How to Write a Senior Level Resume

Many people late in their careers don’t expect to be searching for a new opportunity. Unfortunately, turnover is a natural part of the business cycle and can affect everyone from new employees to veteran professionals.

Many people late in their careers don’t expect to be searching for a new opportunity. Unfortunately, turnover is a natural part of the business cycle and can affect everyone from new employees to veteran professionals.

The good news? Experience on Wall Street is a valuable asset. Whether you expected to change positions this late in your career or not, framing that experience in the right way is the key to constructing an impressive resume.

Don’t restrict yourself to one page

The most important factor in executing this is to break the number one resume rule: keeping it to one page. After numerous years in the workforce, one page resumes won’t stand up to your extensive experience. Two page resumes are expected at this level so there is no need to cram everything onto one page.

Conversely, depending on how many companies you have worked at in the past, fitting all of your work experience to two pages can be a challenge. If this is the case, only include the most recent and senior-level roles you have held and any that directly relate to the position you are applying for. If you end up needing extra room to explain your experience, you can always expand on certain areas within your cover letter.

Don’t stick to a general resume

Take some extra time to consider what each firm is looking for in the position posted. Are they looking for someone to manage a team? Are they looking for someone with operational experience? By tailoring your resume to each application, you show that you made the effort to thoroughly understand the job description and what the hiring manager is looking for in an applicant. It’s no longer necessary to list experience just to show experience. If you still feel like you want to explain your entire career progression, group all the relevant experience at the top of your resume and include a smaller section below titled “Additional Work Experience”.

Sell yourself as an executive

Assuming you are applying to another senior level role, the natural progression of the position might lead to an executive level opportunity. In order to prove that you are an appropriate investment for the future, include a short and concise executive summary below your contact information to show the measurable bottom-line results you have achieved throughout your career. For example, an above average return on your clients’ portfolios or being named to Institutional Investor’s All America Research Team is noteworthy enough to highlight.

An important thing to note – avoid using this summary as an objective statement. What you can include is a sentence describing yourself as an employee. Remember the timeless interview question, “Describe yourself in three words?”. Although easier said than done, you still need to avoid the empty adjectives such as “driven” or “motivated”. Really focus on what you can bring to the table at this point in your career as opposed to the generic, “I’m a driven and motivated finance professional looking for an opportunity where I can make an impact”. As an experienced employee, firms are looking for what you can bring to the company, not what the company can do for you.

Understand Recruiting Technology

Today, even the most traditional types of finance firms are using technology to source and filter through resumes. Whether you submit your application through OneWire, an email address, or a general job board, the majority of hiring managers are narrowing down the talent pool by searching with specific keywords.

To tackle this, mirror the language used in the job description while writing your resume. If they use the term “wealth management” over “financial advisory”, use that exact phrase in at least one spot on your resume. Your skills section should also include any certifications or licenses you have received such as CFA, CPA, Series 7 even if it is not listed in the job description. This ensures that your resume will still appear in the results if the firm narrows down applicants by those qualifications.

Have a Clean Format

The golden rule of formatting will always remain the same: less is more. Make sure the font you choose is clean but serious. Serif fonts like these give an executive feel without going over the top. Avoid unnecessary bold, italics, or underlines and have a friend double check its legibility before submitting your application.

At this stage in your career, writing a resume might seem like second nature to you. However, even the smallest thing could be the difference between placed in the no folder and being called in for an interview. Creating a senior level resume is no doubt a different exercise than writing one as a junior employee. Just remember to frame your experience in a serious, professional manner and you will be well on your way to a landing a new position.

Looking for a new opportunity in finance? Search senior level openings on OneWire here.