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The quality of your cover letter can make or break your chances of landing a job. This is especially true for financial planners, who are expected to be knowledgeable, precise and good communicators. Your cover letter needs to show employers how your education and the work you’ve done in the past prepared you to meet the employer’s needs in this new position. For financial planners, this not only means showing that you’re a master of money management, but you must also demonstrate that you have the interpersonal skills and attitude necessary to do the job the right way.
Header and Salutation
Your name, address, cell or home phone number and email go at the top of cover letter, on the right side of the page. This needs to be prominent so employers can locate your name and contact information quickly if they want to discuss your qualifications. Address the letter to the person who will review your submission as “Mr.” or “Ms.,” followed by the full name. If you don’t have a name, call the company and ask for the name of the person who’s in charge of hiring financial planners. As a last resort, you can use a phrase such as "Dear Hiring Manager" Or "Dear Hiring Human Resources."
Start by stating that you are interested in a financial planner position. If it was advertised, tell the reader where you saw the ad. If someone told you about the job, mention that person's name and relationship to the company. Employers will often give a few extra points to applicants who were referred by current employees, especially if the referrer is a trusted, hard worker.
In the next paragraph, describe your experience and why it makes you a prime candidate for the job. Don’t just rehash your resume. Instead, illustrate one or two specific examples of your effectiveness as a financial planner. This could be providing advice that substantially increased a client’s net worth, or selling a record number or financial products and services. Financial planners spend much of their time interacting with clients, so be sure the examples you choose also emphasize your customer service and resourceful problem solving skills, as these are two of the most important abilities a financial planner possesses. This section should be no more than two short paragraphs, so choose wisely and be succinct.
Elaborate on your education and certifications in the third section. State your degree first. If it wasn’t in a finance-related subject, list any courses you took in economics, investing, real estate, tax law, business or personal finance. Include any designations you earned, such as the Certified Financial Planner, Registered Investment Advisor or Chartered Financial Consultant. This is especially important for positions that involve selling bonds, stocks or insurance, or providing investment advice.
Provide a sentence or two summarizing how your best qualities will be an asset to the company. Invite the employer to contact you and learn more about what you can bring to the table. Place your name at the bottom of the letter. Leave space for your signature if you’re going to print the letter out and deliver it by mail, fax or in person.
Lauren Treadwell studied finance at Western Governors University and is an associate of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Treadwell provides content to a number of prominent organizations, including Wise Bread, FindLaw and Discover Financial. As a high school student, she offered financial literacy lessons to fellow students.