It’s a common predicament among those vying for risk management jobs – you’re already in the field, you’ve got a few good years of experience under your belt and a solid resume to boot, yet you’re still uneasy about your chances for getting an interview with a good firm because one nagging uncertainty remains: your cover letter.
Maybe you already know that hiring managers will typically judge a candidate by their cover letter long before they ever pick up a resume. That’s why writing a great one is so essential. With these tips, you’ll be able to present recruiters with the sort of cover letter that will have them reaching for the nearest phone before they’ve even put it down.
“Impress recruiters by speaking succinctly on what it is you do better than anyone else.”
Highlight your greatest achievements
The best of what you’ve accomplished so far in your risk management career will already be featured in your resume, but a couple of the most significant or impressive achievements should also appear in your cover letter. For candidates who have been commended in the past for creating risk controls or frameworks – this is the place to let hiring managers know about it. You can’t rely on others to pick up on your greatest strengths, no matter how impressive. So, to separate yourself from the crowd, speak succinctly on what you’ve accomplished in risk management beyond your peers.
Make your communication abilities clear
Every resume sports some line about “great communication abilities,” but it is something else altogether to prove that you have them. To show rather than tell, your writing must be precise, your grammar perfect, and your work history exemplative of an ability to connect with other banking departments. Risk management is not an island. It is an integral organ of the banking body, and those seeking a position in risk management must be able to confront a wide a range of issues and demonstrate an acute inter-departmental understanding of the field.
Emphasize your regulation knowledge
Lessons learned after the financial collapse in 2008 have made risk management a career field dictated in large part by financial regulations. A cover letter that makes clear to hiring managers that you have an ingrained knowledge of current regulations, as well as an awareness of those still yet to come, is one that will be sure to impress. If you can back those up with relevant personal experience, such as specific examples of how you successfully adjusted to new regulations in the past, you’ll be doing a lot to set yourself apart.
When applying to a risk management job, use your cover letter to emphasize risk-specific accomplishments.
Depending on the specific type of risk job you’re applying to, you’ll want to focus on certain criteria. In operational risk, it’s best to provide evidence of your proactive approach to management, with not only a deep reservoir of ORM knowledge, but an obvious exposure to modern ORM functions. In market risk, on the other hand, technical skills should receive the spotlight. This means your cover letter covers a sizable range of product knowledge in addition to highlighting any work on risk-related projects.
Suggest what your long-term goals are
Providing an employer with an idea of where you see yourself in the next five or ten years is important in almost every job. In risk management, where seismic regulatory shifts have cracked open the opportunities for dynamic career paths, a professional vision is what firms are looking for. Toward the end of your cover letter, suggest how you plan to commit to the risk sector long-term, and what you hope to achieve for yourself. Recruiters appreciate a candidate whose ambition extends beyond a paycheck.