Navigating through the task of writing a CV or resume, especially for a financial analyst position, can sometimes feel like walking through a maze. You know you need to showcase your analytical prowess, your knack for numbers, and your strategic thinking, but how do you do it effectively? Whether you’re stepping into the finance world for the first time or looking to climb the next rung on your career ladder, a well-crafted CV is your best foot forward. In this guide, we’ll walk through the essentials of putting together a CV that not only highlights your skills and experiences but also catches the eye of your next potential employer. Let’s dive into the world of effective CV writing, breaking it down into simple, actionable steps, and exploring examples to get you started on the right path.
- 1 Read The Job Description / Advert
- 2 Research The Company
- 3 Find A Good CV Template
- 4 Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
- 5 Detail Your Employment History
- 6 Detail Your Education History
- 7 CV Structure
- 8 WHAT NOT TO DO
- 9 Financial Analyst CV Tips – Recap
- 10 Financial Analyst CV Sample
Read The Job Description / Advert
The first step is, of course, to read the job description. We need to know what the firm is looking for so that we can properly highlight these characteristics in our CV. So read back over the job description and try to pinpoint the important points. A lot of times a firm will call things “required”; if you see this, you need to make sure you include that in your CV. Similarly, if certain things are repeated throughout the advert, this indicates they are of high importance, so we will want to make sure our CV shows that as well.
When performing this analysis, take care to copy the ‘exact’ words and phrases that are being used by the hiring manager. We will want to pepper these into our CV later.
Financial Analyst Job Description Example
Join Our Team: Financial Analyst Position Available
We’re on the hunt for a meticulous Financial Analyst to join our dynamic team, where numbers tell a story and strategy is born from data-driven decisions. If you’re someone who can transform financial data into strategic insights, then we want to hear from you!
In your role as a Financial Analyst, you will dive deep into financial data, extracting pivotal information that will guide our investment strategies and financial decisions. Your ability to analyze market trends, foresee financial opportunities, and provide robust models for sustainable economic growth will be key in driving our company forward.
- Analyze financial data and trends to advise on investment strategies.
- Develop financial models to support valuation, planning, and forecasting.
- Assist in the budget planning and management activities.
- Provide insights on financial risks and recommend strategies to mitigate them.
- Prepare and present analytical reports to the management.
- Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Economics, or related field.
- Proven experience as a Financial Analyst or similar role.
- Proficiency in spreadsheets, databases, and financial software applications.
- Strong analytical, problem-solving skills and attention to detail.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
What We Offer:
- A competitive salary, commensurate with experience.
- A vibrant work environment, where your insights and contributions are valued.
- Opportunities for professional growth and development.
- Comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare and retirement plans.
Become a part of our dynamic team and help us weave financial strategies that propel us into future successes. If you have the skills, the expertise, and the drive to turn data into actionable financial strategies, you could be the Financial Analyst we’re looking for.
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity in our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
Research The Company
Time to put on your detective hat and do some research on your target company. Look at their website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. You are looking for any piece of intel that will give you the leg up.
- Find out about recent work/projects they have undertaken or will be embarking on (highlight your experience in these areas on your CV)
- Find out what software/processes they use and make sure you include your proficiency in them in your CV
- Learn what Finance interview questions you might expect should you make it that far
See if you know anyone who works there and/or connect (LinkedIn) with people ahead of the interview. A little nepotism could never hurt, and you might be able to glean more information about the role/hiring process in the meantime.
Find A Good CV Template
When selecting a CV template, it’s essential to opt for a simple design and structure. Not only are straightforward layouts more compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), but they also make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify and understand key details. A clutter-free and organized CV ensures that your most important information stands out, facilitating a smoother review process for potential employers.
Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
A handy approach is to craft three sentences: the first highlighting your qualifications and experience, the second showcasing your biggest professional achievement, and the third detailing your most recent experience.
Financial Analyst Professional Summary Example
- With 10 years of experience in the financial sector and a Master’s in Financial Analysis, I have developed and honed a robust skill set in financial modeling, budgeting, and forecasting, utilizing tools such as Python and SQL to analyze data and create actionable financial strategies, ensuring alignment with organizational objectives and market trends.
- Spearheaded a team at Globex Corp to develop a comprehensive risk management model, employing Monte Carlo simulation techniques, which successfully mitigated high-risk investment areas and reduced financial discrepancies by 30% within the first year, safeguarding the company’s assets and enhancing financial stability.
- Recently, as a Senior Financial Analyst at FinStrat Solutions, I managed a budget exceeding $10M and led a team in implementing AI-driven data analysis solutions, which optimized financial operations, reduced data processing time by 25%, and contributed to a 15% increase in year-over-year profit by enabling more informed and timely investment decisions.
Detail Your Employment History
Begin by listing your employment history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent role. This allows potential employers to see your recent experience upfront, which holds greater value. Keep in mind that brevity is key.
As you go further back in time, reduce the level of detail to ensure your CV doesn’t exceed two pages. Employers are less likely to read lengthy CVs.
When jotting down your responsibilities on your CV, especially as a Financial Analyst, make it a point to weave your achievements into the narrative. Don’t just mention your duties; highlight your accomplishments within those duties. For instance, instead of writing “Handled financial forecasting,” you might say “Developed and implemented a financial forecasting model that accurately predicted quarterly sales, contributing to a 20% reduction in excess inventory costs.” This way, you’re not just sharing what your job was, but also showcasing how well you did it, providing a richer picture of your experience and capabilities. It tells your potential employer not just about your role, but your successes and proficiency in that role, making your CV stand out in a sea of applicants.
Detail Your Education History
Keep your CV concise, aiming for a two-page limit. The education section can often be streamlined.
Highlight the most relevant qualifications. For instance, if you have a degree, your A-levels become less significant. Similarly, if you’re in the U.S., having an MBA overshadows your high school GPA.
Unless an older educational milestone is crucial for the job or highly pertinent, focus on showcasing your Bachelor’s degree, post-graduate studies, or professional certifications. If you lack these, mention your latest qualifications. Remember, having a Master’s suggests you’ve finished school, so no need to state the obvious. Only include your educational background if it’s pertinent to the job.
Tactically structure your CV to the ‘most wanted’ attributes of the job description. For example, if the job description values “qualified”, then place your qualifications first; if they want someone with RECENT experience, put your last job up top. If they want multiple years of experience, highlight your tenure.
We always recommend that you have a Professional Summary up top (after your name/contact info), as it will be the first thing that anyone reads. As discussed earlier, this should be tailored towards the job advert and showcase your experience and skills in what the employer is looking for.
A fairly typical structure would go:
- Name and contact info
- Professional Summary
- Current (or most recent employment)
- Education & Professional Qualifications
- Employment History
WHAT NOT TO DO
Now that we’ve discussed what you should be including in your CV, let’s look at some things that you should avoid doing.
- Do not include personal history or likes. Employers are not going to care about your hobbies, so unless you have some inside information that the hiring manager only hires people who play a particular sport, for example, then leave your extracurricular activities off your CV. This does not extend to things like volunteer or charity work. Definitely include that if you have the space.
- Do not list your skillset and the tools/applications you have experience with. It takes up valuable space and is often obvious (Skilled in Excel…?). Instead, include these in your achievements section (Example: “Used Asana to manage and coordinate tasks for a remote team of 25 members”).
- Do not include references or “references available on request”. If employers want a reference, they will ask you for them; otherwise, this is just wasted space on your CV.
- Do not include a photo of yourself unless specifically asked. In many countries, including the UK and US, you should not include a photo of yourself on your CV/resume. Companies don’t want you to do it, as it opens them up to liability, and there is absolutely nothing for you to gain by doing so – plus, you are making it easier for firms to discriminate against you, either implicitly or explicitly.
- Do not use any fancy graphic or artistic CV format. Most CVs come in a standard format, allowing Application Tracking Software, recruiters and hiring managers to easily pick out the key pieces of information they need quickly based on their experience. If you throw them a CV in an artistic format, they are more likely to get annoyed and throw your application away. This is not a situation where standing out is good. You want your skills/experience to be noted, not your CV format.
- Do not include your previous salaries. This will severely impact your negotiation abilities down the line.
Financial Analyst CV Tips – Recap
1. Highlight Quantifiable Achievements 📊
Always showcase your impact through numbers and tangible results. Instead of merely stating your duties, illustrate them with quantifiable achievements. For instance, “Enhanced financial efficiency by 20% through the implementation of streamlined budgeting processes.”
2. Showcase Technical Proficiency 💻
Financial Analysts often work with various tools and software. Ensure to mention your proficiency with analytical tools, programming languages, and financial modeling software, such as Python, R, or SQL, to showcase your technical aptitude.
3. Tailor Your CV to the Job Description 🎯
Align your CV with the specific requirements of the job you’re applying for. Use keywords from the job description and match them with your skills and experiences. This not only makes your CV ATS-friendly but also demonstrates a good fit for the role.
4. Include Relevant Certifications 🏆
Highlight any certifications that are pertinent to the role of a Financial Analyst, such as CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant), as they can significantly bolster your credibility and expertise in the field.
5. Detail Your Analytical Skills 🔍
Emphasize your analytical skills by providing examples where your ability to analyze data led to positive outcomes. Mention instances where your data analysis influenced financial strategies or decision-making processes.
6. Be Concise and Clear 📝
Ensure your CV is clear, concise, and free from jargon. Use plain English and ensure that your points are easy to understand, making it accessible to both expert and non-expert readers.
7. Highlight Soft Skills 🤝
While technical skills are crucial, don’t forget to mention soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Provide examples where these skills were pivotal in achieving your work outcomes.
8. Proofread Thoroughly ✅
Ensure your CV is free from typos or grammatical errors. A well-polished CV reflects your attention to detail and professionalism, which are key attributes for a Financial Analyst.
Financial Analyst CV Sample
Below is an example CV from someone with a number of years experience in the field. For an editable .DOCX version, click here.