Average resume stats for your industry
Words
368
Pages length
1.7 p
Job titles per resume
Bullet points per job title
9.5
Experience
6.2 years
Top Skills for Finance resume
HARD SKILLS
  1. MS Excel
  2. VBA
  3. QlikView
  4. Tally
  5. Microsoft Excel
SOFT SKILLS
  1. Communication
  2. Negotiation
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Problem solving
  5. Collaboration
Resume Background

Here’s a jarring fact:

24% of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds scanning a resume.

And if you don’t leave a great first impression in that time?

Your resume will go straight to the “no” pile.

If you’re reading this, you probably want to land a new role in the finance industry.

You could be a financial analyst, planner, trader, portfolio manager, etc.

One thing is for sure regardless of your job title – your resume is your first opportunity to impress and land the role you want.

So, how do you make it past the 30-second or less scan?

By writing a stand-out finance resume that answers all of the recruiter’s questions, speaks their language, and is formatted correctly.

We’ll show you how in this finance resume guide.

What you’ll learn here

  • How to write a resume header
  • How to leave a great first impression with your resume summary
  • Tips for proving your credibility in your work experience section
  • What skills recruiters are looking for
  • How to format your education and certifications sections

How To Write a Finance Resume

To land a job in finance, you have to prove to the recruiter that you have the right knowledge, experience and qualifications.

The required skills will vary by role and by job type.

The best place to find out?

Look at the job description for the role you want. They’ll spell it out for you in the responsibilities and requirements sections. Note down the buzzwords they use to describe the job and prioritize them when writing your resume.

This is one of the best ways to stand out and survive the quick-scan.

That also means that you should be tailoring your resume for every individual role you apply for.

Format is another essential part of making a good first impression and passing the first 30-second scan.

Make your resume easy to scan and ensure that the most important points are emphasized.

Use a reverse-chronological resume format to highlight your experience level and skills. Turn to a resume builder for a foolproof way to nail formatting.

Use bullet points to organize information.

Double and triple check for typos.

Use real data to support your points whenever possible.

By saying the right things with the right format, your resume will be leagues ahead of most other candidates.

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Top Finance Resume Sections:

  • A header with all relevant contact information
  • A resume summary that delivers your pitch
  • Detailed experience section with real accomplishments
  • A blend of technical and soft skills
  • Education, licenses & certifications
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What Recruiters Want to See:

  • How many years of experience do you have? In what industries?
  • Did you make a measurable impact in your past finance roles?
  • Do you have the required qualifications and certifications?
  • Are you proficient with the tools that they use?
  • Do you have the right personality to work effectively in a team?

How to write a finance resume header

Your resume header is where first impressions are made.

It’s the first section hiring managers see.

Make a mistake and you’re off to a bad start.

While the resume header is the most basic section of your resume, it’s an opportunity to show your attention to detail and professionalism.

It should include:

  • Your full name
  • Job title (and seniority level)
  • Location (city & state)
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Here are two resume header examples – one is done well and the other needs some work.

2 Finance resume header examples

John Hunter
Financial Analyst
john.hunter@website.com
Boca Raton, FL
WRONG

What went wrong with this resume header?

  • The job title doesn’t indicate seniority level.
  • There’s only one contact method included – it’s missing a phone number.
John Hunter
Junior Financial Analyst
555-555-5555
john.smith@website.com
linkedin.com/john.hunter
Boca Raton, FL
RIGHT

Now this resume header will leave a good impression.

  • The job title is descriptive and describes John’s junior-level status.
  • There are two contact methods – email and phone.
  • The LinkedIn profile gives the hiring manager an opportunity to get to know the candidate even better.

Now that the basics are done, it’s time to move onto writing the resume summary.

Display Your Financial Expertise In Your Resume Summary

You only have a few seconds to make a great first impression. Recruiters first start by scanning your resume, and then make a decision on if they want to read further.

Your resume summary is the perfect place to make the pitch on why you’re the one for the role.

Here’s what information to include:

  • Your seniority level
  • Financial speciality
  • Top achievements in past role
  • Any required qualifications

If you’re a recent graduate, focus less on your past work experience and focus more on your educational achievements.

Regardless of if you’re just entering the workforce or you’re a seasoned pro, always refer to the job description first before writing your resume. Look at the requirements of the role and the list of responsibilities.

Then, use those same keywords in your resume summary. You’ll speak directly to what the hiring manager is looking for in their ideal candidate. It also helps to surpass the ATS which scan your resume for relevant experience.

Let’s see these tips in action with these summary examples:

2 Finance resume summary examples

Summary
Financial specialist with excellent analytical skills and experience with financial modeling, business valuation and financial reporting.
WRONG

This summary won’t pass the scan test. A recruiter wouldn’t take a second look.

Let’s try again.

Summary
CPA-certified Financial Analyst with 8+ years of experience working in the telecommunications and insurance industries. Increased profitability of the product lines by 20% at Crystal Communications. Experienced with financial modeling, business valuations, year-end financial reporting. Proficient with SQL, Alteryx and Excel.
RIGHT

Much better!

This summary checks off all the boxes:

  • Mentions important qualifications (eg. CPA-certified)
  • Details years of experience and industries
  • Highlights an achievement from a past role
  • Mirrors keywords likely used in the job description (eg. financial modeling, SQL, business valuations, etc.)

It passed the scan test. Now the recruiter is ready to read the experience section in detail.

How To Highlight Your Financial Work Experience

The experience section is where you dive into more detail about your work experience. It’s an extended version of the summary, but for each role.

Still follow the best practices that you used to write your resume summary, like highlighting work achievements and mirroring the same words used in the job description of the role you want.

Stuck on what achievements to include?

Here are a few questions to think about:

  • Did you improve profitability? By how much?
  • Did you improve systems or processes? Did it save the company money?
  • Did you hire and manage a team? How many people?
  • Did you manage a high volume of portfolios? How many? Were they reputable clients?
  • Did you improve the accuracy of financial forecasting? By how much?

Now is not the time to be shy about your achievements. The experience section is the perfect opportunity to convince the recruiter that you’re the one for the role, based on your past achievements and experience.

Finance resume experience examples

Experience
Financial Analyst
Crystal Communications
Date period
Boston, MA
Completed year-end financial reports
Presented forecast models to senior management
Supported auditors during annual audits
Worked effectively with the team
WRONG

This is not going to cut it.

The descriptions are way too vague and could apply to any average financial analyst.

It doesn’t say anything about how effective the candidate was in their previous role.

Experience
Financial Analyst
Crystal Communications
Date period
Boston, MA
Lowered company costs by 50% with a profitability improvement analysis
Improved forecasting accuracy by 42% with process and system enhancements
Hired and managed a team of five junior financial analysts.
Produced monthly billing reports for 25+ high-profile accounts.
RIGHT

Now that’s better! This description ties together tasks with real numbers.

It speaks to the required skills for the role and gives the recruiter confidence in the candidate.

What Skills Should Be Included on a Finance Resume?

Are you a wiz with numbers who can whip up an accurate financial forecast with ease? Can you run circles around most people when it comes to Excel?

Great! You’re one step closer to landing your dream job. But, technical skills like those are just half of what recruiters are looking for.

They want to hire a candidate who can collaborate with a team, communicate their findings, and meet strict deadlines.

Those are soft skills. When you combine them with your technical know-how, you’re an unstoppable force who anyone would be lucky to have on their team.

Both soft and technical skills should be listed in the skills section of your resume.

Again, always turn to the job description first to see what skills that company wants in particular. This will help prioritize your list.

For example, is it a client facing role where you’ll be advising high-profile companies?

Emphasize your communication and client relationship building skills.

Do they want someone who knows their way around a certain tool, like Oracle or Teradata?

If you know it, flaunt it in the skills section.

Here’s a list of common skills to start you off in the right direction:

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16 Hard Skills for Finance Resumes:

  • Financial account reconciliations
  • Prepare commission reports
  • P&L analysis
  • Variance analyses
  • Production costing analyses
  • Calculate inventory provisions
  • Prepare funding reports
  • Financial forecasts
  • Year-end reporting
  • Alteryx
  • Teradata
  • SAP
  • SQL
  • SAS
  • Excel
  • Oracle
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9 Soft Skills for Finance Resumes:

How to Write Your Education Section

Education is critical for landing a job in finance. It deserves its own section on your resume.

That being said, how much information you include in the resume education section depends on how long you’ve been in the workforce.

Just graduated college? Your education section should be more detailed. Along with the basics around your degree and university name, include your GPA on your resume, any notable projects you worked in, and your achievements (eg. Dean’s List).

If you have a few years of experience working in finance roles, you can slim down the education section and just include the highlights:

  • Degree name
  • College name
  • Location
  • Years studied

Most finance roles require at least a Bachelor’s degree in a related subject: Finance, Business, Accounting or Management.

An MBA is a bonus, but often not required.

What Certifications Should You Include In Your Finance Resume?

On top of college education, many finance roles require certifications and designations. They will almost always be listed in the job description.

Dedicate a short section of your resume to list out the certifications that you have.

Here’s a list of common certifications and designations in the finance industry:

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Top 6 Finance certificates for your resume:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Management Account (CMA)
  • Certified Fund Specialist (CFS)
  • Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)

Key Takeaways

  • Refer to the job description before writing any section of your resume. Mirror the same keywords they use, and prioritize the skills they ask for.
  • Highlight real achievements from your past roles and support them with quantifiable data. This will help you stand out from the sea of candidates.
  • Weave in soft skills along with your technical skills in your resume summary, experience section and skills section. Recruiters are looking out for well-rounded candidates.

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Author image
Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.