Make a Lasting Impression: What Firms are Looking for When Hiring

| 7/1/2022

As a student with little experience, you may not be aware of the skills and attributes firms are looking for when hiring. The Crowe MacKay recruitment team shares eight skillsets that will put your resume at the top of the pile when applying for jobs.

Skills Firms Look For

Crowe MacKay Accounting Student Opportunities

Communication and interpersonal skills

Client relations in the industry is extremely important for business, making communication and relationship building skills an important attribute to recruiting accounting firms. From phone calls, gathering information, and sharing complex financial information, accountants must be clear, concise, and approachable in order to ensure clients have a positive experience.

Analytical thinking

Problem-solving and making rational conclusions are skillsets students should bring to the table. “Crunching-numbers” is the main duty of an accountant and students should have the capability to use analytical thinking to determine the appropriate course of action.
Crowe MacKay Accounting Student Opportunities

Leadership and initiative

To many firms, leadership and initiative demonstrate a student’s ability to manage responsibilities as well as step up to challenges. Those who manage a club, organize events, or have created a group show that they have leadership and initiative.

Maturity and professionalism

Clients of all accounting businesses, small or large, trust their advisors in making sound financial decisions on their behalf; therefore, accounting students who are mature and exude professionalism will stand out in the recruitment process. Proper business acumen shows a student's competencies beyond accounting and their ability to interact with clients in a respectable manner.
Students Collaborating

Time management

With the extreme fluctuation of workload, projects that are deadline driven, or files that need to go through multiple hands, time management skills are vital in making operations run smoothly. A perfect example is tax season or, as the industry likes to call it, busy season.

During busy season, the ability to manage time in an effective manner is the difference between keeping the system flowing and creating a bottleneck, bringing operations to a stand-still. Demonstrating one’s ability to manage time is a highly valued skill sought after by firms.


Accounting firms are built on teamwork. Whether you’re calling the audit department or your tax team with questions or working on a project that must travel up the talent pipeline for completion, being engaged with everyone in the organization makes for a job well-done.

At Crowe MacKay, our team supports one another in order to deliver an exceptional client experience, utilizing a standardized mentorship training program. The program ensures students, and all other levels of staff, receive relevant experience and support from fellow colleagues in order to learn and excel in their career.


Academic ability

Demonstrating a high-degree of academic success can be pivotal in standing out from the crowd. Academic results demonstrate your understanding of the accounting process as well as the skills required to be a effective team member once hired. High academics is also a good predictor that a student will find future success when writing their Common Final Exam (CFE).

Passion and drive to succeed

Grades alone do not make a candidate successful. A passion for the practice and to succeed in their career is also extremely important.

Some firms, including Crowe MacKay, hire students with the intention of offering them full-time employment after their studies are complete. Passion and drive let a firm know that a student is willing to put in the work and improve their skills, making them worth the investment.

Alignment with core values

Many firms have a strong set of values. As students begin their application process, they should note their prospective firm’s mission, vision, and set of beliefs. Aligning with a firm’s core values is important, not only for your fit with the organization, but also your long-term happiness. Some firms may focus heavily on big business and take a corporate approach, while others may be more community-focused and driven by an entrepreneurial spirit.

The best way to learn about what’s important to a firm is to do your research; explore their website and social media to get a better understanding, but then be sure to ask the professionals you meet at recruiting events and in interviews to share their experiences. Questions like “describe your organizational culture in three words” or “how does the firm make you feel valued” will give you a deeper understanding of a firm’s values and overall culture.

About Crowe MacKay

At Crowe MacKay, we are dedicated to the on-going training and development of accounting professionals. We provide the essential elements, in the form of high-quality practical experience, peer support, and the day-to-day training necessary to achieve your professional accounting designation. Our CFE students exceed national pass rates and continue to be recognized on the National Honor Roll. We provide top-tier training and mentorship and have been recognized as an employer of choice. With over 50 years of expertise, we continue to create lasting value. Come grow with us!
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