Exams passed but still no job.

This topic contains 81 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  sums 6 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #157516

    Poptard
    Participant

    Hello everyone.

    I graduated with a MBA in August (3.9 GPA). Since then, I have been taking the CPA exams. I only have FAR left, and it is scheduled for April 2. While in school and studying, I have been applying for jobs in accounting. I have been trying to get a job in accounting for a year and a half. I have applied to internships, entry level positions, and a few senior level positions. Yet, none of them will hire me because I do not have experience. Even with having the exams nearly complete, I am getting nowhere.

    The sad thing is that I have been working for this company for the past two years. Last month I applied for an entry level accounting position with them, and they turned me down because I don’t have any experience. Yesterday, I get a call from my boss offering me a position (not in accounting) that pays over 50K. I would have accepted 30K for the accounting position.

    Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong here. I have applied for Public, Industry, and Non-Profit positions.

    #227760

    PursuitCPA
    Participant

    you have a job that pays =) keep it

    #227761

    Dale
    Participant

    There are so many people out of work right now that every job has tons of experienced applicants. It probably isn’t anything with you so much as the overall nature of the job market right now. At my office we are getting applications for entry level positions that we don’t have posted and are not hiring for by people with 15+ years experience.

    #227762

    financeguy
    Participant

    yeah, like pursuit said. Take the 50K job man. Lots of turmoil up ahead. I would get while the getting is good.

    #227763

    wetbandits
    Participant

    as long as you aren’t in a state where you are required to get your experience requirement completed within a year or so, I would take the highest paying job that you can find. why settle for public accounting or accounting jobs if you can get a lot more elsewhere? you can always take the highest paying job now and then if you decide that you need the accounting experience to complete your licensing then, you could go back when this most recent bad employment wave is over. in a couple years hiring at the public accounting firms will pick back up

    #227764

    zena
    Participant

    Poptard, I’m in the exact same situation. I finished my Master in Accounting and Finance last month and I just passed the CPA exam. I am getting absolutely no responses from the accounting jobs I’ve applied for (including part-time and temporary clerks positions) because they all require some experience and even if I tell them I can come up to speed quickly, it doesn’t seem to matter. I have interviewed with only one company for a cost accountant position and the only reason I think they picked me is because of my previous data and information (excel, access, etc) experience I had at my software engineer job. Ironically, this position has a pay range of 50K to 81K (and great benefits to boot). If they offer it to me, I think I’ll take it just to get my foot in the door and figure out some other way to get my 1 year of experience in the next 5 years. It’s just crazy. I know there are quite a few jobs out there, I applied for 5 to 7 each week, but I guess there must be that many more experienced applicants as well. And, of course, this is a bad time for public accounting to hire…busy season and all. Good luck to you!

    #227765

    CPAwhoME
    Participant

    Zena What state are you in?

    #227766

    PursuitCPA
    Participant

    Zena you are not exactly in the same situation. Poptard has the job already. =) again keep your 50K job or you will regret it

    #227767

    NJTProadwarrior
    Participant

    Exactly.. I’d stay with the $50k job, …

    I just passed the exam, three days ago or so to be exact, and am working on my resume and getting myself up to speed with all the firms in the Northern-Central NJ area (anything above 195 and pref. within 287) and NYC (I’d rather not work there, but will 100%). I will also leave the state if I have to…

    Currently,I work in the IT field as a computer operator in a Fortune 1000 company, it pays the bills,,, but I want to get out of there ASAP,I definitely want to utilize my education and the experience with the exam and get on with life. However, as many of you folks said, everyone wants experience in accounting, to which I don’t have much of any, though I do have some experience that parallels what I have heard from people on this board and other boards and my friends have gone through in public audit…

    The questions I have:

    1) Should I wait until tax season is over to start applying to mid-large regional firms?? I know the Big-4 is may be a little out of my league, but I will send them my resume just to see what comes out of it.

    2) Does anyone know of any resume preparers/reviewers who are based out of the Northern NJ area who specialize in the accounting arena?

    #227768

    wetbandits
    Participant

    NJT – the best way to get into Big 4 and the mid-tier firms is to no someone… if you know anyone that works at one of the firms get them to refer you. Referrals have a higher success rate than simply applying with a resume

    if you are thinking tax, i agree it probably makes sense to wait until after tax season is over. however, if you are considering audit, busy season is over for most (although “busy” season is somewhat of a silly term since it’s busy most of the year) and IT/Advisary audits positions are also a possibility since you have previous IT experience and they typcially have a busy season that ends in December.

    Best of luck and congratulations on passing these exams — I’m still waiting on my scores for FAR and BEC

    #227769

    zena
    Participant

    Well, that’s true, I don’t have any offers yet.

    I’m in CO.

    #227770

    PursuitCPA
    Participant

    Unfortunately, NJ, Pa, and NY are getting slammed right now. It may be really tough to get in anywhere right now unless you meet the right person. I have been looking for a new job for a year in the area and giving up on it now to study. I still see the same lame recruiters and jobs I saw 6-8 months ago.

    #227771

    sums
    Participant

    Its is really scary to see people not finding jobs even after completing the exams . I was hoping, having the test done will have better chances. I have a decent audit experience of abour 16 moths ,but I havent found a job yet ,its half a year that I ‘ve been looking .So, I was hoping CPA + some experience would help …

    I am planning to have my resume written professionally,if it works .But now I am not sure if I want to spend so much money to be in no good situation …

    #227772

    NJTProadwarrior
    Participant

    Thank you for your insights wetbandits and for the congratulations : ) hmmm.. its going to be tough esp. with my circle whom consists of cops and nurses and my coworkers in the IT field…

    Pursuit, are you in the Central/Northern NJ area??

    And if anyone can provide insight??

    Cumulative GPA : 3.14

    Accounting GPA : 3.50 (Consisting of ONLY accounting courses)

    Major GPA : 3.30 ( Lower because of Business Law)

    Obviously displaying accounting GPA would be preferable, but would this be okay, is this common/acceptable ?

    Thank You

    #227773

    NJTProadwarrior
    Participant

    I was thinking about that too sums, but at $295 a crack?!?!!!

    #227774

    PursuitCPA
    Participant

    I dont think GPA Matters anymore the job market is so flooded out there. Its really subjective now…For instance if the partner graduated from your University as a fellow alumni

    #227775

    dwadecpa
    Participant

    PursuitCPA – I am very sorry to hear about your misfortune and bad luck with the job market. I know many people having a tough time finding a job, and must be even more frustrating as a prospective CPA – you should certainly have an edge on other applicants. With that said, I don’t think any of your comments really help – I don’t remember reading one positive thing from you. Some of your posts are just ridiculous and deflating. Of course GPA matters. There’s less jobs to fill, but that has no correlation to what they look for in candidates. When did companies stop looking at GPAs?

    #227776

    PursuitCPA
    Participant

    I had an interview with a fortune 500 company 1 month ago. I have a low GPA. I got it because I know the right people. They stopped looking when this job market got so flooded. Don’t you notice only Recruiting firms posting and jobs for 2-3 yrs even 7-10 yrs of experience.

    Sorry to give you the grim reality. I am just trying to keep it real, I don’t mean to DEFLATE Anyone at all.

    #227777

    dwadecpa
    Participant

    If anything, GPA matters more. Fewer jobs means they must be more selective. Same thing with your opinion on recruiters and staffing firms. If one is looking for a job, it’s more critical than ever given the circumstances of the economy to utilize every possible resource. Thinking recruiters and staffing firms (and GPAs) are a waste of time is not an attitude one can have right now. It may seem that way given the unsuccessful results you’ve had (again, a product of the economy), but recruiters/staffing firms / GPAs are not any different now than they would be if the economy was good. It’s just harder to find a job, and that’s the only reality about it.

    #227778

    PursuitCPA
    Participant

    I am not the only one. tell that to my whole 2009 graduating class who are looking into different fields such as ups drivers. I have been on more interviews than anyone can count. I know the game out there. I was lucky to land 2 offers in 2008 and work for 1 yr before the collapse. This is why GPA is subjective in my opinion. It might matter to the big 4 or fortune 500 companies but not in all cases.

    Again sorry for being a downer.

    #227779

    sums
    Participant

    So can we have some success stories through staffing firms/recruiters,professional resume writers etc..Somebody who found a job in this critical time? Can somebody share their strategy on finding a job ?Maybe we can follow the footsteps and get lucky …Help is all we need here .Time is tough and its OK to have divided thoughts ..no one is absolutely right or wrong ..

    #227780

    Poptard
    Participant

    First of all, I want to say that I am very impressed with the number of responses that this thread has had.

    Second, I may have a solution.

    Yesterday, I contacted some accounting firms in my area. I spoke with the managers, and I told them my situation.

    I asked them if they would be willing for me to work for them on a part time basis with no pay in exchange for experience.

    The first firm that I contacted, said that they would be willing to do that, and that they have a CPA who is retiring and that it may be possible for me to fill their position. Other accounting firms that I called were interested in the proposal as well. The economy is beginning to rebound. If you can prove your worth (and can afford to do so), you may just be able to get a head start when they start hiring. If this seems like something that you are interested in, I would recommend contacting the smaller firms, local to regional. I wouldn’t try it with the larger firms.

    I came to this thought after applying for well over 1000 jobs in the last year and a half. It may not be for everyone.

    #227781

    NJTProadwarrior
    Participant

    No problem PursuitCPA,, it is pretty grim out there, but obviously the key is strategizing,, recently my company had layoffs of 25% and i’m unsure of what to expect in the next month or even the next week I do appreciate the suggestion to look for firms with alumni and will be scrutinizing profiles on websites…

    #227782

    NJTProadwarrior
    Participant

    idk poptard,,, i’m sure you’re going to get plenty of colourful responses… there’s really no way I could and many other people work for free part time …. I also strongly ask them to pay you minimum wage so its at least legal paid experience unless its okay by the board of accountancy to do otherwise bc you might be classified as a volunteer?? … imho

    #227783

    JM2010FL
    Participant

    In todays job market, one has to think “out-of-the-box”…….blasting your resume all over the place doesn’t work and most likely cheapens you…..

    There’s alot of things one can do that is different than the average job seeker…….- Like showing up to say, as example, Sony Corp head quarters in NJ and asking to speak with the human resources manager for a quick 5 min chat and explaining to that person that you are looking for temporary consulting work and briefly discuss your qualification and give your resume….if done right, HR will be impressed with you. Furthermore, Corps aren’t really hiring, but they are sure using temps….especially in finance

    The truth is we are all salesmen….

    GPA is not really important, unless that’s all you got to show…..

    Pursuit, practice changing your attitude and build positive energy, stop creating negative engergy, even if you are right in general, you can change your specific circumstances with the right energy ……….

    Next tip, make sure you are up to date in your accounting softwares/are you certified in any of them…

    Next tip, make business cards start a business and put your REG skills to use and start doing taxes…

    Next tip, start your own practice…..it’s really cheap and you at least look important

    Next tip, network…get out of your houses…

    ect….

    #227784

    financeguy
    Participant
    #227785

    sums
    Participant

    I am in California ,I should definitely move !!

    #227786

    financeguy
    Participant

    I’m in CA too, luckily I’m in employed. I definitely feel for those out hard looking for employment.

    #227787

    financeguy
    Participant

    http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2129-Consequences-Of-Health-Care-Valuations.html

    the health care plan is definitely going to hurt employment.

    #227788

    Dale
    Participant

    GPA is important for those coming right out of college with no work experience. The only job I’ve ever been asked about my GPA was for a call center I was applying to when working through my first two years of college.

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