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If you've got it, flaunt it

By Donna Svei
August 3, 2011

Have you earned a credential that is well-respected in the accounting profession? If you have, be sure to put it right after your name at the top of your resume.


Four reasons:

1. If a job posting lists a credential as a must-have, or a nice-to-have, don’t make your readers look for it. Serve it up to them front and center.

2. When your reader knows you possess the credential they’re recruiting for, they’re more likely to read your entire resume rather than scan part or all of it.

3. When your readers know you have a desired credential, you set up a positive expectancy. They read your resume expecting to find other qualifications they’re looking for as well.

4. Your credential says: “I’m serious about my accounting career. I can set goals and achieve them. I have mastered a body of professional knowledge. I understand professional ethics.”

Finally, one caveat: List only one or two credentials after your name–those most relevant to the job at hand. Too many letters at the top of a resume makes a visual alphabet soup; not a professional impression. Share information about additional relevant credentials in the Education and/or Certifications section of your resume.

Donna Svei, CPA, CFE is an executive search consultant and resume writer. named her one of their “11 for 2011: Career Experts Who Can Help Your Job Search.” Donna blogs at You will find her on GooglePlus at and on LinkedIn at Donna can be reached at (208) 721-0131 or


I couldn't agree more, Donna. Not only is it smart to make sure you put relevant credentials on your resume, but if you've made substantial progress toward a credential, you should tout that as well. Something similar to "Passed 3 parts of the CPA exam" can be a helpful addition, especially for people without long work histories.


Posted by: nfapublishing | August 4, 2011 7:09 AM

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