The public accounting recruiting guide 

If you have no idea where to start, read this.

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It’s never too early to get a handle on your personal finances. If you’ve ever wondered “How do I start saving for retirement?” or “How can I save to buy a house?” – follow this flowchart and you’ll be on your way to the life of your dreams. 


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Resume help

You can start with this format, and fill in your information: Resume Template

This Accounting Recruitment Guide from SDSU has both Undergraduate and Graduate resume templates.
Prioritize your CONTENT first! (Don’t spend hours deciding your font). 

  • Start with an Action Verb
  • Ideally, you should have minimum 1-2 bullets that SHOW rather than tell your interpersonal skills (collaborating, coordinating with teams, assisting clients, etc.)
  • Try to keep a bullet note to 1 line IF you can. Short and sweet is better!
  • Get your resume looked over by multiple people. Ask a Board Member, schedule an appt with Career Services, or ask a friend
  • Read your resume aloud to catch mistakes or grammatical mishaps 
  • Do NOT include home address information. Aside from being a privacy issue, it reflects poorly on candidates by making them appear careless with sensitive data. Mobile phone Number and general location (“San Diego, CA”) is fine for recruiting purposes. 
  • Most importantly: START EARLY! Do not edit your resume the night before a big deadline


Cover Letters

Career Builder Accounting Intern Sample

As with the resume, prioritize content over formatting.


  • I have had success simply starting with “Dear Hiring Manager,” and leaving out any of the address/phone number/fluff at the top. The address at the top is largely antiquated because we no longer send cover letters by mail. Don’t waste the time or space.
  • Good endings: “Sincerely, Your Name” or “Best regards, Your Name”.
  • A handwritten signature can be a good touch, but is not necessary.
  • Always use PDF. Trust me, .doc files will only mess up your formatting. 
  • Get it checked over by multiple people




  • Wear business professional attire even over Zoom! If you have doubts, leave it out or ask a knowledgeable friend or Board Member for advice 
  • Arrive 10-15 min early, this applies to in-person and virtual appointments.
  • Know the location of your interview ahead of time – drive there a few days before so the route is fresh in your memory
  • Know the basic firm facts. There’s a balance between researching the firm and being a history bot. For example, saying “I know Firm A was founded in 1989 by Mr. and Mrs. A.”  versus “I understand Firm A serves primarily tech clients, which piqued my interest because…” 
  • Interviews are conversations!  
  • Your interviewer is just a person.  
  • Have a firm handshake if in person.
  • Make eye contact
  • Prepare questions. It is acceptable to write them down on a notepad ahead of time. Depending on time, you may only get through 1-2 questions. 
  • You are interviewing the firm, as much as they are interviewing you. 
  • Have confidence. The fact that you were invited for an interview shows that they want to hire you.  
  • Remember to smile! 🙂 
  • Brush your teeth. Please. 


  • SDSU has partnered with Big Interview! This is an online virtual interview simulator that is completely FREE.
  • Download the program (Skype, HireVue, etc.) ahead of time and TEST to make sure it works
  • Let your roommates know when you are interviewing to ensure a quiet environment
  • Use the BAP virtual background or a white/neutral color background
  • Check your lighting. You want the light source to be BEHIND your laptop to avoid shadows on your face. Daylight works best; fluorescent lamps will cast you in a yellow glow.   
  • Borrow a high quality microphone from a friend if you can (most gamers will have decent microphones). 
  • Look at your webcam when you interview, NOT the screen. 
  • Remember to smile! 🙂


  • Interviews will be held on campus at Career Services in Student Services East 1200, unless otherwise stated
  • Arrive 10-15 min early 
  • There will be representatives of your interviewing firm in the waiting room. Typically, these are first-year associates and SDSU alum. Be sure to chat with them as you wait!
  • Engage in conversation with others who are waiting. (1) it helps you be less nervous and (2) it is very awkward for the interviewer to walk into a room with everyone on their phones. Trust me, they will appreciate you being proactive.
  • Remember to smile! 🙂


If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the VP of Communications or another Board member for advice or a mock interview session. Keep in mind we do have busy schedules, but we are here to help you!