I am a non-traditional student in that I earned a bachelor's degree in business in 2005 and went back to school a couple years ago to complete all of my requirements for accounting. I have recently passed the FAR section of the exam and am going to be taking the other three sections over the next couple of months.
Since I have already passed one section of the exam, I would like to start applying for jobs as soon as possible, but I am not sure if I should start now or wait until the busy season is over (in April or May, from what I understand?). Also, I live in a different state than the school I attended (I currently live in Minnesota) so I don't really have the advantage of being able to utilize the career office.
I would appreciate any feedback or advice. Thanks!
Thank you for your post!
Congratulations on passing the FAR section of the CPA Exam. And best of luck in the other three sections! It is never too early to start applying for jobs. There’s no perfect answer to your question but we do see that many CPA firms do a lot of their recruiting and hiring after tax season, (May is a good assumption) however; this does not mean that firms are not looking for good candidates year round. We’d recommend exploring the website of the CPA firm you would like to work for. Many firms will post available jobs on their website. Or you may find a contact number for their internal recruiter who can give you a better idea of their hiring patterns and if they are currently hiring. Make sure you’re ready with your elevator pitch in case they want to do an impromptu phone interview with you.
Since you’re in job search mode, take a look at the Career Tools section of ThisWayToCPA. Here you’ll find valuable information on topics such as; internships, resumes, interviewing and networking on your way to becoming a career CPA.
And if you’re ready to start enhancing your interview skills, try your hand at our Interview Simulation. Here you can walk through the interview process and respond as if you were really at the interview. You can also get interview tips from a former industry bigwig.
We wish you best of luck on your journey to CPA-hood. Don’t forget that we are always here to help you along the way!
From my experience, most firms recruit from colleges/universities between August and October for spring and summer internships. I don't know if the internship route is the way you are going, but all the firms that recruit at my school emphasize that they do most of their entry-level hiring from interns. I hope this helps.
I have recently applied to the top firms in the Chicago-land area; from the feedback that I am reading it looks like even for entry-level positions, which is what I am also looking at they are taking resumes and interviews in fall for positions for 2013.
Here is a little bit of the email I received:
Thank you for your email and for your interest in ....... We have filled all of our 2012 positions, but will begin recruiting for 2013 internships and entry-level positions this fall. We do require all candidates to apply through our website, so we encourage you to apply on ............
If you want to find work in Minnesota, join your State CPA society so you can start networking with other CPAs in person. It takes time to build relationships with other people, so if you want to be referred by one of your contacts in your State CPA society, you will need to have built a relationship with them in advance. Attend events and volunteer. I have yet to find any organization that had enough people volunteering to assist them with all the projects and committees they were running. Once people know you, they will be much more likely to remember you when they hear about opportunities.
Your State CPA society will also very likely have an employment support service.
Congratulations on passing the FAR! I just finished filling out my application for my NTS!
I agree with John Greene and FutureCPA82. When I have gone to my Universities Career Fair I have been told that they are usually looking in the Fall to hire in the Spring. Of course, that does not mean they do not hire year round, so I suggest you reach out to the firm(s) that you are interested in working for tell them your situation and let them know when you plan to pass your last exam. This will also show that you are interested in their company and not just waiting for a phone call from a recruiter.
Good luck! I hope you excel on the other 3 parts!
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