The field of financial services is expected to enjoy a period of growth during the next few years.
The move of the Baby Boomer generation into their retirement years is anticipated to contribute to a number of job openings in this field, as more analysts and advisors will be required to handle the increase of persons needing financial advice.
Employment in financial services industries can be extremely stressful and often involves long hours. Travel is a frequent component of this type of employment.
The following pressures often contribute to the high pressure environment:
- Meeting deadlines
The financial services industry can be broken down into two sub-categories:
- Financial advisors
- Financial analysts
Employment opportunities in both fields seems to be about equal.
Financial analysts and advisors are expected to be detail oriented, inquisitive and natural problem solvers.
Financial analysts and advisors typically see fairly good salaries; upwards of $50,000 per year.
Since they frequently work with high profile clients, it is also necessary to have good people skills and be able to communicate effectively.
Employment Prospects for Financial Service Jobs
For the most part, person employed in financial services will either be self-employed; or work in a firm where they advise individuals or corporations or be employed by an organization or corporation for the sole benefit of the employer.
The following are just a few of the locations where job seekers looking for employment in financial services will likely find job openings:
- Mutual and pension funds
- Insurance companies
- Securities Firms
State and local government may also provide a number of employment prospects for financial analysts and advisors alike.
Job Search for Financial Service Jobs
Networking can prove to be extremely beneficial when job searching within the financial services industry. Persons employed in this industry tend to move within tight circles, so that some job openings may be filled before they are even announced.
For job openings that are posted, one of the best options is to register with a professional employment or recruitment firm. Openings for analysts and advisors are rarely posted in media forms.
Cover Letters for Financial Service Jobs
As contacts are so critical in this field as well as reputations and given the competitive nature of financial services, most people will find they can get an edge by getting a referral to a position. If this is possible, the name of the referring person should be mentioned in the first line of the cover letter.
Above and beyond this, the cover letter should focus on the candidate’s integrity, attention to detail and accomplishments.
Resumes for Financial Service Jobs
The majority of individuals applying for work in the financial services industry use a traditional chronological resume. This resume works best because it allows the job seeker to focus on education and experience; the two areas that are critical to employment in this field.
Training & Qualifications for Financial Service Jobs
A college degree is considered to be an absolute essential for entering this occupation. At a very minimum a job seeker will need to have a Bachelor’s degree with a strong emphasis on mathematics.
Many employers prefer a master’s degree and beyond.
Financial services occupations tend to be incredibly competitive; particularly for lucrative and high paying jobs. Experience and education in the field of business is considered to be a desirable bonus for many employment openings.
As this industry is so competitive, certification can help a candidate obtain an edge over the competition. An individual may become a Chartered Financial Analyst or a Certified Financial Planner. Both of these credentials require a minimum amount of experience as well as the successful completion of examination work.
Quite commonly, a minimum of 3 years experience is required in addition to the completion of a sequence of exams. Persons who become certified through either of these programs are required to maintain continuing education requirements in order to keep their certification.
Careers In Finance
A small number of financial planners and analysts may combine services and be able to sell securities or offer legal advice.
In order to do this, however; they would need to meet the education and licensure requirements for those separate occupations in addition to the education and training qualifications for the financial services industry.