We recently explored what it’s like working as a financial advisor, which had us wondering, what does it take to land such a job?

To find out, we asked Kelly Antonakakis, regional recruiting director at Freedom 55 Financial, what she looks for in a resume, and more importantly, in a candidate.

Experience – but not necessarily in finance

Your background, skills, and previous work experience are relevant to any position you apply for, but at Freedom 55 Financial, recruiters aren’t always looking for people who have a proven past working with money.

The company provides a famously comprehensive training program, so there’s no need to limit their focus on recruits with a background in finance. New hires receive months of paid training as they obtain their licenses to sell both life insurance and mutual funds.

“We don’t need you to know everything about finance. We’ll teach you everything,” says Antonakakis, explaining that it’s more about common sense than about dollars and cents. In fact, Antonakakis has recruited financial advisors from a diverse array of fields.

“We like entrepreneurs. Teachers also do very well in our business because they’re very good at explaining complex things,” says Antonakakis. “People who come from a sports background also tend to do very well in our business; they’re self-motivated, they like results and they like to compete against themselves. In the end, we’re looking for somebody with a strong sense of past success.”

A people person

Being personable is one of the most crucial skills in financial services. Clients put their futures in the hands of their advisors, which makes nurturing those relationships crucial.

“We want somebody who’s very personable, who’s intelligent and can have a conversation with somebody,” says Antonakakis. “We want somebody who loves to smile and who’s happy. You definitely need personality in this business because you’re talking to people all the time.”


For many jobs in finance, it’s helpful to have a large network of personal and professional contacts who can form the beginnings of a client base. It doesn’t hurt to showcase that you’re social media savvy or illustrate the size of your network and potential influence.

“Social media is very important in our business, especially with millennials – that’s how they connect,” says Antonakakis.

Creativity and curiosity

Some of the benefits of a career in financial services include freedom and flexibility. Freedom 55 Financial security advisors, for example, effectively run their own businesses. They have the freedom to choose their markets, identify potential new clients, and tailor advice to each of their specific goals and needs.

However, that sort of leeway is not for everyone. Flexible, outside-the-box thinkers fit-in very well in that environment – so try to highlight evidence of your creativity and resourcefulness.

“It’s not an assembly line – it’s very creative work,” says Antonakakis.

Organizational acuity

For many people working in finance, two days rarely look alike. On any given day, you might handle investment planning, retirement savings, and short-term savings as well as decisions around life, disability, and critical illness insurance. You’ll also need to make time to schedule meetings with clients and respond to their requests.

“If you have a proven track record of multitasking and staying organized, it can help you stand out,” says Antonakakis.

A dreamer

People are attracted to financial services because there’s often no ceiling on your compensation. Freedom 55 Financial offers upfront commissions, productivity-based bonuses, and a company-matching RRSP, but ultimately, your pay is up to you. According to Antonakakis, this type of work is made for people who are determined, and who aim high.

“In the end, we’re really looking for people who want to fulfill their own goals, aspire to be their own boss, and dream big.”


See also:

What’s it like working as a financial advisor?

How to write a resume for a job in finance

What’s better for your career: renting or buying a home?


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