How I get my first job in the USA at 55 years age by creating a balance sheet resume

180 Turn to Resume

In May 2005, I came to the USA on an immigration visa from India at the age 55. At that age, people start retirement planning. I have to start a fresh and no question of retirement. I was excited about the American dream since my younger days.

I came with one handicap an impaired speech because of cancer surgery. I am an accounting graduate and marketing diploma holder and had experience of 30 years. I choose Houston, TX mainly for the support of my childhood friend. Took a house opposite him and started life in the US.

Finding work was the only job after I get my social security card because without it no one considers you for employment.

Job Hunt

I did what was a best practice. Created a Monster account and started applying. I consider my no American experience and education/degree were disadvantages.

And major problem was initial phone screening here all recruiters do.

I can’t communicate on the phone and things didn’t go further. I tried to email of my speech handicap and seek personal interview but no one responded.

Job Fairs

Job fairs were an option and were good for me. I can go and talk to recruiters at least. I usually write if not clear in person and it works. In person, people are very nice.


My challenge was to overcome my lack of experience and speech handicap. The tool I had was a resume. I have to prove through a resume that I am worth hiring.

I can’t talk to recruiters as they won’t understand my speech. One need time to adjust to it and that too require patient. No one had time at the fair booth.

180 Turn to Resume 

I was seeking an accounting job. There was a job fair organized by the Houston chapter of Texas CPA association. The announcement states if “you have accounting knowledge we have a job for you”. I wanted exactly that.

Since it was CPA job fair and all recruiters must be an accountant I assumed. I thought hard how to differentiate myself. The best way to sell is to talk the language your prospects understand.

Well, the accountant’s language is balance sheet and profit and loss statements. I thought of a balance sheet as my resume instead of traditional resume listing my details as 1. 2. 3. 4. etc.

I created Mukesh Shah’s Balance Sheet.

There were Assets and Liabilities columns and I put my account degree, experience, writings as my assets and my speech handicap, medical expenses as liabilities. My equity was learning mind and creative thinking.

I did this for the attention of recruiters and initial interest. I was confident if they talk I will prove I am fit for the job. And fortunately, my Balance Sheet got the attention of all the recruiters I met and I get my first job as a staff accountant at local CPA firm.

Thanks to my 180 turn to resume and made ‘Balance Sheet’ my resume.

I am not thinking about this much. It is an effort I did to get a job nothing big deal. But recently I did one headline writing course and there I mentioned my experience and I got comments from fellow participants. These comments encourage me sharing this here.

My Intro:

“I did sell my concepts through letters. In Houston also, I got my first job at CPA firm by a different approach to resume. I went to a job fair of CPA association. Since I had a speech problem and was desperate for a job as I have to start in The US, I created my resume in accounting language. I made Balance Sheet as a resume. Balance is education, experience, etc. and liability is impaired speech, medical expenses, etc. It was a success my resume got the attention of all CPA recruiters and got a job with a CPA firm.”

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