The global economy is struggling in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and financial firms are reacting to the volatility and government responses to the situation. Uncertainty surrounds the market, and for those in that industry, that uncertainty extends to the security of their roles going forward. But with this uncertainty comes opportunity, and if the situation arises that you would need a new role in the finance industry, it is best to be prepared. Here are some tips for how to position yourself resume in the financial sector in the current state of affairs.
How Long Should My Resume Be?
There is a long-standing perception that a resume should never be more than 1 page, and this is something that our team of writers see very often from clients. However, the stigma surrounding longer resumes is fading, especially for executives and other professionals with more than 10 years of experience. While each case is different, a good rule of thumb is to keep the resume to 1 page if you have fewer than 10 years of experience, and limit the total length of the document to 2 pages.
Use a Targeted Approach
While many roles in the finance sector have a lot of overlap regarding function and responsibilities, it is important to make sure that the resume is tailored to each of the specific roles that you apply to. Casting a wider net can make things easier, but a more targeted approach will yield better results over time.
Be sure to read job descriptions carefully so you can identify key terms that they use to describe the role. Those key terms can change with each job posting, so incorporating those different terms into the document can help it stand out from cookie-cutter submissions.
Reflect Your Wins
The financial sector is an area where quantitative metrics can be represented, and showcasing those successes on the resume can go a long way in setting you apart. Most other applications fall into a pattern of listing daily responsibilities, like communicating with clients or reviewing market data and trends. However, if you can highlight how you improved processes associated with those tasks and the results those changes produced, you will provide a more comprehensive view of the skills you bring to a potential employer.
Additionally, be sure to be as specific as you can. Different groups and organization measure successes differently, so adding context to your accomplishments can help translate those wins to other roles.
Clearly Highlight Technical Skills & Certifications
Accurately representing certifications and other professional development can be a difference maker for all resumes, and this is especially true in the financial sector. Review your licenses and make sure to list those that are current. If you previously has certain licenses that have lapsed but still want to show them on the resume, make sure that it is clear those licenses are no longer active.
Additionally, showing proficiency in any technical programs or systems can be critical, and making sure those skills are clearly portrayed in their own section can make it easier for potential employers to identify on your resume.
Lastly, with COVID-19 having an impact on working environments and shifting operations to work-from-home for many businesses, showing that you are familiar with tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams can show a skill that is in dire need in the short term.
Don’t Forget the Soft Skills
We’ve talked a lot about technical skills and quantitative metrics, and while those do bring a lot of fire power to the resume, the finance industry is often more than just numbers. Make sure to make mention of relationship building, both with clients and internally with coworkers or management. Being able to effectively communicate with people is the number one thing that employers are looking for, and this can translate across a variety of organizations and roles.
Versatility is also a great skill that can be portrayed in the resume but doesn’t always have a number attached to it. Showing that you have the ability to step into different roles outside the day to day can be very valuable. Examples of this could be serving on committees, delivering or participating in training, and serving on cross-functional projects of all sorts. While it may not have seemed like much at the time, this extra bits of information can help to paint a better picture of your skillset and value in the workplace.