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October 4, 2023


A humanoid robot mows grass with a lawn mower. Future concept with robotics and artificial intelligence. 3D rendering.

People Who Have No Problem Ghosting You For No Reason Suddenly Butthurt About AI-Assisted Cover Letters

Google Discover recently threw a Mashable article at me about using ChatGPT to help write cover letters and how HR professionals are apparently displeased by this so I figured let’s talk about it since some of you might be looking for a job in the coming months. The figures come from a report by tech-forward […]

Maury Povich Show screengrab

Lying on Your Résumé Paid Off For This Laid-Off Accountant

Insider has published a first-hand account from a 37-year-old who lost their job at the beginning of the pandemic when the accounting firm they were working for went under (side note: had to be one tiny firm or we would have heard about that no?). They did what most people did in that situation, enjoyed […]

This SVB Securities Exec’s Resume Reads Like a Wikipedia Page For 21st Century Accounting Trash Fires

The fallout from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank — the 16th largest bank in the country up until Friday — is only just beginning and while pundits and scribes at better publications than this one dutifully debate why it happened and what comes next, we’re here to point out the hilarious resume of SVB […]

a "you're hired" handshake

Advice on How to Get Hired at EY From the Vice Chair of Talent

Insider has published an ‘as-told-to- essay from EY Americas Vice Chair — Talent Ginnie Carlier in which she offers insight on what the firm is looking for from prospective hires. One takeaway: add a “personal purpose statement” to your résumé if it doesn’t already have one. This is not a bland objective — those have […]

6 Real-Life Embarrassing Accounting Résumé Mistakes You Never Want to Make

Writing your résumé is a big deal, wouldn’t you think? Especially if you really need a job to maintain your lavish lifestyle or keep your kid in video games. There are maybe a handful of things in life that you don’t want to screw up—think marriage proposal, your CPA exam, and, yep, a résumé is […]

Awkward office situation

Get Me the F*ck Out of Here: First Steps For Quitting Your Job In Public Accounting

A year ago, our contributor Megan Lewczyk (what the hell happened to her, anyway? Megan, send a smoke signal if you’re OK) wrote a field guide to quitting your job in public accounting. Unlike many of the articles we pour our hearts and souls into around here, it was well-received, and even after all this […]

resume public accounting

Are Résumés Obsolete in Public Accounting?

Okay, maybe not quite obsolete, but they absolutely should be. Résumés don’t convey much. Did you work Big 4 or not? Did you have a high GPA in college? They’re the only truly socially-acceptable way to brag about an award or study abroad experience. Beyond that, a résumé isn’t very helpful. You can tell by […]

accountants resume

Accountants’ Résumés Are the Worst

My name is John, I’m a recruiter and I have a résumé problem. I see lots of résumés from accountants. Less than a third are presentable. When the perfect candidate has a résumé that fails, I get cranky and I call to suggest a fix. Hiring managers don’t do that. Where to start? Résumé experts […]

Forget Putting Your CPA Exam Scores on a Résumé, Try Your SAT

I am willing to bet those of us who recall the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster as experienced through the eyes of Punky Brewster barely even remember our SAT scores. I can tell you my grandparents let me go to Madison that weekend to stay with friends before the test and I ended up staying up […]

Should You Put Your Home Address on Your Resume?

Came across this interesting bit on AvidCareerist via Lifehacker and thought it worth sharing with you all if for no other reason than to discuss: You might not have thought about it, but in-house recruiters know that people with long commutes have more stress and often eventually quit “because of the commute.” If you quit, […]

Going Concern Jobs Is Now at Your Service

Back in February we briefly let you in on a new venture that we were working on called Going Concern Jobs. While there had been many discussions here at GC about the opportunities around job boards and recruiting services, we hadn't consulted with the most important people in that process, and that would be you all, the readers of Going Concern. 

The Accountant’s Definitive Guide to Building a Successful Résumé

With recruiting season in full swing, it’s time to dust off your résumé and revamp it. If you are a staff member, chances are your résumé still lists you as being in college. That needs to change. Everything you need to know to put together a successful résumé can be found here. It’s important to remember […]

You Should Update Your Résumé Today

Yes, it's Wednesday, otherwise known to some of you as, "half way through a week that I have no days off," but what many people don't realize is that busy season is the perfect time to be updating your résumé. This post is more geared to be a gateway to productive commentary, so read and then […]

Four Ways to Explain Gaps in Your Resumé

Slow Monday, GC’ers? You’re damn right. Call up your buddies and make today Margarita Monday. What better way to prepare for Tequila Tuesday, amiright?

I received the following question in my inbox from a recently unemployed reader:

I was let go from my firm in the fall of 2009. I have since found a part-time job but am struggling to secure full-time work. I’m afraid that if I go too long without finding a new job that I’ll have a hard time explaining the gap in my resumé. What do you suggest?

My two Lincolns follow:

Part-time work is better than nothing – If you have ever been between jobs, you know that job searching is not a 9-5 ordeal. After the first few weeks of searching the Monster’s and CareerBuilder’s of the online world, one becomes very efficient in their respective search capabilities. Jobs are not filled in a first-come-first-served manner either, so it becomes a matter of searching new jobs (typically Monday and Friday are the most popular posting days) once a day to make sure you’re on top of the newest opportunities.

That said, you’ll find yourself with a lot of time during the days. Rather than catch up on your Netflix account, find yourself a part-time job or volunteer opportunity. It will keep your mind active, your spirits up, and even some extra change in your pocket. This also shows that maintaining a work ethic and staying professionally active is important to you

Update your resume on a regular basis – On the flip side of the online job market pool, employers know the last time you updated your resume. Revising your resume once a week will ensure that it remains near the top of searches. I’m not saying you should re-work your work experience every week; changing even the slightest detail is enough to register as an update in their system.

Be honest – Whatever you do, do not lie to your recruiter or the HR professional representing a potential job. In addition to background and credit checks, employment verification checks are becoming ever more popular. Don’t feel like you need to lie about when you lost your pervious job; you’re not the only person that has been affected by the recent recession. Which brings me to my last point.

You’re not alone – Sure, the recession has led to a saturated job market; employers understand this as they begin to re-hire individuals. Recent gaps in your resumé are not scarlet letters (like they would have been in 2007) for your chances of landing an interview.

Once that interview is secured, be honest and upfront about the missing time pieces in your work experience. And whatever you do, hit home the fact that you’re hoping a new role with ABC Inc. will lead to a successful future of stability and growth for both you and the company.

Accounting News Roundup: UBS Deal Back on Track; Allen Stanford’s Circus Causes Problems for Co-Defendants; Zynga Lands $147 Million | 06.15.10

Swiss Parliament Backs UBS Pact [WSJ]
After telling U.S. and IRS to drop dead last week, the lower House of Swiss Parliament has approved the deal to turn over 4,450 names as part of UBS’ settlement involving their assistance to taxpayers in the U.S. evade their obligations through offshore accounts.

There’s one small problem remaining – the lower house wants to put the agreement to a popular referendum while the upper house in parliament is opposed to the idea. The two have until Friday to reconcile their differences, otherwise another vote will be necessary to settle the referendum issue.

The problem with the referendum is that it could take months for happen and it could cause the Swiss to miss the August deadline that it agreed to. This could lead to fresh charges against UBS and further extending a story that pretty much everyone has grown tired of.

Stanford’s Co-Defendants Try to Flee the ‘Circus’ [DealBook]
Stanford’s Chief Investment Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller are all attempting to sever themselves from Al’s proceedings because he’s an absolute drama whore.

Former CIO Laura Pendergest-Holt’s motion to have her trial severed describes RAS’ conduct as ‘egregious and circus-like conduct,’ using the term “circus” at least eight times.

So while a circus is infinitely fun for the rest of us, it doesn’t really do co-conspirators any good when they are trying to get a fair trial.

Dealing With a Toxic Resumé [FINS]
How can you move past a job with a tax company like Stanford, Countrywide, Bear Stearns et al.? You might just want to GIVE UP (and that could be advisable if you were a perp) but there are some things you can do to wash away that taint on your resumé.

For starters don’t bad mouth the old company, even though they probably deserve it. Secondly, you might attach an addendum to your resumé in order to explain the whole sitch and you can always turn the situation into a positive by explaining how you’ve learned from working at such a lousy company.

Keep your chin up, you’ll be back to being a white collar working stiff in no time.

Duke boy dodges tax hazard [Tax Watchdog]
John Schneider, aka Bo Duke, and his wife owe California about $28,000 in back taxes. Turns out his old accountant left him ‘high and dry’ so he’s working it out with Arnie.

Zynga Receives $147 Million Investment From Japan’s Softbank [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
Memo to Farmville Haters: it’s here to stay and there will be more to come.

Accounting News Roundup: Why Did Power Integrations Fire Their CFO?; Spain Making ‘Sweeping Austerity Measures’; GM May Want GMAC Back | 05.12.10

Power Integrations fires chief financial officer [AP]
Not to worry Power Integrations investors, Bill Roeschlein’s firing “was not related to financial statements or regulatory issues,” according to the company. However, he is currently the “subject of a felony domestic assault criminal complaint filed in Missouri,” which he denies and naturally he will “defend himself vigorously.” Unfortunately, that might cut into the job search.

Spain joins euro zone austerity bandwagon [Reuters]
Spain has agreed to “sweeping austerity measures,” cutting civil service pay 5% and freezing it for 2011. The country will also cut approximately 13,000 public sector jobs.

Minority Owner Sues Cuban, Calls Mavericks ‘Insolvent’ [NYT]
Ross Perot, Jr. is suing SEC target Mark Cuban, accusing him of turning the Dallas Mavericks into a financial catastrophe. The Times reports, “Perot is seeking damages, the naming of a receiver to take over the team and the appointment of a forensic accountant to investigate its finances. Perot said that Cuban’s actions had diminished the value of his investment in the team and violated his and other minority owners’ rights.”

Cuban, as you might expect, isn’t impressed with Charts Boy, Jr.’s loserness. He wrote in an email to the Dallas Morning News, “There is no risk of insolvency. Everyone always has been and will be paid on time. Being in business with Ross Perot is one of the worst experiences of my business life. He could care less about Mavs fans. He could care less about winning.”

Failed Bomber’s Resume Fail [FINS]
Faisal Shazad’s resumé sucks.

Is G.M. Looking to Buy Back GMAC? [AP]
Sources say that GM is interested in buying back GMAC (now known as Ally Financial) “so they can offer more competitive lease and loan deals.” The U.S. Government currently owns 56% of GMAC and 61% of GM, who plans to announce its first quarter earnings next week.

Three Ways Accountants Can Use Performance Reviews to Polish Their Résumés

One of the complaints I oftentimes hear from my colleagues who begin the job search is, “I haven’t updated my resumé in (insert absurd amount of time here) years. I don’t have a clue where to begin.” Combine an outdated resumé with the fact that speaking highly of oneself without sounding pompous can be difficult at best, and it’s understandable why putting a resumé together is typically the biggest hurdle in committing to looking for a new job.

Today’s lesson in common sense – use what you’ve got. No, not those red pencils. I’m talking performance reviews.

For those of you who are KPMG Kampers, Down Towners and the GT shipmates, you should all have your performance reviews signed, sealed, and stamped with a rating. (Sources say that Uncle Ernie’s are ongoing; calls in to P. Dubs were met with a “We do not participate in surveys, sir.” So let us know where your processes stand). Here’s what you can do with your performance reviews when drafting a resumé:

Keep the technical – Remember how you’re constantly being reminded that you need to stay until making manager in order to develop your people skills? Or that rebuilding New Orleans makes you a well-rounded employee? No one cares. Okay, okay – people care, but these are not the skills that should dominate your resumé. Recruiters and their clients want to see technical marks. Talk about the FASBs you deal with; the financial products your banking client invests in; the material mistakes you uncovered. Anything soft skills related should be pushed towards the bottom of your bullet points.

Sell your resumé like you sell your peformance – It’s probably safe to assume that you spent more than 12 minutes on your performance reviews. For this reason and others, your performance reviews are a detailed, year-by-year, role-by-role account of your accomplishments. Scour through them next time you look at your resumé. Don’t be scared to brag on your resumé like you do in your reviews. If you’re not bragging, you’re selling yourself short. You have to be true to the work you’ve accomplished. With enough effort you’ll be able to understand where your strengths lie; working with your recruiter to understand how these experiences fit with target jobs is the next step.

Ask for feedback – The hardest thing to do is honestly capture your personality and experiences on a few pieces of paper. That said, no one knows you better than your peers. We all have former colleagues who have moved on to the private sector; seek their feedback. It’s one thing to have your significant other or a family member proofread your resumé (and you should seek this kind of advice), but unless your mother is a senior partner in the firm, there’s little feedback she can provide about the technical weight of your resumé. Seek the advice and critical eye of someone who worked with you. Most importantly, be open to criticism; it’s for your benefit.