Mistakes like the ones listed below can spell trouble for any resume, regardless of your industry or the specific position you’re looking for. But in the financial world, these are especially common and can cause disproportionate damage to your candidacy. Before you attach your resume to your introductory message and click send, make sure you aren’t guilty of any of these blunders.
1. No reference to your target company’s primary product or financial instrument
If you’re looking for a position in financial advisory services, your employers will want assurance that you understand how their specific market works. Whether they deal in futures, equity funds, securities or ETFs, your record will need to show some experience in this core area. If you don’t have this experience, you’ll have to emphasize your other credentials. But if you do, make sure this information comes through clearly.
2. Emphasizing “impressive” credentials over relevant ones
If you need to organize your work history section according to relevance rather than chronology, that’s fine. If you decide to stick with a chronological layout, that’s fine too. But remove irrelevant positions from the line up if they stand in your way or confuse the issue. This will clear away the clutter and allow the important parts of your background to shine.
3. Excessive or inappropriate use of buzzwords and jargon
The financial field is loaded with insider terminology and acronyms, which are perfectly acceptable when they’re necessary. But unfortunately, this field is also crowded with buzzwords, empty terms, and business-sounding nonsense. And this latter category can spell death for a resume, especially at the entry level. Get to the point, be clear, and if you find yourself using empty self-descriptive terms like “change-driver” or “success-driven”, stop and rethink. Be specific. Say things about yourself that don’t also apply to everyone else in the world.
4. Any attempt at spin, smoke throwing, or exaggerations
Any attempts to hide or cover up previous job losses by manipulating employment dates are a bad move. So are exaggerations, especially those referencing the number of people you managed, the revenue your brought in for previous employers, or the projects that you may or may not have completed single-handedly. Experienced employers can factor your age and other telling details into a realistic assessment of what you’ve actually done. Stick to the facts and you’ll be fine.
5. Sloppy or weak command of the language
Communication skills are vital in the finance industry, so an articulate resume with smooth transitions from one thought and point to the next will earn respect. Choppy, confused statements and clumsy phrasing will do the opposite.For more specific guidance and editing help with your financial services or accounting resume, reach out to the Seattle staffing and job search experts at Pace.