Passed ALL but no experience

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    I recently passed all exams. However, I am a Non-Accounting/Non-related Major, and I don’t really have any related experiences.

    I receive almost no phone calls from any of the companies I had applied for. I have only received few calls from the recruiters, which I figured perhaps useless.

    1) Should I go to a Masters Program in Accountancy? Will it be awkward since I passed all the exams already? Will this make a big difference?

    2) Have you had any successful experience with the recruiters?

    3) How fast do most people get a job from the start of the job search?

    4) I prefer to work in Chicago… bad choice?

    5) When Job Requirement says “Accounting Major”, do they really mean Accounting Majors ONLY? or would a Non-Accounting Major CPA be OK?

    I’ve been applying here and there since the start of my CPA Review. NO LUCK for a year.

    Any advice?


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    I am in the same boat. I have a lot of experience, but haven't worked for someone else since 2000 (I was self-employed until 2009).

    Entry-level jobs say I am over-qualified, and experienced jobs don't think I am qualified enough. Then, when I got a temp job, I lost it because of bad credit.

    I am not desperate for a job, but it is annoying. Why did I do all of this if I am not going to be able to find a job anyway?

    BTW, I do have my Masters. That seems to make me overqualified, too.

    REG - 89
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    AUD - 81
    Used CPAexcel, Wiley Online Practice, and NINJA!


    1. With a master's you get access to on campus recruiting, which is the main way accounting students get hired. It gives you your best shot to get an entry level position, but you have to weigh the benefits versus more loans. Also, keep in mind that best shot does not mean you'll get an entry level job for sure.

    2. Not me personally. Recruiters can sometimes do some flaky things like tell you you're qualified then never call you back. The good ones are honest with you and try to form long lasting relationships. So in essence, it can be a crapshoot or you can try asking people you know for recommendations.

    3. It depends on many factors. There is no easy answer. Typically, the earlier you start while in school the better.

    4. Don't know anything about that area.

    5. Job postings always have the ideal qualifications. I wouldn't let it stop you from applying.

    If I were you, I'd spend as much time networking as possible. Look for networking groups in your area through linkedin or meetup. Something like 80% or more job openings are never posted due to networking.

    Mayo, BBA, Macc


    Hi go hang in there, you've completed the hardest part, passing the exam.

    1. I think you should go get some kind of real accounting degree. Most companies require it as a minimum,especially for entry level. So could be a bachelors even, then use the campus recruiting., just get a high gpa, and they will get you

    2. Recruiters are no good. They have the same positions that are already posted online. I feel all of them call you back for an interview just to get your former supervisors contact info so they can network ….if you think about it why would a company need a recruiter to find an entry level position? Maybe a manager- CFO, but not entry level…

    3. It's about your experience and qualifications, it can be next day or a few months. Totally varies on location too

    4. No idea about Chicago but it seems to be competitive…think of all the other exam passers who flock to these states to get a CPA without experience. Are you in Chicago now? A company would be hesitant to call anyone back who lives far away.

    5. Yes they mean accounting major. Each opening you see , they recieve like 800 or so applicants per opening, they don't have time to read them all so your application is getting filtered. CPA exam passed or license isn't a requirement for entry level…

    I'd suggest going back to school, so your resume doesn't get filtered and you can use on campus recruiting to network, join beta alpha psi /delta sigma pi too. Good luck and remember you did the hard part already! Lol at my cell phones autocomplete



    Just my .02 but I think that getting a Master's degree is a waste of money, especially if it's just for the campus recruiting piece.

    If your going to spend any money, it should be on the Linkedin premium version so you can email people directly without being connected to them. Once you have done that, begin emailing the recruiters for xyz companies in the area you want to be. Describe your situation and say how you would love to be considered etc. Most recruiters are on Linkedin and a lot of them send cold call emails themeselves when they are looking to hire management or senior associates, so the fact that they don't know you shouldn't be an issue.

    Second, get a list of the CPA firms in your area, which I believe you can get off of, and begin to start talking to these CPAs by getting career advice. A lot of CPAs have been in your shoes and would love to help out by sitting down over lunch, coffee, or a meeting. If you have an opportunity you might be able to volunteer your time, so that you can gain some of the experience needed for your license. Not to mention, it shows initiative on your resume.

    While I would love to tell you that these methods got me my dream job, it didn't but it did allow me an entry level position and the sufficient experience needed to get my license when I pass. Being a career changer into the accounting world was difficult due to the lack of campus recruiting and being in my thirties. By just knocking out some cold calling I was able to land my current job to get me started.

    FAR: 81
    REG: 85
    AUD: 73,71,83
    BEC: 82



    Hi, here is how I found my first CPA firm position (kinda long). Since I'm not the traditional candidate, it took me a couple of years. I am 40 years old and changed careers from something completely unrelated to accounting.

    I have a Master's degree in my other field but just went to one of the cheapest schools in the area to get an accounting certificate. I don't hold a bachelor's in accounting but have taken all the courses needed to sit for the CPA exam. On-campus recruiting was not available for certificate students so I was ineligible to try to get interviews/contacts that way.

    I couldn't get an accounting job after sending out 100 resumes, so I worked at H&R Block and after tax season, was laid off and received unemployment. The unemployment career center had a job fair with one of the local financial companies. I attended, was hired and worked in industry for 1 year. Still, I scoured ads all the time looking for a public accounting position.

    Finally I found a firm on my state's CPA job site that was looking for someone with the skills I had, so I applied and was hired. This place is very small and doesn't offer the best salary or benefits, but it was a foot in the door position for me and since no one else was interested in me, of course I accepted.

    Now that I have some experience, I've been sending out resumes to test the waters. None of the Big 4 or regional firms are interested in me, but I did get a call back and interview scheduled with a smaller mid sized firm.

    I know someone who got the same accounting certificate as me and she got a job at a Big 4. But she went to high school with someone who is now a manager there and got the job through the connection.

    I don't think there is just one way to get in, but it does take persistence!


    To ReneeNC: What did you mean by “bad credit”? and Did you get your Masters in Accountancy?

    To everyone who has replied to my posting:

    Thank you all for your thoughtful advices!

    Could you please tell me which city you are in, so that I could understand each of your opinions a little better?

    I live in Chicago, but I'm willing to relocate if I can get a good job.

    MORE Q's:

    OK.. let's assume I decided to go for a Masters program.(hope i could while working)

    I feel like Masters in Accountancy is sort of repeating what I have done for the CPA Review. But still, would this be the best area of study?

    What is the BEST combination with a CPA?

    -Masters in Taxation


    What do CPA/JD's do normally???


    -Masters in Finance

    I am willing to work 35-40 years from now.


    People aren't going to hire you just because you are a CPA MBA JD with a 4.0.

    I find degree and GPA matter less and less every year that passes.

    What matters is who you know, meeting very minimum requirements, and presenting yourself as someone who others can't live without.

    I literately have friends who were huge “frat boys” and a barely passing gpa who landed betters jobs / quicker than “library nerds” with 4.0 gpa because they knew tons of people and got along easily with interviewers making an impression.

    So will they hire a non-accounting major with a CPA? sure, thats up to you. What combination is best? depends what you make of it.

    If you do attend school for any of the above make sure you join every single club you can and attend them all. Networking is the most valuable thing you take from college, not the degree itself.


    I'll echo what the previous post said about more education. Honestly, if I were you I would make sure I've exhausted my current network to try and get a job. If you're not good at networking, then practice.

    However, if you do decide to go back to school make sure you understand that it's more for the connections you'll make and the recruiting opportunities while you're there. Keep your grades high, but other than that no one will care what kind of classes you take as long as 1.) you fit the minimum requirements for an interview, 2.) they like you, and 3.) You are eligible or have already taken the exam.

    In terms of minimum requirements, it's been said all over the internet but I'll list them as:

    -High grades (3.5+)

    -Community involvement or volunteering

    -Leadership position in an on-campus organization or plain membership (preferably accounting related)

    -Some kind of work experience (preferably related to accounting)

    -Make sure you take every chance to get to know/talk to recruiters, professors, and your classmates.

    You do those things and you'll have your pick of jobs to choose from assuming you have a semi social personality.

    As to your question on which Masters program to pursue, can you at least comment on what degree you currently have?


    Its not so much about GPAs if an employer considers anything about your school,it would probably be about what top notch school you attained your accounting or business related major from. Even then like some have mentioned, NETWORKING IS KEY!

    I know people to move up into management positions JUST because they talk with the “right” people. 😉 College is really great for that…

    Oh yes the degrees and certificates you get really depends on what YOU want to do. Depending on if you want to be a senior tax accountant or a CFO. To move up to “chief” positions, a MBA is pretty much a requirement but like I said and some others have said,networking can help you become an “exception” to the rule 😉


    I got the same problem. Passed CPA and PMP and nobody wants to call me in for interviews. No companies want to hire people without sufficient experience in accounting or project management.


    I think companies are only interested in people who went to “recognized” schools. It sucks!! :'(


    I disagree with most of the responses here, except for AccNewbieMom. The current business environment isn't about what you know or how qualified you are, but who you know. Yes you can get hired without having any “connections” or friends, yes you can get hired because you have a great resume. But, I bet most people that are hired today were hired due to networking of some sort. So, my advice is get to know people in the industry where you live. Linkedin is a great tool. If you are enrolled in a university for an undergrad or masters program, they should have something going on. Get out there and make some friends.


    I thought that having certain amount of hours in accounting was a prerequestite to taking the exam?

    I would recommend going back to school, because, like other said, it will give you an opportunity to network and use other recruiting resourses. I spent almost a year looking for a job (and that's with a really good GPA in accounting) and didn't find it untill I went back to school to take the required Ethics course.

    FAR - 85 November 2011
    AUD - 81 January 2012
    REG - 68 March 2012
    BEC - 86 April 2012
    REG - 92 July 2012


    Wow!!! this thread really makes me down!!

    As u can see from my profile,the only reason I am trying to pass CPA exam is coz am not able to get a job.But reading here its like:-((

    Am new to this place and i dont have any contacts as such in accounting field.So does that make it tough for me to get a job even if i manage to pass the exam:-(


    I would say it all depends on the city/area where you live. I live in South Florida, and have been lucky enough to get my resume through.

    If you cannot get a job in a big 4 gor for the Fortune 100 or 500, that will boost your resume as well.

    Done 😉
    Class of 2012!!!!
    Lots of prayers and hard work....

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