To stand out from the crowd, your resume will need more than just buzzwords. Employers want to know you can hit the ground running in the fast-paced, high-stakes financial sector.
While you can land jobs without a wealth of experience, your resume will need to prove you’re armed with the finance skills to take on the challenge.
So, what are some key finance skills for resume success?
We spoke to two professionals in the sector to find out exactly what you need.
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1. Keeping in tune with financial news
In the dynamic world of finance, professionals need to be constantly informed about the latest market trends, economic developments, and regulatory changes.
This is crucial to both mitigate potential risks and seize valuable opportunities.
Paul Schweigl is a junior portfolio manager at ConvertInvest. He starts every day making sure he is up to date with the financial news.
While no two days in finance are the same, Paul participates in regular morning meetings with his team to discuss the news.
“It’s useful to leverage the different perspectives in your team and exchange views about the market or stocks. You can research online as much as you want but it’s very valuable to hear from senior colleagues with experience,” he says.
What’s more, the finance industry is intrinsically linked with the global economy, making it vulnerable to the ripple effect of economic and political events. That’s why it’s also key to have a broad overview of the world and understanding of the impact of major events, adds Paul.
“I’m focused on macroeconomic news so, for instance, these days the biggest news in finance is inflation and interest rates so it’s a very volatile time.”
2. Communication and stakeholder engagement skills
In any role in the finance industry, employers look for applicants who are confident building relationships, negotiating, and collaborating across teams.
Hong Kong-based Hitesh Tanwani is the assistant vice president in sales and trading at State Street—a globally renowned investment company.
In his role, communication skills are essential for managing client expectations, dealing with other traders, and liaising with analysts.
“Throughout the day you are talking to different stakeholders, both internal and external so it’s important to manage expectations and be able to drive conversations,” he says.
Landing a role in finance means you’ll also likely be dealing with a lot of complex financial modelling and information. While this may become a second language for you, you’ll have to convey this information to other team members, stakeholders, and clients.
“I think something that’s very important for every job is to have an understanding of who you’re talking to, and what the person knows, and what you need to explain to them,” adds Paul.
3. Critical and analytical thinking
The ability to analyze information and employ critical thinking skills when making important decisions is vital in a finance career. These skills are useful whether you’re budgeting and forecasting, financial modelling, or adhering to financial regulations.
For example, working in an investment or asset-led role, your responsibilities could include analyzing market data and trends to identify potential risks or assessing investment opportunities.
While you may not have experience in these exact tasks, showing an employer that you can read between the lines when looking at important information will provide a large boost to your resume.
In his role in portfolio management, Paul completes weekly attribution analysis reports. He analyzes portfolio performance, reports on any issues, and provides insights into potential improvements.
“When doing data analysis, you need think critically to separate the real information from the noise,” he says.
4. Time management
In a career in finance, you’ll likely have to manage multiple responsibilities requiring you to be on top of your game. That’s why time management is a hugely important finance skill for your resume.
In his role in trading, Hitesh says once the markets open and the currency flows start coming in, the day becomes extremely fast-paced.
“Everything is quick. Across the day, we see many fluctuations going on, so we need to be on top of everything, especially when handling multiple currencies,” he says.
That's especially true in today’s financial climate when markets are even more unpredictable, he adds.
It’s also highly unlikely that in any role in finance, there will be a ‘typical’ day, particularly when working in a smaller team. Being able to manage your priorities, multitask, and knowing when to delegate will go a long way.
At ConvertInvest, Paul is one of less than 15 employees within a company that has around 400 million assets under management.
“When you work in a small firm as opposed to a larger one, your tasks are more flexible and your field of responsibilities is broad, so every day is different,” he says.
For more information on how to launch your career in finance, including free advice from b-school careers experts, download our BusinessBecause Careers Guide: What's Next After Business School?