Resume Tips for Financial Candidates

Posted on February 26, 2009. Filed under: Job Search Tips, Resumes | Tags: , , , , , , |

In today’s business environment, many candidates in the financial services arena, including banking, mortgage, and investment management, are hedging their bets and considering their options in the job market. However, they are concerned that little, if anything, will be available within their own field, so they plan to try their luck in other arenas. So what can you do with your resume if you find yourself in a similar situation?

Don’t Hide and Don’t Explain Away

One of the most common mistakes made by candidates who find themselves unemployed as a result of a bankruptcy, an acquisition, or a major downsizing, as well as candidates who are still employed but by a company or industry that is much maligned, is to attempt to hide information. Many others will spend a significant amount of space on their resume trying to explain how the predicament the company found themselves in was not their fault.

Employers don’t want to read that type of information because they are not interested in the type of candidates for whom nothing is ever their fault. Don’t get me wrong. The fact that your company went belly up or that stockholders demanded a massive layoff to achieve a temporary boost in the stock price is most certainly not your doing. However, employers get the impression from candidates that state that information on their resume that they are the type of person who typically blames things on everyone else. With the number of financial services organizations struggling, going under, or taking massive amounts of government—really taxpayer—money, a lot of job seekers will need to have a strategy on how to address these situations. Most will sympathize and some will empathize with your experience, as long as you don’t come across as desperate. So be straightforward about the companies you have worked for without listing all the reasons why you are no longer them.

Focus Your Resume

Do your best to target your resume for specific types of positions. You may feel like your experience does not translate easily into other areas, but that is simply not true. The more focused you get, the easier it will be to identify what employers are looking for and to gear the content of your resume to match their needs. Regardless of industry, employers today are looking for people that have a track record leading teams, improving processes, increasing revenue, and driving cost savings.

Don’t Lose Hope

I know it is easier said than done, but don’t lose hope. There is tremendous value in what you have done and even in the companies you have done these things for. Be confident in your background and don’t be squeamish about listing all of the information on your resume.

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