You’ve been making investment decisions for businesses and other people for as long as you can remember. You’re good at your job and now you want to prove that you are better than most.
With the full spectrum of financial analyst jobs growing by more than 5%, you’ve got a good chance of achieving your ambitions and getting a senior position.
Tip number one is that you mustn’t use the same resume you’ve used year-on-year. We are here to give you a lot more tips that will help you clinch the senior job you are after.
Resume objective for a senior financial analyst
The Harvard Extension School provides students with tips for writing resumes and cover letters.
They emphasize that a good resume is a good way to increase your chances for a senior financial analyst job. They also draw attention to the fact that your resume is a marketing tool. You should use lots of action words and write your resume for people who will scan them quickly.
They have several sample resumes to help students. Interestingly, one of the only ones that has a professional summary is for someone who specializes in financial analysis and related fields.
The summary, which you can see in the sample below, is right at the top of the resume.
An objective or summary isn’t always included in resumes, but they are a good tool for drawing attention to yourself and your skills.
If you do include one, make sure that it highlights your skills, abilities, and experience in relation to the job you are applying for. The idea is to show that you will add more value to the position than any of the other candidates.
Results-oriented finance professional with over 10 years of experience in publicly traded and privately held enterprises. Proven track record in complex and capital-intensive global industries, delivering value and innovation in Finance, Strategy, and Corporate Planning.
Resume skills for a senior financial analyst
You’ve been working as a financial analyst for long enough to know what resume skills companies (and individuals) are looking for. But they often have their priorities, and it’s important for you to show that you can match them.
While most companies will value a one-on-one interview as the key to choosing the best possible candidate for any senior position, most of them still use applicant tracking software (ATS) systems to identify the best candidates.
This deals down to keywords.
The recruiting company, ZipRecruiter, has developed a Career Keyword Mapper to help job applicants choose the top skill terms mentioned in job descriptions featured on their website.
The top three keywords they have identified for senior financial analyst jobs are financial analyst (which appears in 26.3% of their postings), forecasting (17.09%), and budget management (11.86%).
Since more than half (55.25%) of the jobs advertising positions for senior financial analysts use at least one of these terms, it makes sense to include them in your resume.
The others that they list are financial modeling, financial reporting, financial planning, variance analysis, certified public accountant, financial statements, and strategic planning. They are all good to go, provided they match the skills the job you want requires.
Include them by all means, but be sure to include skills that are more specific to the job description.
Forecasting | Financial planning, modeling, and reporting | Communication | Decision-making | Math | Computer & software | Solving problems | Managing budgets
Senior financial analyst work experience
Work experience is probably the most important part of any resume. While it can be a challenge to complete this section convincingly if you are applying for an entry-level job, if you are punting for a senior position you will certainly have experience.
If you have a lot of experience, you might want to choose the most relevant jobs, or possibly even the most recent. If the last three or four are relevant, list them and include some information about your responsibilities.
More importantly, include your achievement and give them perspective. For instance, if you trained mentored staff, say how many. If you developed systems, say what they were and what they meant to the financial institution you worked for.
Job opportunities and work experience differ, especially for financial analysts in senior positions. The work experience you list in your resume should highlight your areas of expertise.
If you have specialized, you might be a portfolio manager or a risk or ratings analyst. You might even specialize in a particular region. There’s nothing to stop you from applying for a job that has a different area of interest, but you will need to show how your previous experience dovetails with the new job you are applying for.
Of course, just because you are applying for a senior position doesn’t necessarily mean you have previously worked this high up. Also, sometimes seemingly less senior positions have greater responsibilities.
Sample Work Experience
IQVIA Clinical Trial Laboratory Services
Senior Financial Analyst, 2019 – 2020
Provided analytical support within the financial department with a view to improving the research and scientific functions of the company.
- Supported the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) team on the month-end close process and various ad-hoc projects.
- Supported regular requests for analysis from the company’s senior leadership team.
- Lead process improvement and harmonization around global FP&A reporting and analytics.
- Prepared load templates for forecasts and budgets. Performed other duties as assigned.
City of Killeen, TX
Financial Analyst, 2017 – 2018
Managed and administered the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Monitored and administered grants received by the City. Performed financial analyses as required.
- Coordinated and managed the compilation of the CIP five-year plan. Worked with other departments to prepare the annual capital budget. Increased the budget by 10%.
- Monitored the capital budget of the City in accordance with established policies and procedures.
- Generated budget to actual variance reports for the CIP, and recommended approval/disapproval of authorization requests to encumber capital budget funds.
- Collaborated with departments to ensure the integrity of capital budgets and expenditures. Monitored capital project budgets to ensure projects did not exceed the budget.
- Maintained and accounted for grant funding and assisted in budget preparation and analyses.
Financial Analyst 1, 2015 – 2016
Worked as part of the company’s industry-leading team. Helped to empower results by delivering innovative and effective solutions in the finance department.
- Collected data from financial applications and prepared, analyzed and reported on the financial information extracted.
- Performed in-depth revenue variance analysis of monthly actual financial performance against budgeted and prior year revenue.
- Worked closely with, and developed relationships with more than 25 account executives and partnered with colleagues in the Finance and New Business sector.
- Helped 17 clients gain access to capital three years after Hurricane Sandy.
Senior financial analyst education
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most financial analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree, from the job postings we sampled, we found that many employers are happy with an associate’s degree if the applicant has sufficient experience in the field.
We also found that some quite junior financial analyst positions preferred applicants with a master’s degree. At the same time, we found that many jobs advertised for senior financial analysts were aimed at those with a bachelor’s degree.
Of course, the educational requirements specified in any job description will be a minimum requirement. If you have a higher education, you might stand a better chance.
Right now, the BLS warns that there are currently far more people who want to enter the occupation than there are available jobs. But, since you are already in the field, your experience is likely to enable you to advance your career.
Most jobs required secondary emphasis in either finance or accounting.
University of Washington Foster School of Business
Bachelor of Accountancy, 2013 – 2016
- Secondary emphasis in Accounting
The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) is a leading global provider of online financial modeling and valuation courses.
Their financial analyst training courses cover important topics in financial planning and analysis, investment banking, corporate development, equity research, private equity, and other areas of corporate finance.
In addition to paid intermediate and advanced courses, they have free courses that are intended for beginners.
If you plan to be certified, many universities and colleges offer courses that will help prepare you for the exams. They also offer Continuing Professional Education (CPE) courses that you will need to take to maintain certification.
One of the most popular certifications is offered by the CFA Institute that governs the requirements for CPE for CFA certification (see below).
The CFA also offers a free Professional Learning (PL) program to their members that result in official credits.
PL courses help financial analysts and other financial and accounting professionals stay current in the areas of professional conduct and ethics, as well as standards, laws, and regulations.
Additionally, they offer an Investment Foundations Program online for its members that results in a certificate.
The Lorman Education Services also offers on-demand training that includes CPE credits.
Only list courses if they are relevant to the job you are applying for, or certification that you have listed.
- Ethics for the Investment Management Profession
- Best Practices and Regulatory Issues
- Establishment of Company Financial Reporting Standards
- Advanced Financial Modeling & Valuation
The CFA Institute offers certification to financial analysts who have a bachelor’s degree and at least four years of qualified work experience. There are three exams that you will have to take to become certified.
The CFA program will give you real-world skills and expertise, and you will be recognized globally as a professional senior financial analyst.
Financial analysts can also be certified in a field of specialty. For example, the CFA’s Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) leads to certification.
The CFI offers an intensive program that leads to Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification.
In addition to requiring a financial analyst to be certified and/or licensed, employers sometimes specify that applicants must be bondable. The easiest way to get bonded is with a surety bond that covers anyone you enter into contractual agreements with.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is the main licensing organization for the securities industry.
If financial analysts are going to sell financial products a license is normally required. But because employers generally sponsor licenses for financial analysts, they don’t usually expect employees to have a license before starting a new job.
Whether you have a financial certification or not, you can add any other relevant certifications you have obtained throughout your career.
Many employers prefer candidates with a CPA and demand high proficiency in financial and accounting software tools. Having financial or related software certifications, such as SAP, Oracle, or MS Excel, is usually an advantage.
Complete senior financial analyst resume sample
We sampled numerous job postings for financial analysts and senior analysts when we researched information to write this article.
We chose the advert below because it’s a bit different from most senior financial analyst jobs. While the responsibilities are similar to most, the fact that you would be working for the NBA is what makes it a stand-out position.
We’re going to show you how to tailor a resume to meet the job description.
You don’t have to be a basketball supporter to apply for this job, but a commitment to the sport and the success of the NBA would likely help get you an interview.
The major responsibilities of the position are clearly defined. Even though they are financial roles, you would be working closely with the Players Association and be evaluating new transactions.
The NRA wants someone with a degree and at least four to six years of experience. They would prefer a certified public accountant (CPA), but any certifications are likely to stand a candidate in good stead.
You don’t have to be a basketball player, but they would prefer a financial analyst who has a strong interest in sports.
Senior Financial Analyst
Dedicated financial analyst with more than six years in corporate finance. Former Knicks team player. Basketball coach at the Anderson School since 2017. Proven track record in auditing and financial modeling.
Strong technical accounting skills, Financial modeling, Excel, Interpersonal and team strengths, Communication, Attention to detail, Presentation, Problem-solving, Self-starter
Centric Brands, NY
Senior Financial Analyst, 2018 – 2020
Managed and analyzed the company’s Corporate SG&A areas including Corporate IT and Capital. Responsible for monthly financial analyses, monthly forecasting, annual planning, new business integration and acquisition analysis.
- Recognized as a self-starter and team player who constantly took initiative.
- Appointed the liaison person between Finance, IT, and other Corporate departments.
- Worked cross-functionally across the company’s business units developing more than 14 major capital expenditure project plans.
- Prepared analyses of the incremental departmental costs (one-time and ongoing) associated with business initiatives.
- Identified opportunities to drive efficiencies by leveraging technology and tools, including SAP and BPC, to automate manual processes.
Strategic Finance Analyst, 2016 – 2017
Assumed the role of a strategic thinker in the finance team. The team’s role was to support BlockFi’s growth by providing a clear picture of financials and making data-driven recommendations.
- Developed a deep understanding of key performance drivers to inform strategic and financial decisions.
- Worked cross-functionally with our product teams involved with the Interest Account, Trading, Credit Card, Crypto-Backed Loans, etc.
- Developed data-driven recommendations for growth opportunities as well as optimizations to our current business.
- Supported fundraising efforts and business development activities such as partnerships, strategic investments, and/or acquisitions.
- Updated the company financial model and assisted in optimizing resource allocations based on business needs and financial results.
Financial Analyst, Corporate Finance Business Services, 2014 – 2015
Worked mostly on the execution of mergers and acquisitions transactions. Developed expertise and built relationships with clients in several sectors within the business services coverage universe.
- Prepared, analyzed, and helped to explain historical and projected financial information.
- Performed valuations of companies and businesses. Given the opportunity to open doors to numerous opportunities.
- Coordinated and performed business due diligence and executed M&A transactions.
- Prepare confidential memoranda, management presentations, more than 30 marketing pitches, and other presentations.
- Build relationships and maintain direct contact with more than 80 clients, prospective clients, and professional advisors.
New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Master of Business Administration, 2013
New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 2009 – 2012
- Concentration in Finance
- CFA Refresher Course November 2020
Whether you’ve been working as a senior financial analyst or are planning to get a new job that will help you climb the career ladder, you need a resume that will set you apart from other candidates.
Study the job description carefully and make sure that the skills and abilities, work experience, and achievements you include are relevant to the position.
- A senior financial analyst resume is important, but it must be short and to the point. You need to attract attention so that recruiters will want you to interview for the job.
- An objective or professional summary often tops financial resumes. While it isn’t compulsory, if you use an objective to make a bold statement about your skills and abilities, it can be the most positive element of your resume.
- Some employers want senior financial analysts to be certified. Even if certification isn’t mentioned in the job description, if you have any form of certification or licensure, mention it. It always adds credibility.
Tips from Experts
“Many companies filter their incoming resumes through a computer program to weed out candidates who aren’t a good match based on keywords. That filter means your resume may not ever make it to the hands of a hiring manager. Study the job description and look for keywords and action verbs such as ‘diagnose,’ ‘financial compliance,’ and ‘sales forecasting.’ Use these keywords wherever applicable in your resume. The more your keywords align, the greater your chance of rising to the top of the stack..” – Clint Ahlgrimm, resume coach and division director at Robert Half Finance & Accounting
“A resume is a marketing brochure (pitch book) about you. It describes your education, work and leadership experience (paid and unpaid), and your skills, activities, and interests. A resume’s purpose is to get an interview.” – Tufts Career Center – advice for finance roles in investment banking and asset management
“Clearly, it’s important to have both the right education and any needed licensing and certifications to become a financial analyst. Beyond these steps, it’s also important for future financial analysts to get work experience in the financial industry as early as possible and work their way up.” – Maryville University, St. Louis, MO
You’ve set your horizons and are ready for new challenges. You have the skills and abilities needed for the job you are applying for. You also have the ambition to get where you want to go. Now you just need to show your new employer that you will add more value to the job than any other candidate.
There are no absolutes when it comes to writing a senior financial analyst resume, but there are good and not-so-good ways of putting it together. Use the tips and advice we have provided. We are certain they will help.