A rite of passage for most employees in the securities industry is passing the Series 7 examination. Officially known as the General Securities Representative Examination, this Securities and Exchange Commission-mandated exam is required for all individuals who sell any type of securities like stocks. To take the Series 7 exam, you must have a sponsor. Most Series 7 candidates are sponsored through employment at an SRO (self-regulatory organization) or FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) member securities firm. Obtaining employment with a securities firm can be challenging since many firms require job applicants to have their Series 7 license before starting a job.
Find companies that routinely sponsor Series 7 candidates and search for employment opportunities with these firms. Search through job board postings for companies that list sponsorship opportunities, or do not list a Series 7 requirement. Consider taking a lower-level job at one of these firms to get noticed and earn the right to take your Series 7 exam. Higher-level securities related jobs typically require Series 7 licensing, so searching for higher-paying job opportunities will usually be unfruitful.
Solicit SRO or FINRA member companies for employment that offers sponsorship opportunities. Proactively submit your resume and a cover letter that states your Series 7 desire. Present a strong resume, and a company may hire you for an observation period to determine whether it will sponsor you.
Network with your acquaintances, friends and relatives to find someone who has her Series 7 license and is willing to sponsor you. Consider discussing your desire at your affiliated organizations such as religious groups, community organizations or educational establishments.
Obtain other licenses that increase your chances of being hired by a sponsoring firm. Consider taking the Series 65 exam that qualifies you as a registered investment adviser, the Series 63 exam to become a uniform securities agent or the Series 3 exam on futures and commodities. By having these qualifications, it shows you are committed to the securities industry and are able to pass securities examinations. These exams also expand your potential capacity as an employee, which makes you more attractive to potential sponsoring companies.
Take a job in a similar industry to enhance your resume. Consider jobs in the insurance industry, real estate or mortgage broker industry. These industries require similar customer service and sales skills as securities brokers. By proving your skills, you become more attractive to Series 7-sponsoring companies.