Passing the CPA Exam and Your Resume


We got a great question from one of our Twitter followers (paraphrased here): 

“I passed the CPA Exam, but I don’t have my license yet. How do I put this on my resume?” 

If you’ve passed the CPA exam, it can be tempting to put those magic letters behind your name on your resume. But we stress that you must not include the certification as part of your qualifications until you’ve received your license. In fact, it is illegal to do so.

While you might not be able to include certification on your resume quite yet, you can list your education and professional development accomplishments. We recommend listing this particular accomplishment as:

“Successfully passed all four sections of the CPA Exam

This is a signal to the potential employer that while you aren’t currently licensed, you’re fully qualified and intend to become licensed in the near future. You worked hard to pass the exam, and you did it without taking shortcuts. Stay patient, and you’ll be rewarded for your success. 

If you’re unsure of the requirements to gain licensure, here are the 2020 requirements. If you’ve passed your exam, but aren’t sure what’s next, here are the next five steps to follow to licensure. Good luck!

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