Foot in the Door: The Perfect Wealth Management Resume

By alina dizik

While you may have impressive and varied accomplishments, knowing how to highlight them on your resume -- and, more importantly, which ones to highlight -- is key to landing a wealth management position, say experts. Even with hiring in wealth management on the rise, there are still hundreds of applicants for each position and an eye-catching resume can help you get to that first interview. "You see so many resumes it's hard to differentiate when you look at one resume versus the other," says Steven Alper, managing director and head of market development at Barclays Wealth, a unit of Barclays PLC. "Being able to tailor that resume is the most important thing."

Here's how to create the perfect wealth management resume.

Use Quantitative Descriptions
Pepper your resume with numbers that signify your achievements. Be creative about which calculations you share; it's possible to be specific without compromising confidential information, says Beth Colley, the principal of Chesapeake Resume Writing Service, who points out that many of her clients in wealth management do not include enough specifics. For example, "you can talk about portfolio growth and how much you increased account revenue by percentages," says Colley. Using key metrics also provides a quick overview to time-strapped hiring managers who are looking for easily comparable data.

Highlight Key Skill Sets
As you edit your resume, narrow it down to achievements that specifically fit wealth management, says Alper. Take out experiences that are not totally relevant to your role, like writing skills, and showoff something more relevant, like your successful use of different investment strategies. If the applicant doesn't "highlight anything, and throws so much stuff on it, it [signals] that they are a general overachiever" and not a wealth management specialist, says Alper who plans to hire about 100 wealth management professionals this year. Extracurricular activities that point your interests in other areas of business may also need to be streamlined. If you're a member of the local marketing association leave that out and focus on any investment-related activities.

Show Off Relationship-Building Skills
"A track record of building client trust and long-term relationships is essential," says David Satler, head of HR and Education for UBS Wealth Management Americas. On the resume, UBS looks for "accountability, integrity and a sense of urgency in resolving issues." To demonstrate strong client relationships, make sure several bullet points from previous roles point to accomplishments where you've successfully dealt with those outside of your company. For example, include a deal or a project where a positive outcome depended on your high level of personal interaction.

Cite Products and Strategies
Hiring managers expect to scan the resume and automatically see proficiency in your use of different investment strategies and products, says Satler. Be careful not to focus on a only on one specific area, he adds. "Today's successful wealth managers are generalists not specialists, so emphasizing one particular asset class or service may send an unintended message," Satler says. To stay competitive, edit your resume to make sure you're mentioning a wide variety of tactics to manage portfolios.

Keep Seniority in Mind
If you're a recent grad, add in accomplishments from project-based business school courses or study abroad programs. Be sure to emphasize transferable skills when describing previous experience. For example, highlight customer-relations abilities when mentioning any previous experience. At a more senior level, be sure to include details about project management when describing your work history; hiring managers want to know how you've managed teams directly from your resume.

Write a Career Summary
Colley suggests including a career summary (not an objective) at the beginning of your resume to highlight key skills, industry accreditations, like the Series 7 license or a CFA, and any wealth management related keywords so the resume can pop-up in electronic searches. "Focus on those career summary key accomplishments -- it helps them stand out in the top third of the page," says Colley, who recommends using the remaining space for a detailed professional history and any non-work-related activities.

Don't Skip the Basics
"Keep the resume format crisp and clean while making sure that it follows a logical progression" -- a detailed professional history and then any non-work-related activities -- Colley says. Stay away from acronyms that are too industry-focused, which can be confusing for those in human resources. Additionally, keep in mind that even the smallest spelling or grammatical error can cost you an interview.

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As you prepare your wealth management resume be sure to pack your job history with additional skills that are valuable in this career. Multi-tasking and "the ability to manage disparate stakeholders" are also important, says Mr. Alper. After you put together your initial resume, take time to edit. Creating multiple drafts can help you home in on key skills and accomplishments and ensure that you've got a flawless version to send to recruiters.

Write to Alina Dizik



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