What if you don’t find an accounting job this fall?


For a full synopsis of these listener questions, have a listen to the podcast, for the people who love to read, see my responses below!

What do you do if you don’t get an accounting job this fall?

That depends on where you are in the process. If you’re a sophomore or junior, no worries. You need to evaluate why you didn’t get a position and build out those skills and parts of your resume to be more prepared next time around. If you’re a senior and going to grad school, you should be able to turn things around in your Masters program. Many people don’t know this but it’s possible to get a high GPA in a Master’s program and the recruiters will almost ignore your undergrad GPA (even if it’s below a 3.0, I’ve seen it!). If you have completed your final semester, and you still have not job, email me, I have a plan for you.

Is working for a Big Four firm really the best thing for your career?

No. It’s the best thing for some people. It amazed me how many people say that if you don’t start your career in the Big 4, it’s the end of the world, it’s not. Something like 90% of practicing CPA’s work for firms that have 10 people or less. The profession is made up of small CPA firms, not the Big 4.

That being said, the Big 4 is great if you want to work abroad with a multinational company, they offer that after just a few years of working there. It’s also great for people who want to work with public companies and eventually want to join some of the largest companies in the world. The name recognition is powerful if you think you need that, but most people don’t. While many people in the Big 4 are smart, many aren’t. You get the same mixed bag of crazies in the Big 4 than at any other company. I know some amazing people in the industry and many of whom we’ve had on this show who didn’t go Big 4 have done far far better than 99% of their Big 4 colleagues. Just ask yourself what type of work you would actually enjoy doing, and start working on that as soon as possible. If you spend 5 years in the Big 4 and you don’t want to do that in the long run, it’s 5 years you didn’t spend on your dream!

What do you do if you don’t want to do tax or audit but no industry positions will hire you without public accounting experience?

That’s just simply not true. Many many companies hire you without any public accounting experience and heck, you can even start your own bookkeeping practice these days which isn’t audit or tax.

There is a proven method for finding any job, and it doesn’t include applying for every position on Monster.com.

Here is what you do:

  1. Make a list of 20-30 companies in your area where you want to work
  2. Research the HR manager and controller (accounting manager or CFO will work as well) and find their email. Learn more about finding recruiters emails here.
  3. Write a stellar resume and cover letter in separate PDFs
  4. Send a professional email to both contacts at the company in separate emails, don’t CC the other contact
  5. Follow up with 2 emails and 2 phone calls to each party if possible
  6. Repeat this for all companies

Email me if you need help with this process at andrew@thebeancounter.com.

What’s your advice for improving your online presence and remaining professionals on LinkedIn and Facebook?

Start off on our page Building Your Online Presence with a free eBook on how to update LinkedIn. If you’re looking for a job at a medium or large public accounting firm, don’t worry too much about Facebook, but LinkedIn is huge! At the very least you need to have a page with:

  • A professional photo
  • Education experience
  • Job experience

How can you avoid senioritis after you secure a job?

It’s almost impossible! The truth is that GPA isn’t hugely important after your first job and if you’ve already nailed the first job you don’t really have to worry about GPA. That being said, they will look to make sure your GPA didn’t fall off a cliff so don’t go for straight C’s. Find something else that excites you, have you passed the CPA exam? Start that? What about finding an internship to get some experience in an office and earn some cash? Or as we mentioned earlier, you could start your own bookkeeping practice.


Email me at andrew@thebeancounter.com