Key Financial Consultant Skills and How to Highlight Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Financial consultants are experts that assist customers in managing their financial resources. The role necessitates a wide range of soft and hard skills and an understanding of the finance field. Understanding the skills necessary to be a financial consultant can assist you in preparing for the position and identifying your professional talents. In this article, we look at some of the most common financial consultant skills you may cultivate and show you how to highlight them while applying for jobs.

Related: What Is a Financial Consultant? Job Scope, Skills and Salary

What are financial consultant skills?

To be a financial consultant, it's essential that you have both hard and soft financial consultant skills. Technical skills encapsulate your industry knowledge, allowing you to better your clients' financial situations. They're specific to financial advisers and you may typically acquire them through school or training. Soft skills complement technical abilities and you may gain these skills while obtaining professional experience. They allow you to efficiently communicate with clients and co-workers and enable you to produce high-quality work. Here are some of the important skills for this role:

Customer service

It's important for financial consultants to have strong customer service skills to recruit new clients and keep existing ones. Professionalism and excellent relationship-building can inspire customers to refer financial advisers to others in their network, which can help the advisor's firm develop and eventually improve product sales. Customer service also entails excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Competencies in business development

Financial advisers who are skilful in business development can set performance goals and track their sales data. Financial consultants may collaborate closely with other organisation members, such as estate agents and product providers. They employ business development abilities to provide management presentations and negotiate product costs.

Research

When a customer requires financial help, the consultant performs in-depth research into the client's financial background. They investigate how the client's prior financial management led to their current situation. Advisors also look into strategies to help clients reach their financial goals, which may involve making smart investments in stocks or real estate or investing in goods like life insurance plans or retirement accounts. Research also assists advisers in staying up to date on new goods that enter the market.

Asset management

Financial consultants understand how to build and keep wealth, which they utilise to advise customers on how to earn and manage their money. Wealth management is a subset of industry expertise where consultants understand which assets may provide better revenue and which are available on the market. They also understand how to select sensible investments depending on the finances customers have and the wealth they wish to amass.

Communication

Communication and interpersonal skills are very important because they enable financial consultants to interact with their customers one-on-one. These skills can fall into the following sub-categories:

  • Verbal communication: Consultants convey the outcomes of their study and their financial advice to their customers in a way that they can understand. They may use less technical jargon and provide guidance in easy-to-understand terms.

  • Nonverbal communication: The consultant's body language, such as nodding their head and making direct eye contact with the client, can demonstrate their attention to the discussion. It may also entail maintaining a neutral facial expression as the customer describes their requirements.

  • Active listening: These refer to strategies to demonstrate to the customer that the consultant is paying careful attention to their concerns. They may rephrase the client's statement or use phrases like '**I understand' and 'I see.'

Related: Verbal Communication Examples (With Benefits and Tips)

Detail orientation

Financial advisers can stay organised by paying close attention to detail while performing their job tasks. They listen to the customer's demands to get an insight into the investments that the client is likely to make. Advisors detail their descriptions of investing plans to help customers understand what steps to take. Advisors also maintain a high level of detail when documenting statistics on financial reports.

Empathy

Empathy is essential for financial consultants to form genuine connections with their customers. Clients may have concerns about the health of their finances and consultants have access to a great deal of personal information. Financial consultants with strong emotional intelligence can provide and tailor recommendations to the client's requirements and provide assistance.

Risk evaluation

Before providing advice to their customers, financial consultants identify and manage risks. Typically, risk assessment happens throughout the research phase, when consultants foresee problems that clients may experience as they attempt to achieve their goals. Risks include a shifting market, which may affect the performance of investments and a lack of job stability, which can increase financial stress and could limit future income for the client.

Analytical reasoning

Analytical thinking enables financial consultants to solve complex financial problems. For instance, a customer with a financial objective may only have a restricted amount of money to attain it. Consultants may examine the client's financial situation and give recommendations that result in a beneficial conclusion without squandering their money. As new assets enter the market, financial consultants use analytical thinking to determine which products are going to be successful.

Related: What Does a Consultant Do? Key Duties for Each Speciality

What does a financial consultant do?

A financial consultant is a trained financial specialist who helps customers understand their assets and what they want those assets to accomplish for them in the short and long term. These plans include a variety of financial measures, such as taxes, insurance, investments and retirement planning, to support individuals in planning for a happy retirement and unexpected financial crises. Financial advisors help their customers reach their financial goals by reviewing investments, budgets and savings plans.

A financial consultant is typically in charge of recommending the type of retirement account to use, encouraging customers to invest in certain assets and answering questions about how much to save if a client wants to prepare for retirement but is unclear how. Depending on their background, expertise and experience, financial consultants may assist customers with specific additional needs, such as tax preparation and insurance. The following are some common responsibilities that define what a financial consultant is:

  • reviewing and evaluating budgeting, short-term and long-term savings techniques and investment goals

  • performing research and looking into different investing opportunities

  • aiding in estate management and tax planning by providing advice on insurance products and tax solutions that help customers accomplish their financial goals

  • providing customers with information on investing and insurance options and the associated benefits and dangers

  • helping customers in the development of financial strategies for retirement, education and legacy goals

  • offering financial advice for major life events such as having children or getting married

  • overseeing client accounts for potential investment changes to accommodate a change in risk behaviour or improve financial performance

Related: How to Become a Consultant: Qualifications and Skills Needed

How to emphasise your financial consultant skills

Below are some skills that are important to emphasise:

1. Include a list of your talents on your resume

When you communicate your qualifications on your resume, you may create a good first impression on a hiring manager. List your skills in a bullet-pointed list under the section on skills. It may also be beneficial to highlight skills that the hiring managers included in the job description. For instance, if the job description indicated that the firm prefers candidates who can empathise with clients, you may include empathy on your resume to gain the employer's attention. You may also include your skill set in your professional profile, which explains why you're a good fit for the post.

2. Discuss your expertise in your cover letter

Hiring managers may ask you to send a cover letter to comment on the substance of your resume, which is another way to demonstrate your talents. As you would have done with your resume, include the talents listed in the job description. In your cover letter, you may also explain how you acquired those talents, which can help you emphasise your educational background and degree of expertise. For instance, you may declare that you grew proficient in wealth management while finishing a bachelor's degree programme.

3. Give particular instances of how you used your talents in a job interview.

You may use extensive explanations for your financial adviser talents during the job interviewer so that the interviewer understands your level of experience. For instance, describe how your research skills helped you recommend a product that benefited a client's financial situation or how your attention to detail enabled you to manage a difficult case. You may also underline your eagerness to increase your skill set and extend your industry knowledge, which can show the company that you value professional development.

Related: Q&A: What Does a Financial Advisor Do?

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