In my previous articles I had told you as to how to prepare for a financial analyst’s job and what to expect when you get the job that you want.
I had also written about how to approach job interviews for a financial analyst’s job and what to expect in those interviews.
But even before you get a call for the job interview, let’s take a step backwards and try to understand what will make the human resource departments at top organizations call you for an interview at their office.
This is the step which will help you get that most sought after interview in the first place.
This step includes writing a top class resume which will perfectly describe you, your education qualifications, your key and important achievements, your work experience, your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses, your references and other personal details which will help you show case yourself.
In this article I’ll explain how you can create a financial analyst resume or a CV (curriculum vitae) which will help you get that first foot in to the door of the organization you so badly want to join.
I’ll give you certain important points on how to make your resume or curriculum vitae stand out and obtain the perfect results you want.
First let’s try to understand the typical contents of the resume for a financial analyst job.
Contents of the resume
1. Resume title
It always is a good idea to have a clear title to your resume.
A brief title at the beginning will definitely help your resume stand out amongst others.
A title should be crisp at the same time it should describe you properly.
The title will be like the outer package of your resume.
The human resource departments world over tend to pick up resumes with clear and distinctive resume titles first.
- Finance professional with 2 years of experience working in buy side companies having post degree in management
- Experienced finance professional with more than 5 years of financial research experience of working in an equity research firm having a CFA degree
2. Your career objective
You should always give your career objective or goal upfront.
Companies are looking out for candidates who are clear about their goals in life and know what they want. They want to hire candidates whose goals or career objectives align with the mission and vision of their company.
- To make a successful career in the corporate world and work enthusiastically in a team to achieve the goals of the company with absolute devotion and hard work
- To succeed in an atmosphere of growth and excellence and make a career which gives me satisfaction and self-development and helps me achieve the goals of the company
- To acquire professional and financial pinnacles, both for the company and myself, through skill, knowledge and hard work
3. A brief summary of your work experience
Remember that your resume should always start with a brief summary or an overview of your work experience.
The summary should begin with the number of years of work experience that you have and should give details as to in which business domain you have that experience.
You could also add a colored passport sized photograph of yourself on your resume. Make sure that you get this photo taken from a professional and not use a photo you would put on your Facebook profile!
You want to look professional in your resume.
4. Why you would make a great addition to the company
I always think that it is an excellent idea to add this section to your resume where you can write as to why you think you would make a great addition to the company.
You can write in brief about your strengths, your goals (and how this job aligns with your goal), your educational qualifications, etc.
This shows confidence on your part and your real interest in joining the organization.
5. Your educational qualifications
This is a very important element of your resume – your educational qualifications.
A lot of recruiters give importance to this part of the resume, especially if the resume is of an entry level analyst or job seeker.
Make sure you write about your educational qualifications clearly and distinctly.
Remember the highest education always comes first.
It’s a good idea to create a table wherein you can give clear information about your education qualifications, along with the name of the school/college you graduated from, in which year and what percentages or grades did you get.
Observe carefully how clearly the education qualifications are given in the above table.
You can also add below this, if you have any other professional degrees or certifications such as short coerces on financial modeling or on the stock market.
6. Your work experience
When you list down your experience in your resume always remember to showcase your work experience in a reverse chronology – which means most recent first.
Use years (not number of months) when listing your years of experience on your resume.
This will make it simpler for the employer to swiftly understand your work experience timeline.
You can provide this information either in a table or in bullet format
7. Your key and important achievements
Do not forget to add your key and important achievements and accomplishments.
These can be during your school or college days or during your earlier employment.
Giving these key achievements always helps to distinguish your career from other prospective career seekers.
These could be any awards or trophies that you may have won.
Even if these are not directly related to your work but you have got these in any other streams in life such as music, dance, etc., do not forget to list these down.
Employers are always looking out for achievers, be it in any field.
It shows that you are an achiever and revere in excellence.
8. Your strengths and weaknesses
Make sure that you list down your strengths and weaknesses clearly so that the employer clearly understands you and you can showcase your strengths.
Do not go overboard when listing down your strengths and also be careful when you list down your weaknesses.
Try to be as true to yourself when you are listing down these characteristics in your resume.
They can make or break your career.
9. Your hobbies and interests
Do list down your hobbies and interests in your resume.
Many candidates do not give importance to this but please do remember that employers certainly look at extracurricular activities of candidate as they prefer well rounded employees than one-dimensional ones.
Another important part of your resume is references.
Provide at least two good references that can vouch for you.
Make sure these references are not directly related to you but have either worked at your school, university or your earlier work place.
Make sure that you take their permission before putting their names in your resume.
11. Personal details
The final part of your resume is your personal details.
Provide details such as your date of birth, your permanent as well as current address, native place and your passport number.
Make sure all this information is updated.
I hope you have understood all the aspects of the contents of an effective resume.
Writing a resume
So now that I have explained what the contents of a good resume are, let’s go to the next important step – How to write the resume?
There are many companies and job portals who claim that they can make the best resume for you.
But believe me you don’t really need to pay them to make your resume.
You can create that fantastic resume for yourself if you follow the below mentioned steps.
Writing a good resume is not rocket science but you have to make sure that you stick to the basics.
It’s good to be creative but don’t just jump out of the box.
It is very important that you study the below given steps and follow them when you create your own resume.
1. Be detailed but at the same time keep it short
Having a compact resume is the first requisite of an effective resume.
Remember that investment bankers have only thirty seconds to spend for reviewing your resume.
Hence, instead of overloading it with extraneous information, focus on the key points.
If you think you have to include necessary and useful information, but cannot fit it on one page, decrease the font size. Try and restrict your resume to one page only.
2. Be truthful (do not lie)
Making an impression in the first glance is very important, but what you write on your resume also matters.
Be careful that you do not exaggerate your qualifications or experience in the resume. Remember that professionalism is the key; hence keep your resume accurate and honest with the details.
3. Order (latest happenings first)
You need to organize the information in your resume in a way that best portrays your experiences.
Writing your resume in a reverse chronological order makes it easy to read and highlights career growth, and is a preferred format by most job recruiters.
4. Provide examples wherever possible (of your achievements or if you stood out amongst a group of people)
While writing a resume, the common mistake that you will be tempted to make is that of focusing on detailing your job duties and responsibilities.
Instead, try to focus on highlighting the achievements that came out of those duties.
Stating your unique accomplishments in the resume and keeping the duties concise will highlight your skills and abilities.
You need to remember that job recruiters are seeking for achievers, hence try and quantify your results. Measurable results are always the most convincing.
5. Language used (simple but correct English)
The fact that you have to fit everything that you want to say in a one or two page format makes it even more challenging to write the resume.
Here, using effective language plays an effective role.
Let the language be simple, but remember to make use of powerful words, be as specific as possible, keep it concise, and use bullet points wherever necessary.
You will find that writing the resume in the first person, using the active voice, along with use of correct grammar helps makes your resume more impactful.
6. Format your resume properly
While crafting your resume, you need to remember that less is more.
To keep your resume readable, avoid blocks of texts and lengthy sentences.
Keep plenty of white spaces, thus making your resume easy on the eyes.
Keeping at least half to one inch margins will make your resume look less cluttered and chaotic.
Do not leave any blank fields and proofread your resume for grammatical and typographical errors.
Be consistent with the font size and style throughout the resume.
Make use of headers wherever necessary.
I hope you have understood the contents and the art of writing a very effective resume which can help you get that jump start in your career.
Remember again – you don’t really need an expert to write your resume.
You yourself can be that expert.
No one understands your strengths and weaknesses like you yourself do.
So make the most of it.
Do let me know if you have any doubts or suggestions.
I’ll be happy to help you out.
So go ahead – write your own successful resume and all the best for your career!