22 Reasons You Won’t Find An Accounting Job This Fall

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I get emails every day.

Often times of disaster stories.

I help repair those disasters.

I decided that to try and help many of your prevent one of these disasters, I would put together a list of 22 reasons why you won’t find a job this fall.

Take this as a fair warning and a cheat sheet for what you need to do to get prepared!

1. Un-organized resume

A resumes that doesn’t touch on the key points recruiters care about means you are in for disasters.

Without a solid resume, you’ll never get an interview. And you’ll never get a job.

Get started by watching this short video where I critique and repair an accounting resume.

2. Didn’t research the company

One of the funniest stories I ever heard was from a Deloitte recruiter.

She said they got on the phone with a recruit and he said, “I have always wanted to work for “Delo-eet”. He completely mispronounced the name of the company right out of the gates.

Imagine if he did that to a client?

Obviously that put a significant mark against him.

Before the career fair and especially any interviews, make sure you check out the companies website and social media accounts.

3. Showed up in casual or business casual

Dress is tricky. When in doubt – ask.

Nowadays accounting firms hold all types of events for recruits.

Socials, leadership conferences, one-day summits, interviews, career, fairs, meet the firms, office visit, you name it!

If it doesn’t specifically state what the dress is, please – ASK!

4. Didn’t go to the career fair

I hear from people who just graduated and for all four or five years, they never attended a single career fair.

WHAT?!

That. Is. Madness.

I know it’s stressful and you are worried. But you have to face that fear.

If you don’t attend the career fairs starting at the very latest in Junior year, you are putting yourself at serious risk.

See my Guide to Career Fairs to ease your worries.

5. Lied in your interview

While you can normally get away with this, sometimes you can’t.

Lie about your GPA – they may ask for transcripts.

Lie about a job – they may ask for references.

Lie about an organization – they may have campus contacts who know you lied.

Lying is just too risky to even mess with. Keep it honest.

6. Low GPA with no reason

Heck, even I had a low GPA.

PwC said their minimum was 3.4 and I had a 3.23.

I got a summer leadership conference, internship, and full-time position.

Why?

I was working 3-4 jobs at any point in time, paying for my own education, and President of Beta Alpha Psi.

I was busy!

If you haven’t done anything, have no familial, personal, or health issues and have a low GPA…. you’re in trouble.

If you have a low GPA, make sure you have a reason.

Related:  I saw another student had a 3.99 GPA. Mine was 3.23, I thought it was over. I got the internship, he didn’t. 

7. Didn’t join Beta Alpha Psi

Unless it’s not on your campus, you need to join.

There are so many job opportunities by just being a member.

Becoming an officer basically guarantees your a job with one of the top firms.

There’s nothing else to say, just do it!

See active BAP Chapters.

8. Didn’t ask questions in the interview

At the end of the interview, the interviewer almost always asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”

If you don’t rattle off at a minimum 3, it’s a red flag.

This is your career!

Aren’t you curious about what you’ll be doing for the next 2-10-20-30 years!

I detail out some great questions in my interview eBook.

9. Lacked enthusiasm

I’ve talked about this before. I had a friend who I was told by the recruiter at PwC had an offer.

But in the very last interview… and the lunch after… people said he didn’t seem like he wanted to be there.

When I asked him what happened, he said, “I felt like I knew everything I needed to at that point. I felt like it was a done deal so I just relaxed”.

He didn’t get the job.

You have to be pumped until the last second if you want to ensure you get that final offer!

10. Talked poorly about others

Many times the recruiters and employees at the company know people all across the industry.

They know people at other firms.

People on campus.

And people in the same city.

If you say, “Oh man, Jimmy Williams is so annoying, I can’t stand him”.

Well maybe someone there is friends with Jimmy.

Or maybe dating him… Ya, I’ve seen that happen.

Save your hatred for others for your anonymous twitter account, this is not the right time.

11. Only applied to 5 companies

Even if you have the very best plan in your job search, 5 companies just isn’t enough.

In my course, “How To Find Any Accounting Job in 3 Months or Less“, I recommend at least 15 but I prefer 25 companies.

It’s a numbers game and you need to make the numbers work in your favor.

12.Rude to your professors

Right or wrong, at many University professors have a lot of say in hiring.

Often times, professors are some of the best contacts for recruiters to get the inside scoop on people’s attitudes, how they work in groups, and whether they would be a good addition to the firm.

The firms literally pick up the phone and call to get information on an individual.

If they called about you, what would they hear?

13. Didn’t send follow up emails

After you meet someone at a career fair or other recruiting event, follow up.

Ask for their business card and send a brief email.

Something like this:

Brian,

Good morning!

It was great meeting you last night at the bowling social. I appreciate you sharing more about your experience working for different hospitals across the state.

I hope we can stay in touch and I look forward to seeing you again at the career fair.

Best regards,

Andrew Argue

14. Didn’t smile in the phone interview

Phone interviews are tough.

How can you show you are excited and enthusiastic if they can’t see you?

I share a little secret and more in this short video.

Hint: Smile while you’re on the phone.

15. Weren’t clear on your office preference

Recruiters like people who have a plan.

They like people that know where they want to work.

Surprisingly, one of the worst things you can say is, “I’ll work anywhere”.

They’ve been burned too many times. They send you to South Dakota and you’re miserable.

They actually prefer that you have 1-2 cities where you want to work.

If you’ve made the choice, you are much more likely to be there for years, and they like that.

16. Aren’t clear on audit or tax

You better get clear quick.

Even if you don’t know, it’s best to pick one.

Especially for the larger accounting firms.

Luckily, I’ve got this article to get you going…

tax-audit

How to pick audit or tax?

17. Don’t have a plan to become a CPA

Almost all accounting firms and private companies want to see you moving towards a CPA license.

You don’t have to have a CPA before you start, but you have to have a plan and complete your 150 credit hours.

Nothing is worse then the recruiter asking, “When will you complete your 150 credit hours?”

Then you say, “150 credit hours for what?”.

Learn more about the CPA Exam Requirements here.

18. Didn’t make a cover letter when asked

If a cover letter is required, you have to do it.

Now that I think of it, if anything is required, you have to do it!

It should be that easy, but sometimes ya’ll forget!

19. Didn’t practice with Mock Interviews

Preparing for an interview is the only way to make it successful.

There are no classes on interviewing in high school or college.

If you don’t seek out the experience of practicing for an interview, where will you find it?

You can grab a friend, roommate, or family member and give them these 28 accounting interview questions.

Then do it again.

And then again.

I tell people to do at least 3 mock interviews before their first serious interview.

Oh, by the way – mock interviews with actual accounting firms aren’t “mock”, they are real and you need to be prepared before that!

20. Resume is 2 pages long

This is unacceptable. Period.

I have covered this so many times and been publicly backed up by dozens of recruiters.

Your resume should not be longer than 1-page.

21. Only spoke to Partners and ignored first years

Yes, Partners run the firm.

But during the recruiting process, they take input from everyone.

If one person, even an intern mentions they had a bad experience with someone, it can take even the best person right off the list.

When you are attending career fairs or other firm events, treat the staff, interns, and HR with the same respect you give to the partners and you’ll have nothing to worry about!

22. Used fouled language

I was a greeter at a PwC interview once I had been working there for a while.

One candidate walked out of the interview room and said to me (in front of HR):

“Hey, you look like that guy fro Step Brothers. Ya, that asshole guy.”

After that moment, he was gone.

Do you have any other reasons why you weren’t hired in the past?

I’d love to know in the comments below!

  • Ashley Johnson

    So there really is no accounting shortage huh? If there really was excess demand for accountants, there wouldn’t be such a high barrier to entry. Employers would have no choice but to settle for less than God. Word of advice save your money and sanity and choose a different career.

  • impaler

    Completely agree with Ashley. Choose a different career. You will be expected to be god with extremely specific experience, masters, and guess what…no overtime pay for those 50-60 hours you’ll be putting in.

    Also recruiters make it near impossible for you to get a job by not submitting your resume in the first place with themselves being people unqualified for anything about accounting, to pass a judgement about you, what you know and make a recommendation that you don’t fit because of prior experience, pay, age, aren’t enthusiastic enough, degree, cpa, progression, field of experience, managerial experience, specific software experience…etc til the end of time. They are just making it impossible for people. Companies really need to drop the recruiters aka corporate leeches, start directly hiring again, and provide on the job training.