The finance industry is more competitive than ever and small factors can dictate if you land a new role. That’s why financial services professionals will need to go the extra mile if they want to get a job offer from a top organization. There are a variety of ways to stand out from the competition. However, one of the best ways to get noticed by the top employers is by leveraging your product and market knowledge throughout the hiring process.
“At the beginning of your career, it can be really beneficial to be a generalist. It allows you to be a well-rounded candidate and helps you understand a lot of different products,” says Tim McGuire, a Senior Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “However, if you plan to grow your career and land a leadership role, you’ll need to be an expert in a product, have a solid understanding of the market as a whole, and know the competitors in the space. This knowledge will be your biggest asset during the entire hiring process.”
Being an expert in a specific product and market can be a gamechanger during your job search. However, you’ll need to be able to showcase this level of expertise throughout the entire hiring process. Not sure where to start? These tips below can help:
Customize your resume
Showing product knowledge on your resume is a great place to start when trying to stand out from other applicants. However, you don’t want to simply list your product knowledge in the skills section of your resume. Take the extra step and explain what you do with the products and markets you work with on a day-to-day basis throughout your resume. “Other candidates may have the same product knowledge as you, but might not know how to strategically speak to this knowledge on their resumes,” says Jesse Blumenau, a Senior Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “By weaving in your experience with these products and markets into your responsibilities, you’ll give a hiring manager a more tangible picture of the value you can bring to the organization. You’ll have a better chance of moving on to the next phase of the hiring process, as a result.”
Speak to your product knowledge during the interview
Once you get to the interview round of the hiring process, you’ll need to be able to articulately discuss your product knowledge and prove that it makes you the right fit for the role. “That’s why you need to first understand the products and markets the organization works with,” says Tim. “Doing your due diligence will ensure you can give clear examples of how you are an expert in the products you need to know for the role. Highlighting this expertise can ultimately mean the difference between you and another candidate.”
If you are early in your career and haven’t yet had the opportunity to develop specific product knowledge, one of these three could be good to start with.
- Fixed income/Credit (including treasuries, investment grade bonds, high-yield bonds, ABS, MBS, CDS, CLO’s, CDO’s)