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A Grant Thornton Recruiter Explains How New Grads Can Tailor Their Resume For A Career In Accounting

Yana Marakhova
People & Culture Consultant, Attraction
Grant Thornton LLP

My name is Yana Marakhova and I’m a member of Grant Thornton’s recruitment team. I’ve been with the company for just under a year, and I’ve just completed my first CPA recruitment cycle.

The title on my business card is “People & Culture Consultant, Attraction.” It’s a fun title, and certainly a mouthful! So what do I do? Aside from recruiting, I do a lot of coaching, human resource consulting, onboarding, and employee relation management.

So far, I’ve enjoyed my time at Grant Thornton immensely, and I love the people I get to work with every single day. They are absolutely phenomenal! I chose to work here because of the amazing career opportunities – everyone has the chance to make a positive impact on the company. At the end of the day, we are all Business Advisors!

Grant Thornton gives students and new grads the opportunity to work with a variety of interesting and challenging clients. If you want to work with a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and fast-growing organization in a wide range of different industries, then I encourage you to check us out.

Here’s my advice for young professionals looking to pursue a successful career at Grant Thornton!

Finding your perfect fit

Now let’s talk about that magical, three letter word that every recruiter says over and over again: fit. What does it mean?

Essentially, this refers to how you “click” with the culture, approach to work, and your future colleagues.

What sets Grant Thornton professionals apart?
  • We have a genuine interest in understanding and helping others
  • We acknowledge the world we live in, and how it affects our business and our clients
  • We are proactive, and we react with agility
  • We embrace diversity for all its important benefits
  • We are active listeners – we keep an open mind and we ask tough questions
  • We are invested and engaged in the work that we do

To sum it up nicely, we are not your typical “bean counters!”

Crafting an interview-worthy resume

So what does it take to land a job and become a Grant Thornton professional? We are looking for well-rounded candidates who have challenged themselves in the past and focused on more than just academics. Of course, exceptional grades are a solid foundation, but there has to be more to you.

We are looking for candidates who can be great business advisors – people who can build strong relationships and help our clients unlock their potential for growth. I love seeing resumes filled with extra-curricular activities, diverse work experience, volunteer opportunities, and hobbies. If you can relate your previous experience to the position you’ve applied for, you’ll get major bonus points!

Common missteps

It is a well-known fact that CPA recruitment is very competitive – so you want to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward in your application. As a recruiter, the first thing I will read is your resume – that one piece of paper that you spent countless hours perfecting. And yet, we still encounter some common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Spelling and grammar errors

This type of common misstep shows a lack of care and makes your resume look sloppy. Plus, it is the complete opposite of ‘detail oriented’. To ensure your resume is error-free, read it out loud, get at least 3 other people to look it over, and put it aside for a day or two so you can revisit it with fresh eyes. You don’t want small mistakes to take away from all your hard work. Lastly, please make sure to spell Grant Thornton correctly – many applicants forget the second ‘n’ in ‘Thornton’!

Mistake #2: Cookie-cutter resumes

During CPA recruitment, we review hundreds of resumes. It’s very refreshing when you see and read one with a different style or layout. Resume templates are meant to give you some ideas as to how to structure and write your resume, but making it your own can give you a real edge. If your resume looks like a template and reads like one, you will blend in with the rest of the applicants. Let your personality shine through and grab the reader’s attention with its professional look and feel!

Mistake #3: Firm-specific lingo

Every firm has their own culture, and therefore, their own lingo. They also tend to have different names for their job titles so it’s crucial for candidates to tailor each cover letter and resume for each specific company. We can tell when you change the name of the firm in your application but keep the rest the same – and we can usually tell which firm the application was originally for. Carve out the time in your schedule to do your research, find out the differences between firms, and edit each application carefully. It shows care, dedication, and precision.

Final words of advice

Students often ask me what they should do to help their application stand out when applying to Grant Thornton. To answer this question, I usually do an exercise with the student. I ask them to tell me what they are passionate about (it can be about anything). As they start speaking, their whole demeanor changes – they become animated, their eyes light up, they smile, and they want others to share in their excitement.

It’s a simple question but it demonstrates the point. When I’m reading through your application, I want to see your passion about building your career at Grant Thornton and how you think we align with your interests, values, and goals.

At Grant Thornton, we are all about celebrating our people. So show us who you really are so we can celebrate you!

Want to work with Grant Thornton? Explore their amazing career opportunities here!