A Counting School - Hardcore Chartered Accountancy

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CA Student recruiting dilemnas: Should I have a 1 or 2 page resume?

It's come to my attention that students at some schools are drilled into believing that the 1-page resume is where it's at, and they'd be fools to do otherwise.

This is, of course, complete and utter nonsense.

It's like being extremely hungry after hiking up a mountain and stopping at just one delicious burger, when there's a second one available, ready to sate your hunger.

 

Of course, that analogy can be painfuly stretched to answer the question, "so when should I stick to one page?"

The answer is simple: if you only have one page of valuable information to share, just stop there. In other words, if you're full after one burger, eating a second one would be silly.

If you lack part-time jobs, have very few extra-curricular activites, and otherwise have a very "skimpy" resume, then one page is of course more than enough.

People asking me this question, however, are typically applying for a job at a Big 4 firm where they'll typically become a CA or CPA student.

The competition for openings is fierce. Yes, you'll normally need to score some strong referrals - even if they're from the recruiters you meet at the September recruiting events.

But those won't take you very far if your cover letter and resume are both weak. If you're considering cutting out a section of accomplishments and skills to avoid going past the one page mark, don't. Include it. Remember to catalogue all the Good Things you've been doing, either as personal development or for the Benefit of Society. These are things you'll want to include on your resume - unless you write something insane, it'll be to your benefit.

We'll get into a bit more detail on these recruiting topics in the next post.

Comments

Kelkel said:

Do you see multi-page resumes much in recruiting at your office?

I'm in the U.S., so of course, it's different, but our advisers at University stressed very much the need to keep our resumes to one page, no matter what.

Of course, they also told us we had to use our university email addresses, which I have since heard several professors vehemently oppose.

# October 19, 2010 8:45 PM

Krupo said:

I've seen many multi-page resumes. 2 pages is almost standard. You'd probably see that different universities follow their own schemes depending on who is "in charge" of setting the local ideology. If you have an awesome design or can elegantly compact it all into one page, that's fine.

But I would never cut good stuff out merely to fit the entire resume into one page - I consider that silly.

# October 25, 2010 4:28 AM