How to Apply for an Articling Position

As the application deadline for fall recruit approaches, we hope you have started to think about your application packages. If you are unsure of where to start, we have created the following guide to help you. We also encourage you to visit your careers center and schedule an appointment with a Careers Advisor.

The Chartered Professional Accountant (“CPA”) application package must include a CPA application form, cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcript. Please note that if you are sending your application to an email address (i.e.,, your package should be submitted as one PDF.

CPA Application Form

The application form is mandatory and provides us with a summary of your qualifications and employment preferences.

At Smythe we are hiring articling students across three of our locations: Langley, Nanaimo and Vancouver. Please rank your preferences accordingly.

We also offer staggered start dates: January, March, May and September, so please indicate the earliest you are available to start. Please note that to be eligible to start work in January you must have a minimum of four months public practice experience.

You can find the CPA application forms at or simply click here to download the application form.

Cover Letter

Your cover letter should be short and concise. Keep it to one page and approximately three paragraphs. The first paragraph should be about yourself and why you have chosen to pursue the CPA designation; the second should outline what you will bring to the firm, based largely around your work and volunteering experience; and the third paragraph should showcase why you want to work at Smythe. It’s perfectly fine to showcase some of your awesome personality.


Your resume should be no more than two pages long and highlight your contact details, education, work and experience, volunteering experience and any extracurricular activities you are participating in.

If you haven’t worked in accounting previously, don’t worry. Focus on the transferable skills and accomplishments you have acquired, such as customer service, working as a barista, or time management and project management skills having worked in construction.

Make it easy reading for the recruiter by using bullet points instead of paragraphs and a minimum font size 10. Your resume should be clean, simple and aesthetically pleasing.

A great tool to reference for your cover letter and resume can be found here – courtesy of the Harvard Business School.

Unofficial Transcript

Ensure you include unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions that you have attended. This will allow the recruiter to gain a better understanding of the education you have received to date.

Lastly, remember to proofread. We highly recommend and encourage you to use your careers centre or a friend with high attention to detail to review your documents, so you do not miss anything.

As you will be applying to multiple firms, really take the time to read the job specifications, identify firm preferences when it comes to submitting your application, addressing the letter to the correct firm and ensuring you have tweaked your cover letter. The last thing you want is to be dismissed because you sent the incorrect application form to the wrong employer, which means waiting until the last minute to submit your resume is not a good idea.

We wish you all the best – the team at Smythe looks forward to reviewing student applicants on September 8.


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