Hiring managers and recruiters in asset management are being inundated with resumes.
"A lot more work has to go into pursuing a career the asset management than in the past," says David Wilson, managing director at Cutwater Asset Management, a firm that focuses on fixed income.
To get past the gatekeepers, Wilson suggests taking the time to write a resume that's simple, straightforward and easy to understand.
Here are more tips on how to craft the perfect asset management resume:
Stick to Hard Skills
It's important that your resume conveys your quantitative and analytical skills, says Gayle Hodus, recruiting manager at Eaton Vance, a Boston-based investment firm. Trying to impress recruiters with soft skills may not work, and most applicants should skip a hobbies or interests section (unless the hobby is tied directly to finance, like poker). Job applicants should simply include "the overall highlights and not make [resumes] too wordy," she says. This year Eaton Vance received about 10,000 resumes for various positions and only 100 were hired. With so many applicants in asset management right now, many firms say that shorter is always better and suggest a resume is no more than two pages.
Highlighting any certified training in the field speaks to your commitment, says Wilson. If you're working towards or have already completed your Chartered Financial Analyst designation be sure to list it in the education section. When it comes to asset management, this can be even more valuable than an MBA, says Wilson. Accreditations that include risk management study will be noticed, as risk is a hot topic for asset managers right now. Both the Financial Risk Manager or the Professional Risk Manager certifications listed prominently will help your resume stand out. Designations "show that they are willing to improve," he says.
Clarify with a Summary
As there are many branches of asset management, you should use a summary statement to provide more detail on everything from which sectors within asset management you have experience with to the types of investment vehicles you've dealt with recently. A few sentences at the top of your resume is a good way for hiring managers to quickly glean information about your area of focus. Additionally, if you've worked in various roles within asset management, make sure your summary provides a clear direction of where in the firm you'd like to fit in, Hodus suggests. Keep the objective to a few sentences, or write it in a bulleted format.
Demonstrate an Understanding of Economic Trends
Recruiters are eager to find strong performers who are in the know about specific industry trends. Wilson says he looks for applicants who display "knowledge about macroeconomic events and how it impacts fixed income or equities" on their resumes. Use bullet points or the summary statement to demonstrate your understanding of macro-economics.
Research Company and Clients
Before you apply, tailor your resume to a specific hiring manager's area of investment, which can be found through the company's website or even a LinkedIn profile. Being able to insert examples of your own experience that coincides with the person's expertise can give you a leg up. For example, "if they mention something about pensions, that's really going to spark my interest," says Wilson who works with Cutwater's Liability Driven Investments.
De-emphasize Sales Experience
Instead of touting your sales experience, play up long-term relationships to show how you've interacted with clients in the past. And while some experience in sales is needed, it's more important to balance a sales background with other quantitative and communication skills. "The bottom line is no one wants to be sold something," says Brett Ellen, president of the American Financial Network a financial planning firm who works with both institutional and private clients.
With so many applicants for asset management positions today, a resume that is too long or offers too much of the wrong kind of detail will probably land in the "no" pile. Since asset management is such a broad industry, one trick that will save you space and from adding the wrong things is to have your resume mirror the job description. Before you send your resume, compare it against the job description to make sure it addresses the relevant information. Take out any information that's too dated or does not directly speak to the skills needed for a particular position. That said it's more important to be as transparent as possible about your own skill set, rather than make it look like you've met all the requirements. "When you write something, you have to be able to back it up," says Hodus. "Never include something that you're not sure about."