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Resume Help? Objective - Financial Advisor or Analyst

KnowledgeKickKnowledgeKick Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
Can someone help me come up with a good objective to state on my resume? I'm going to be sending it out to a few big companies soon and don't like the one I have.

This is the current one...


OBJECTIVE

Gain experience in a position that will compliment my academic background in Finance, while allowing me to contribute to the success of a company.
Post edited by KnowledgeKick on

Replies to: Resume Help? Objective - Financial Advisor or Analyst

  • chriswchrisw Posts: 1,371Registered User Senior Member
    If you're applying out of undergrad, which I would imagine you are, there is no reason to have an objective. Everyone's objective is the same: gain experience, add value, bolster resume, learn information and develop skills. If that isn't your objective, you shouldn't be applying to a financial.

    Take out the objective section and fill that space on the page with something more useful, that could give recruiters reason to stop at your resume when going through thousands.
  • CFB53BCFB53B Posts: 327Registered User Member
    Take out the objective section and fill that space on the page with something more useful, that could give recruiters reason to stop at your resume when going through thousands.

    That's terrible advice. Companies aren't just looking for the highest GPA or most work experience, they're looking for a combination of qualification and interest in a position. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who has no interest in your field but takes the job because it's the best of what's offered (that person is high risk to leave before he's provided an adequate return on the cost to train him).

    The best way to demonstrate your interest in a position is in the objective. You should write the objective to make it sound like whatever job is being offered is your life's goal. Research the job posting, research the company, and put words from the job description in your objective.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that someone reading your resume will only take away 2 or 3 qualities about you: hard working, results oriented, strong problem solving skills, etc. You can use your objective to frame what a person will take away from your resume.

    For example, I pulled the first posting on Monster: Associate Financial Analyst Job in Irvine 92602, California US This company tells you that they want people who are detail-oriented, quantitative problem solvers, who can learn systems quickly. The company appears to be a consulting and engineering firm that delivers based on low cost and quick execution of standard and innovative solutions. Based on these things, I would write a summary like this:

    Summary: I am a detail-oriented quantitative problem solver seeking a position as a financial analyst in an environment that values quickly delivering client friendly and innovative solutions that are cost effective.

    Now it sounds like you're perfect for the position. Follow that up by demonstrating your quantitative skills in your experience then mention that you're an expert at Excel and you'll get an interview with this company even if your GPA is lower than the rest of the competition.

    Obviously this necessitates a different objective for every position. So what you can do is write a very generic statement for jobs you don't really care about, then have directed statements to jobs that you're interested in.
  • chriswchrisw Posts: 1,371Registered User Senior Member
    I wholeheartedly disagree with your post. The objective is useful if you are applying to a job with a specific purpose. For example, if you are applying to a law firm as a paralegal, it is highly likely that you are doing so with the express intent of gaining experience to take with you to law school; another example is once you are settled into a career and looking for a change: when applying to a new company, your objective will likely differ from other applicants'. However, when you are applying to a bank as an undergraduate, everyone's objective is basically the same, so the objective section has no purpose.
    I am a detail-oriented quantitative problem solver seeking a position as a financial analyst in an environment that values quickly delivering client friendly and innovative solutions that are cost effective.

    This is an excellent statement for a cover letter but should not be needed in a resume. If you are a detail-oriented quantitative problem solver, you should have research, coursework or prior jobs that show this. If you want to work in an environment that values quickly delivering client-friendly, cost effective, innovative solutions, then congratulations, you want to work in finance or consulting. There is no company out there that does NOT value those things, so saying that is what you are looking for is like saying, "I intend to breathe constantly over the next two years."

    If you have developed skills (for example, language proficiency, expert status with regard to Excel, Access, Acrobat, etc.), consider including a "skills summary" section where you detail what you are good at that is completely exportable. This allows you to summarize your experience in terms of what you did rather than what you learned.

    For what it's worth, I did have an objective in my resume up until senior year, at which point my career counselor explained to me that for purposes of applying to consulting and finance jobs, objectives do more harm than good since everyone has the same objective and nobody knows how to verbalize it in a way that employers are going to want to read.
    You should write the objective to make it sound like whatever job is being offered is your life's goal.

    That kind of makes my point. If you are applying to dozens of companies, you can try to make an objective sound like you want the specific company to which the resume is going, but recruiters know that it is probably not the truth that their company is the one and only company meant for this particular applicant. Beyond that, recruiters aren't looking for someone whose life goal is that job they get out of undergrad; they are looking for someone whose life goal is to become CEO and whose short term goal is to no longer be in that position. If I am recruiting someone, I want them to be honest, and that includes every application material they send to me.

    This issue is highly debated, so it's no surprise that you disagree with me; I understand the point you are trying to make, but I just completely disagree with you.
  • CFB53BCFB53B Posts: 327Registered User Member
    Beyond that, recruiters aren't looking for someone whose life goal is that job they get out of undergrad; they are looking for someone whose life goal is to become CEO and whose short term goal is to no longer be in that position.

    They aren't looking for a CEO. If I'm hiring an engineer, my goal is to find someone who wants to be an engineer for at least 10 years in my field. In fact, someone who wants to be the CEO would be a big red flag because they're probably going to be more political than they should be and they're high risk to quit if they're not advancing in the company at light speed. The fastest way to not get a job in a consulting firm is to tell them that your goal is to make partner.

    There are two worst outcomes as a hiring manager: 1) You hire someone who is unqualified (which is easy to prevent) and 2) you hire someone who quits before they've added value. Since you brought up consulting, a consultant doesn't pay back his company immediately. Before you're hired, there are tens of thousands spent to recruit you. When you accept, you get tens of thousands in signing bonuses. Then you're hired and there are tens of thousands spent to train you. By the time you meet your first client, you probably cost your firm between $50,000 and $100,000.

    Then you meet that first client and you're not really the most valuable team member because of a lack of experience and familiarity with collaborative problem solving, and in fact you probably slow the team down by requiring manager/partner time to mentor you. It's probably not until your 3rd or 4th study that you actually add significant value, and that's 4-6 months later. So for a consulting firm, the worst case is that they spend $150,000 on training and salary and then you quit after 6 months (negative ROI). They want to know you're committed to 2-4 years before they'll hire you. It's the same thing in engineering, except that engineering firms aren't charging your time to clients at a multiple so they need 3-5 years to pay back your initial training investment.

    An objective lets you say "I'm going to be around long enough to pay off my initial investment, and then some."
  • chriswchrisw Posts: 1,371Registered User Senior Member
    Again, I disagree there because your objective will say whatever you think employers will want to see. Even if your plan is to stay for just a few months, you aren't going to say that in an objective statement because you KNOW nobody will hire you when you tell them you just want to leave. Obviously it costs a lot for recruitment, and I would even argue that you are undervaluing some of the costs - in addition to what you mentioned, you also need to consider time investment, getting business cards ready, getting you into the employment system, setting you up with medical/dental benefits, any 401(k) work that needs to be done, etc. Most of the firms I am familiar with will not bill clients for new hires' time for at least 6-12 months since they know that they don't yet add value and need experience before becoming worthwhile.

    But that is a risk of business. You can use whatever metrics you want to identify the people you want to work for you, but when an employee decides to stop working for you, there is nothing you can do without a signed commitment. Besides that, it should be expected that keeping top performers at your firm will always be a challenge since they are, by nature, sought after by other firms on a consistent basis.

    While you don't want someone who will step on someone to make partner, you also don't want someone who is perfectly content to be a BA for the rest of his life. You want someone who is driven to learn the job and make it to the next position as quickly as is reasonable.

    An objective gives applicants the opportunity to be disingenuous when they say, "I'm going to be around long enough to pay off my initial investment, and then some [but really, I just want to make money this year to pay off some student loans before I get my master's and become a teacher]"

    I mean, do you really think that a qualified applicant who wants to be a consultant so that he can put it on his resume when he's looking elsewhere in six months is actually going to say that in an objective? Assuming he does, do you think he would be able to fool a recruiter, a partner and three analysts during the interview process if he hadn't?

    If I am a recruiter, looking at applications, I am going to filter out the ones who blatantly don't qualify, then use cover letters to filter out the ones who have no idea what my company does, then use resumes to filter out the least qualified when figuring out which 64 out of the initial 600 will get interviews. From there, I am going to use the interview process to determine which 10-15 applicants I want to take, and I recognize that out of those 10-15, it is statistically likely that 2 to 5 of them will not be with the company for longer than two years either of their own volition or of our volition. I will try to minimize this risk, but in an at-will market, it is a reality. And in my opinion/brief experience, objective statements from undergraduates do extremely little to reduce that risk.
  • angryelfangryelf Posts: 506- Member
    The M&I template has basically become the industry standard for new hires in finance.
    Sample Investment Banking Resume Template - University Student | Mergers & Inquisitions

    Unless you really know what you're doing or have an extremely unique background, it's not in your best interest to stray from it.

    As to objective statements, read point #2.
    http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/5-ways-to-make-your-resume-sink-faster-than-the-titanic/
  • WhatdidyouWhatdidyou Posts: 539Registered User Member
    "If you are a detail-oriented quantitative problem solver, you should have research, coursework or prior jobs that show this."

    I absolutely agree with this. The resume should be a list of your most impressive experiences and accomplishments. You only have 1 page, use it wisely.

    Also, I think your resume should be more objective. You should try not to use these types of phrases: I provided fantastic customer service, used great time management skills, am very detailed oriented, have excellent problem solving skills, have amazing interpersonnel skills on your resume. These are subjective characteristics and sound like embelishments.

    Recruiters are looking for proof of those attributes in a resume, so you should provide the proof/evidence of having such a skillset by listing your experiences/specific actions. Feel free to go crazy on your cover letter NOT your resume.

    Additionally, if parts of your resume sound like they could be embelishments, the reader may not believe the rest of it.
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