Financial Advisers – How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Financial Advisers – How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Exchange Street Director, Robert Perry has been recruiting Financial Advisers in all areas of the UK for almost 20 years. Robert takes a looks at the current job market and suggests how job seekers can give themselves a competitive advantage.


Over the past 8 years the job market for financial planners has had its share of ups and downs with the banking crisis and RDR while we are still awaiting the real impact of the recent vote to leave the EU. Research by the Association of Financial Advisers shows that although the number of firms operating in the market has largely stayed the same, adviser numbers have dropped by around a quarter. Clearly the most significant losses have come from the banking sector which has seen more than half of advisers lose their jobs.

The market is slowly recovering and progress has undoubtedly been made since 2013 with around 1000 new IFA or Restricted Adviser roles created last year alone.  While most of our clients are extremely positive about the market outlook and continue to see significant increases in their annual revenue, the bruises from a tough few years remain.  As a result, employers are often risk averse and want to be sure that a new recruit will add value to the business. Recruitment processes are more stringent and candidates who wish to secure the best roles must make sure they are fully prepared throughout their job search. Following a few straightforward steps can be the difference between success and failure.

What do you want?

Everybody wants a better job and an improvement on their current situation, however many applicants go in to the job market without a clear idea of what that actually represents. It will vary from person to person but can include things like salary, bonus structure, hours, travel, career progression, working environment, company culture and size.  It is worth taking some time, possibly with family or those who will be impacted by your decision, to brainstorm all the things that you want from your next career move before prioritising these in to what the most important factors are for you. Not only will this help to focus your own thoughts but also gives your recruitment consultant a clear criteria to match you to potential opportunities.

Hatch a plan

Before starting a new venture most successful entrepreneurs will put together a short, medium and long term plan outlining what their goals are and what steps they must take to achieve them. Although many advisers work as part of a wider team, the role of any fee earner can often be thought of as a business within a business. Most advisers still have revenue targets and those who don’t will certainly have some defined performance measures. Forward thinking advisers should consider putting together a business plan outlining where they can add value to a potential employer incorporating how many clients they can bring, how they can attract new clients and how much revenue they can generate from their own sources. Most advisers would not join a practice that had no idea how many clients they could make available or how they could support an adviser with new business so it stands to reason that employers would consider applicants in the same manner.

First impressions count

Typically the first impression you will make on any new employer is your CV. In all likelihood your CV will be one of many that a potential employer will be considering so it is essential that it contains a substantive appraisal of your experience while also being concise enough to hold the reader’s attention.  For a more detailed look at how to present your CV, please refer to on our website.

‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’

As a new recruit represents a huge investment of both time and money for business, hiring the right candidate has never been more important. As a result the interview process has become more scientific than ever before. Different employers will utilise a variety of approaches however the most common are biographical interviews, competency based interviews, skills testing and psychometric testing. These days there is plenty of information at our fingertips on how to succeed at interviews (including and so failure to properly prepare is almost unforgivable. A well prepared candidate will not only perform better throughout the interview but will also show a potential employer that they are serious about the opportunity.

Get some help

An experienced recruitment consultant will be able to help throughout every stage of looking for a new job from helping you to identify the perfect job, creating a CV for you and guiding you through the recruitment process.

For further information on how we may be able to help you please call our head office on 0161 973 6900 or visit our website at