Helpful Recruiting Tips & Information

Recruiting Tips & Sample Cover Letter & Resumes
Recruiting Tips Packet


  • Be confident
  • Grades are important! Work on your GPA.
  • Be involved! A great GPA but no extracurricular activities will not get you very far. Join groups such as Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi and do more than just show up for meetings. Join a committee, run for an officer position, do volunteer activities, etc. All of these things will build a lacking resume. This cannot be stressed enough!
  • Career Days (normally held spring quarter) are a great opportunity to get to know a firm, as well as the people who work there.
  • Attend Meet the Professionals Night and Spring Banquet to network with firms. It is important to get to know the people in the firm before you go through the recruiting process.
  •  Be outgoing and interested in learning about various opportunities and talk to as many professionals as possible.
  • Call someone at a firm and ask them if they would like to meet you for lunch sometime. They really do want you to take them up on their offer!
  • Do not put all your efforts into one firm. Keep your options open.
  • Keep an open mind with all opportunities that come your way.
  • Be patient. If you do not hear from a firm right away, or if someone gets a phone call before you do, do not think you’ve missed your chance with that firm.
  • Dress appropriately for different activities (lunches, barbecues, office visits, etc.). Know when you should be dressed professionally, business casual, and so on.


Casual Attire
When: Intro Night, Spring Barbeque, Bocce Tournament, some summer events
Business Casual Attire
When: Weekly Meetings; career days; office tours; lunches with professionals
Men: Khakis or slacks; dress shirt or polo shirt; leather shoes; leather belt; dark socks; well groomed; conservative jewelry
Women: Slacks or a knee length skirt; blouse, tailored sweater or sweater set; conservative colors and fabrics; conservative jewelry; natural makeup; leather closed-toed shoes
Professional Attire
When: Meet the Professionals Night; interviews; Spring Banquet

  • Two piece matching suit – black or dark blue solids or subtle pattern
  • Tie – not too flashy
  • Long sleeved dress shirt
  • Dark socks
  • Leather lace-up or slip on dress shoes
  • Leather belt that matches shoes
  • Well groomed facial hair
  • *If you don’t have a suit jacket, a shirt and tie will be fine!


  • Two piece matching suit – skirt or pants (tailored but not tight!) – navy, dark grey, brown or black
  • Tailored blouse – solid color or subtle pattern
  • Leather shoes that match suit – not too high, no chunky heels, no stilettos
  • Panty hose – solid, sheer, neutral color
  • Conservative jewelry
  • Natural makeup


  • Neat hair
  • Polished shoes
  • No missing buttons
  • No lint
  • No tags
  • Clean, pressed and properly fit clothes
  • Light perfume or cologne


This is a collection of resume tips from various local accounting professionals
Getting Started
This is a large task, take time to do it well and revise!
1. Get help—ask people you know to remind you of your accomplishments
2. Writing and editing are different tasks – write first and edit later
3. Form and content are important – most important are your GPA and the overall look of your resume (you have 3-5 seconds to make an impression)
-Put the most important things at the top and work down
-Be concise but don’t make it look too compact
4. Make sure there are NO ERRORS!
5. Do not make assertions you cannot back up
6. Emphasize the positive and deemphasize the negative
7. Be consistent in form, lettering, and voice
8. Make sure to write from the perspective of the employer
9. Write to sell and inform, but make it interesting to read
10. Limit it to one page
11. Be aware of deadlines and start early

Basic Format
Top Half (this is what will be seen first, i.e. most important)
1. Name
2. Address, phone, email
3. Objective
4. ―Selected Achievements‖ or ―Skills Summary‖ Section
Bottom Half
1. Education (could possibly go up higher)
2. Experience (not necessarily paid)
3. Honors and Awards – could be separate or included with another relevant section
Explanations on Basic Format
1. Name
-No less than size 20 font
-Make it stand out—after all, this is about you!
2. Address Line
-Make sure font is consistent
-Should be smaller font than name
-Include your temporary and permanent addresses if necessary
3. Objective
-Tells how clearly you have thought about what you want and what you have to offer
-Indicate the type of position you want
-Indicate something specific about the firm that attracts you to it (size, environment, type of clients, public/private, etc)
-Could include location you want to work at
4. Achievements or Skills Summary
-Make your sentences short and to the point
-Cover a variety of topics
-Include the best points about you (this is what you have to offer!)
-Always start with an action verb—no pronouns
5. Education
-Include your school, degree and expected graduation date
-Include your CPA eligibility date if necessary
-If your GPA is higher than 3.4, include it along with accounting GPA
6. Experience
-Use a skills-based resume if you have little paid experience
-Chronological resume is good with some experience (more traditional)
-Can play off of classroom experience or volunteer experience
-Make it results-oriented, i.e. here’s what I did and here was the outcome
-7. Honors and Awards
-Make it concise and chronological
-Only include most recent ones
A Note on Appearance:

  • Make sure there is consistency in font and style
  • Bold type accentuates, italic diminishes importance
  • Use phrases and no periods
  • Make sure verb tense is consistent
  • White space is important; too much clutter can be overwhelming
  • Stay away from repetitive words
  • Make it look professional
  • Use heavier grade, resume paper in white or ivory
  • Overall look is important


Adapted from Ernst & Young’s Going Places! Elements of Success
and your past BAP officers
Key Things Public Accounting Firms Look For:
• Positive attitude
• Flexibility
• Leadership skills
• Communication: written and oral
• Technological skills
• Personal presentation—dress and
• Intelligence actions
• Professionalism
• Lifelong learners – people who really
• Motivation want to be there
• Sense of humor
• Low maintenance individuals
• Teamwork
What the Interviewer is Evaluating:
• Can they do the job?
• Will they do the job?
• How will they fit into the firm’s environment?
Common Mistakes Made During an Interview:
1. Quiet Speech
Speaking in a small, soft voice reduces your personal power. Practice speaking with volume when you are alone.
2. Apologies
People tend to make frequent apologies without realizing it. It is fine to make a sincere apology for something, but excessive apologies where you assume inappropriate responsibility are unnecessary and may be annoying to others.
3. Self-Effacement
Another sign of non-assertion and low personal power is the ―I’m not sure if this makes sense, but…‖ self insult. Watch for the habit of prefacing your remarks with negative, self-discounting phrases.
4. Empty Adjectives and Superlatives
When you lace your language with frequent superlatives (―fabulous‖, ―outstanding‖, etc.), filler words that do not add anything (―just‖, ―really‖, etc.), or unnecessary qualifiers (―I’d sort of like to explain…‖) you lose communication power. The more directly you say what you mean, the more powerful your message becomes.
5. Tag Questions
Ending declarative statements with a tag question (―It’s crowded in here, isn’t it?‖) is often an indirect way of seeking approval from others. Speak for yourself with ―I‖ statements, and stop hedging with disqualifiers, apologies, tag questions, or appeals for verification.
6. Eye Contact
Failure to look your interviewer in the eye is a serious error in an interview. It is usually a sign of fear or timidity. Take notice of the interviewer’s reactions to your answers.

The On-Campus Interview

1. Preparation
• Mock interviews are a good idea
• Know your resume and be ready to expand on it
• Do some research on the firm and format a few intelligent questions to ask
– Make sure the questions are meaningful to you (i.e. things you want to know about the firm that are not apparent with simple research)
– Be able to change your questions during the interview
• Make sure to schedule in enough time—come early and allow 30-45 minutes for the interview
• Bring references and a clean resume
2. During the Interview
• First impressions are key – dress to impress!
• Have a firm handshake
• Have good eye contact
• Practice good listening
• Be clear and concise in your communication
• Ask questions!
3. Follow-up
• Always send a handwritten thank you note or a professional email

The Office Interview

1. Preparation
• Come prepared; same ideas as mentioned above
• Schedule enough time – plan for 4-5 hours with a meal
• Understand what you want to learn from the firm
• Know that you will be exposed to multiple people at all professional levels
• Bring a tablet (professional-looking notebook) with questions
• Expect both formal and informal presentations
2. During the Interview
• Don’t bring in drinks
• Have a firm handshake and good eye contact
• Be careful of your actions – don’t put a purse on the table or take off your suit coat in a professional setting
• Have high energy and show interest in the firm
• First impressions are key
• Never let your guard down – every minute of your time at the firm you are being evaluated
• Have fun – let them know you want to be there
• If there is a meal, exercise the best table manners possible
– If you’re a male, act like a gentleman (yes, you should open doors and pull out the chair of a female interviewer)
– Be careful what you order – nothing messy or that will get stuck in teeth
– Refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages and never have more than one if the situation calls for it
3. Follow-up
• Always send a handwritten thank you note or professional email
– Personalize the note for each interviewer
• If you really like the firm, let them know
• If you receive an offer, take time to make sure the firm you choose is the best fit for you
– Have continuous communication and let firms know where you are in your decision process
– If you need to know more about the firm in order to make a decision, ask
– If you decide to decline an offer, let the firm know ASAP, so they might extend an offer to someone else

Interview Tips

1. Dress professionally…always wear a suit to an interview!
2. Be on time, but not too early
• Arrive with enough time to prepare yourself for the interview
• Do not arrive more than 15 to 20 minutes early
• Allow time to get coffee, relax, etc. if needed
3. Research the occupation and firm before you go
• Develop intelligent questions
• Start with the internet…most firms have a website
4. Prepare questions you may want to ask during the interview
• Be flexible and ask questions that pertain to the interview
• Try to tailor your questions to what the interviewer has told you
5. Ask for a business card to obtain the accurate name, title, and address information of your interviewer
• If you don’t get this information, a quick call to the firm’s receptionist can clarify things
6. Follow up all interviews with a thank-you letter
• This can be professionally typed or hand-written
• Send a thank-you to each person who interviewed you, took you to lunch, etc.
• Do not send one thank-you to the entire group
7. Carry a professional-type folder which contains extra copies of your resume
• Most interviewers already have a copy of your resume in front of them, but bring more just in case