Before earning your Series 86 or 87, perhaps you were working as a registered rep selling securities and annuities under a Series 6 or 7 license. Maybe you have a Series 66 or 65 and have been serving as an investment advisor. As a financial analyst, you’ll be expected to be able to determine the value of the investments, securities, stocks, bonds, and other financial products you’ve been selling or advising clients on.
Whatever your current or previous job, you have financial services experience under your belt and you’re ready to get serious about the analyst position that’s open in your firm, or with a competing firm. Although a great resume by itself won’t land you the job, a well-crafted resume could be the difference between getting your foot in the door by landing an interview.
Most financial analyst resumes will have three main parts.
Part One: Who You Are
These days, objective statements are usually dismissed as too general to be of any real value. In its place, you’d do better to list core competencies or even a title that describes what you’re capable of. Maybe you’ve already gained the experience necessary to earn your CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) designation, or perhaps you are fluent in a second or third language. These highlights can be listed at the top of your resume between your contact information in the header and your experience in the body of the page.
Your personal data including contact information, core competencies, and career objective are listed first. This gives a hiring reviewer a general picture of what you have to offer and what it is you seek.
Putting your contact information in the document header provides more room in the body of the document to include your work experience. Contact information includes information including your email address, phone number, LinkedIn profile or personal website, and your physical address, in the document header.
Including social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook demonstrates your social media savvy. However, you should consider providing visibility to those accounts only if they are publicly accessible and present a flattering picture of who you are and what your interests are.
Part Two: What You’ve Done
Your experience follows with details pertaining to the job functions you performed in prior financial analysis roles. Job functions are more than just the expectations of the role you were hired to fill. They are the ways in which you contributed to the company. Consider the operation without you, what would not have been done without you there?
Think about how you changed the operation. If your employer did things one way before you arrived and another after you left, you may have contributed to making the team more organized, more efficient, or more effective. How did you do that and what were the results.
Experience sections in a resume should focus on what you accomplished in your previous job. Did you save the company money by eliminating the need for an outsourcer? Did you make the operation more efficient by closing a gap in a process? Be specific and provide measurable results to demonstrate the value you offered to your employer.
Part Three: What You’ve Learned
Most Financial Analysts have a finance degree You do not need to include your grade point average (GPA) unless you’re especially proud. For example, if you graduated Summa Cum Laude, you should include that on your resume. It tells a potential employer that you’re smart, that you studied hard, and that you exceeded expectations in your degree program.
If you earned an advanced degree such as an MBA, put that degree first. Include the area of concentration and the courses specifically related to the roles you listed in your experience section. You want to show the link between your scholarship and practice.
In addition to listing your Series 86 or 87 licenses, you’ll want to highlight any license you may have ever held. Perhaps you got your start as a registered rep selling securities or variable annuities under Series 6 and 7 licenses. Perhaps you still hold your series 66 or 65 from your days as an IAR or independent advisor. These are all relevant in showing your knowledge of financial products and your ability to work with clients in the management of assets.
You may have earned awards, accolades, or honors in school or in your previous work. If your award has a name such as National Merit Scholar or Junior Fellow include it in an awards section. If it was Employee of the Quarter or Dean’s List, something related to a particular time period and a particular role, make it the first item under that job or degree.
Including your hobbies, clubs, or charity affiliations can help a potential employer learn more about you. These activities do not substitute for work experience. However, sometimes while students are enrolled in school they do not have time or the education for full time employment. Volunteering during that time can demonstrate your work ethic and character.