6 ways to make your financial planning resume stand out

7 seconds

That’s how much time the average recruiter spends looking at a resume. Does yours stand out? Or is it going straight to the no pile?

Recruiters see A LOT of resumes every single day. Many of them look the exact same – but yours doesn’t have to. In fact, you could do a lot right now to make your resume impressive and moved right to the top of the stack.

Whether you’re a recent grad looking for your first gig in the financial planning field, feeling stunted in your current position, or even if you’re debating a career change, you’ve come to the right place!

I’m a Hiring Specialist at Simply Paraplanner and I’ve worked in the financial planning industry for over 7 years.

I’ve been in your shoes and I get really excited placing amazing candidates with superstar firms. But with anywhere from 50-150 applicants per job listing on our site, it can be tough to get noticed.

So how can you stand out in a sea of resumes?

Let’s dive in.

1. Say more with less

Your resume should only be a single page. That’s it.

Focus on the highlights. I don’t need to know every detail of what you did at every job. I assume you know how to use most Microsoft Office products.

Instead, make your resume make me want to meet you.

Ditch the “references available upon request.” I know that they’re available. And if you make it through our screening process we’re going to ask you for them.

Make me want to say yes as quickly as possible. You can expand on any of your roles and experience in the interview. For now, focus on making this one page PDF glow with how you’re the very best person for this job.

2. Metrics are your friend

Don’t say you “created reports for your team”. Instead, paint a picture with thoughtful figures. “I sat in 67 client meetings and wrote 1 page summaries sent to clients for follow up. Each summary highlighted how we helped them and in turn generated 15 new referrals in 2022 bringing in $38M in new AUM.”

Who would you rather hire?

And if you can use numbers to demonstrate how you made the company money or improved the team as a whole, then you’re probably going to move to the next round of screening. Your resume should show less about what you have done and more on how you’ll be able to improve the team you hope to join.

3. Proofread everything…twice

I’ve seen advisors eliminate potential candidates because of a single typo in their resume.

Clients trust advisors with every dollar they’ve spent years building up and this profession requires an acute attention to detail. One wrong number on a TOA and that nest egg could disappear. You don’t need to be perfect. We all make mistakes. But you should start off on the right foot and double check your work.

Make your resume error free.

4. Have your CFP? Tell me!

There’s no requirement to have your CFP to get into the financial planning industry (though it helps).

But if you’ve worked hard for years to obtain this coveted designation…tell me!

I’ve seen my fair share of applicants with their CFP who only mention it (and other hard to get designations) buried way down in their resume. Don’t do that. Put that designation right in my face after your name at the top of your resume.

Make it easy for me to say yes to you.

5. Show off your personality the right way

There is disagreement over whether cover letters are still necessary in today’s job market.

But if you are going to write a cover letter, tell me something new I don’t know looking at your resume. This is a great place to talk about why you’re making a career change if you’re a nontraditional applicant. Or maybe you’ve been at your last firm for 5-10 years and you want to make a change – what’s prompting you to look around?

If you have leadership or volunteer experience to share, make sure it’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.

One other point to add – you don’t need and shouldn’t include a photo on your resume. It unfortunately opens you up to unconscious bias in the screening process and eats up valuable real estate you could be using to share how amazing you are.

Let your words speak for themselves!

6. Make your resume skimmable

Forget the blocks of text. Use bullets or short sentences when you can, but don’t overdo the bullet points either. 10 lines for a single position isn’t doing you any favors. Choose the top 3-5 points to highlight instead.

If you’ve got a line of text with one word carrying over to the next line, can you shorten your sentence? Make every word count here. Remember, that recruiter is spending a few seconds to glance at your resume.

How does your resume look now? If you’re still feeling unsure about it and want a member of our team to give it a look and get help today.

Development, Paraplanners

Leave a Reply