé because he knew that one day he would. It was a dream opportunity for her that catapulted her career.

Gain an Advocate

Make it a goal this summer to develop just one strong relationship. You want to have someone that you feel completely comfortable asking to be a strong reference for you, or that would be able to write a recommendation letter on your behalf. A respected CPA who is your employer or previous employer, or a professional you meet through a WSCPA chapter or networking event are great candidates for this type of relationship.

Any employer who will be able to give an enthusiastic review is helpful, and you can consider coaches, core academic teachers, advisers, volunteer managers, or church and other community members. You want to be sure that this person can describe your skills, accomplishments, and personality. This will be helpful for employer references down the road and especially useful when you apply for a $5,000 Washington CPA Foundation accounting scholarship.

Take the CPA Exam

If you are planning to graduate within 180 days (or will be by the end of summer) and are applying for Washington CPA licensure you do not have to wait until you graduate to begin taking the CPA exam. It can take a few weeks for you to get the notice to sit, so get your application in ASAP! And start studying before you even get that application in the mail. Going into fall recruiting with a finished section of the CPA, even just one, tips the scale tremendously in your favor in addition to being an excellent talking point and resume item. Get more information on the exam and make sure your educational requirements are on track at the Washington State Board of Accountancy website. Don’t forget that your WSCPA student membership gets you discounts on several review course options.

We look forward to hearing about all your summer accomplishments. Consider registering for our annual Small Firm Career Fair on August 23rd to meet with over a dozen local small firms and showcase your latest accomplishments and talking points!

Ready to get started? Start practicing these tips at the WSCPA's Annual Meeting on June 13!

Monette-Anderson-HeadshotMonette Anderson is the WSCPA Academic Relations Coordinator. You can reach her at manderson@wscpa.org.

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