How to Write a CPA Candidate Resume

writing a cpa candidate resume

If you’re looking for work while pursuing the CPA license, you can use your licensure progress to your advantage as a job applicant. No matter where you are in the process, it’s important to demonstrate to future employers that you’re committed to earning the CPA. You’re doing it so you can get a better job, but you may be able to get that job before you actually complete the CPA requirements. You just need to learn how to write a CPA candidate resume.

Tips for Writing a CPA Candidate Resume

Again, you should definitely communicate the fact that you’re going after the CPA license somewhere in your resume. This information can make you very attractive to companies, so you don’t want to miss on out on this chance to market yourself better. Leaving it off and hoping it will come up in the interview could cost you the chance to get the interview at all. Plan to include it and follow these tips to do so.

  1. Use your CPA status to tell the story of your career

    The best way to decide where in your resume you should include the information about your CPA status is to determine the story you are trying to tell with your resume and how your pursuit of the CPA enhances your story. If you’ve been an accountant for years now but would like to pursue one of the many CPA career options, putting your exam progress in a notable spot is a beneficial move. If you’re trying to land your first accounting job and don’t have a lot of work experience but have passed all or most of the CPA Exam, you’ll want to highlight your exam success specifically. Giving your CPA Exam experience the spotlight is also a good idea if you’re a student looking for an accounting internship who has already passed a sections or two and planned for the remaining sections.

  2. Put your CPA Exam progress in the most applicable spot.

    If your research of the position you desire proves that your history with the CPA could really set your resume apart, you should insert a section called “Certifications” near the top of your resume and detail how much of the CPA Exam and licensure process you’ve completed so far. This section is even more essential if and when you have other certifications to add to it.

  3. If you know that the company to which you’re applying really prizes the CPA, you should mention your certification progress in your profile, objective statement, or summary statement as well so it catches the eye of the company right away. You can even include it in your cover letter if your potential employer requires one.

    If something other than the achievement of passing the CPA Exam is your greatest career strength, you can still include a Certifications section in your resume, but you’ll probably want to move it farther down the page. If you don’t have room to make a new section, you can add your CPA Exam status to your Professional Development section or to the Education section along with your degree(s).

  1. Be specific about your exam and licensure success.

    If you have just started the exam process and scheduled your first testing appointment, you should provide your CPA candidate context under the Professional Development or Education section of your resume. You should also feature the date on which you’re sitting for your first section, so that area of your resume would look something like this:

    • Candidate for the Uniform CPA Exam, testing appointment for FAR scheduled for 1/14/2017

    If you’ve already passed a few sections, you should state which sections you’ve passed and still include the dates of any testing appointments you’ve scheduled for the remaining sections. You could include bullets like this:

    • Candidate for the Uniform CPA Exam
      • Passed AUD and FAR
      • Testing appointment for BEC scheduled for 11/29/2017

    You do not need to detail your scores for passed sections, as doing so is not guaranteed to help your case before the company. However, as the sections you’ve passed verify that you have a particular set of skills, you could list those with your other skills as well.

    Perhaps you’ve discovered the benefits of taking the CPA Exam as a student and are now trying to break in to the industry as a recent graduate with four passed exam sections under your belt. You’ve met the education requirement but haven’t finished the experience requirement, so you can format an entry under your Certifications section like this:

    • Candidate for the Uniform CPA Exam
      • Completed all four sections of the CPA Exam in September 2017
      • Completed education requirement of 150 credit hours
      • Experience requirement in progress

    If you’ve already passed the exam, you should definitely point it out even if you haven’t finished securing the license because employers will find that pretty impressive. However, you should not place the letters CPA behind your name until you’re officially licensed because that is illegal.

    As an accountant trying to jumpstart your career at a new place with a new title, you can list how many of the exam sections you’ve passed and all the other CPA requirements you’ve fulfilled as well. Your resume items could look like this:

    • Candidate for the Uniform CPA Exam
      • Passed FAR, AUD, and BEC
      • Testing appointment for REG scheduled for 1/8/2018
      • Completed education requirement of 150 credit hours
      • Completed experience requirement of two years

Review for Passing the CPA Exam

Once you get a sense of how awesome it will feel to write “CPA” behind your last name on your resume, you’ll want to pass the CPA Exam as soon as possible. The best way to study for the exam is to rely on the CPA review that prepares you to pass better than anything else. Gleim CPA Review features SmartAdaptTM technology that enables you to study effectively and pass efficiently by constantly zeroing in on your weak areas and keeping previous topics fresh to ensure mastery. When you review with Gleim CPA Review, you’ll develop the confidence you need to pass each exam section the first time. Learn more about this powerful, adaptive CPA review by accessing our free CPA course demo today.