Finance firms are building out their risk-management departments, so it's time to polish up that resume. How can you make it stand out to recruiters and land you that first interview?
Here are some of the top resume attention-getting keywords for risk managers:
1. Enterprise. Depending on your experience, career track and aspirations, you could be in systemic risk, credit risk or another specialty. Regardless, often recruiters want to see that you have "enterprise" risk experience on your resume.
"We look at anyone involved in an enterprise-wide program of risk management. Those experiences have a high market value when you are looking at financial risk managers," said Richard Meyers, chief executive officer of Richard Meyers & Associates, a Warren, N.J.-based risk-management recruiting firm.
The word enterprise indicates to recruiters that you have had a hand in unlocking hidden shareholder value, a holy grail for any finance job candidate, added Meyers.
2. JPMorgan, Goldman, Morgan, Pepsi, Dupont, and other blue-chip names. Such gold-plated brands can help send your resume to the top of the pile. Include your risk stints at nonfinance companies even if you're applying to a finance firm. "There are certain companies that have a reputation for hiring talented individuals. These companies have a very rigorous assessment process," said Meyers.
"We're looking for resumes with companies from highly regulated industries," added Mike Baron, experienced recruiting leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. That can run the gamut from finance to defense.
3. MBA or MF. You don't need a master's degree in business administration or finance to excel in risk management. But with the talent pool so deep for risk managers, having those magic letters on your resume can help recruiters single you out for an interview.
"An MBA is preferred," said Baron.
What's more, where you went school can also make a difference, according to Meyers. "Michigan State, Stanford, Cornell, Columbia and NYU are all names I look for," he said.
4. CPA, CFA, Series 7 and other certifications. These designations are like the "Good Housekeeping" seal of approval for recruiters, confirming that you have a certain body of knowledge and shouting that you're interested in learning more about your industry and advancing your career. Aside from the major finance certifications, Baron also looks for Certified Treasury Professionals (CTP) and Project Management Professionals (PMP).
5. CEO, COO, CAO, CFO, CRO and other chief titles. If you report to or have any contact with the C-suite, put it on your resume. In the wake of the financial crisis, risk has taken a front seat in the highest echelons of management.
"Who you report to is very important on your resume," said Meyers. "Particularly if you report to the CEO or CFO." Any relevant contact to top management should be highlighted.
Overall, your resume should tell recruiters and human-resources managers who you are and what you've done. The key takeaway on a risk manager's resume should be "what you can do in terms of saving your companies [money]," said Baron. A resume loaded with these keywords will show that you've spent your career doing just that.
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