Am I Average? Ways to Stand Out as a Financial Planning Candidate.
While finding your dream firm and position is important, you ultimately must stand out to be recognized among the dozens of applicants. Although everyone brings a specific skill set and perspective to a role, resumes and cover letters often blend together for hiring managers. As an applicant, you need to differentiate yourself and stand out from the other applicants.
Most financial planning students have a strong GPA and an internship. Firms expect that. As you are approaching graduation, you need to look outside the classroom to stand out. Top financial planning candidates are demonstrating exceptional effort and ability by doing the following:
- Securing multiple internships in financial planning roles. They have used financial planning software on real client cases and have participated in client meetings.
- Attending industry conferences, participating in national competitions, and showing passion for the industry.
- Passing the CFP® exam prior to graduation or having a set exam date and are currently enrolled in a review class.
- Passing the SIE or Series 65 licensing exams, or earning professional designations
- Using financial planning software like MoneyGuidePro, eMoney, Redtail, and Junxure.
- Following Up – it sounds simple, but it goes a long way. Follow up applications with a phone call to the firm. Follow up interviews (phone and in-person) with an email or hand written thank you note.
TOP EXPERIENCED CANDIDATES
Whether you have been in the industry for 1 year or 10 years, we see similar characteristics of top experienced financial planning candidates. A career in financial planning can go many different directions from lead advisor roles to firm management to business development to non-client facing technical support. Throughout the different avenues, candidates with these broad characteristics are in highest demand:
- Pursue knowledge and development. They have an advanced degree or multiple credentials like the CFA, CPA, or EA.
- Possess the CFP® designation. The CFP® designation is quickly becoming a standard requirement. Opportunities can be limited for candidates that haven’t started the process.
- Get involved in the industry and in your community. Participate in NAPFA, FPA, and other planning communities. Volunteer with and serve on boards for local non-profits.
- Be humble. They understand firms have many applicants. Even if they are well-qualified and in high demand, they interview with respect, sincerity, and humility.
- Earn respect from clients. Top candidates have a mature, confident, and trustworthy presence from their excellent communication skills and genuine care for clients.
- Superior experience. It’s about quality of experience, not quantity of firms or years. Top candidates have worked at industry leading firms, been professionally challenged, have significant client and firm responsibility, and have received mentorship from industry leaders.
SHOW YOUR VALUE
Top candidates are curious. They naturally seek to learn new things without being told. As you are advancing and learning new things, re-format your resume to highlight your exceptional accomplishments. If you would like a free resume review, contact us.
At New Planner Recruiting, we work nationally with top financial planning focused firms offering salaried positions with mentorship to help you grow into a lead planner. We work with candidates to identify the best firms and positions for them and best position them to stand out. Check out our current positions that will help you develop into a top financial planner.