I'm about a year and a half out of college, and in that year I've worked for and left an insurance company through which I got my Series 63 and my Life, Health, and Annuities license. Like most life insurance companies, this company paid me only commission, and so I had to leave it for a teaching position because of that uncertainty in my pay.

I do not want to teach at all, but every time I apply for unlicensed banking positions (financial advisor training programs, private banking positions, financial advisor assistant positions, etc) I get rejected almost always within a day of submitting my application.

I want to know what the issue could be. Is it a resume or cover letter issue? Should I apply to licensed positions, even though I don't have a Series 7, or should I explore other options in finance?

For more background, aside from the licenses I have B.Sc.'s in math and physics, and have some experience in tax preparation. I would appreciate any advice that this board can offer.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Dukeling, Philipp, Peter M, gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 13 '18 at 14:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    What do you write in your cover letter? – Chan-Ho Suh Nov 12 '18 at 3:05
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    You do know you can ask prospective employers for feedback, right? Many won't give detailed reasons for rejection, but so do give good feedback which might point you in the right direction... – Moo Nov 12 '18 at 3:31
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    Trust and integrity are important in a lot of jobs in financial services. Do you have a criminal history especially for something that shows betrayal of trust, such as fraud? – Anthony Nov 12 '18 at 3:52
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    There's no way for us to know why you're getting rejected. It could be because you decided to leave the industry, but it could also be because of one of many other reasons. You should probably speak to a career adviser or just an experienced friend or family member, who'd be able to give advice specific to your situation. If you're wondering how to address your switch to a teaching position on a cover letter (or in an interview), that might make for a good question. – Dukeling Nov 12 '18 at 9:44
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    I am voting to close this question because we can not read the minds of the people who reject the author of the question. – Philipp Nov 12 '18 at 14:21

You don't write where you are. I am sure the situation is different in many countries.

But in my experience there must be something seriously wrong with you or with the way you present yourself, or maybe with records about you. In many countries almost anybody can get a job as a financial advisors - just with commissions.

I would ask someone, maybe a person who is working for years in a managements position, to have a look at your documents. Do you write in color? Lots of spelling mistakes? Is your resume different than standard (to the standard where you live)?

Do you have any bad entries for not paying the bank, a police record, etc.?

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    Some good general tips for common resume mistakes :) – motosubatsu Nov 12 '18 at 9:57
  • If you can't find a manager to help, try a recruiter - who is motivated to see that you have a good CV, and to see you placed in order to earn a commission. Failing that, you can also pay to have your CV reviewed, although personally I question the worth of that (YMMV). – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 13 '18 at 8:03

There's several factors at play I can see here.

You have one financial-related position, and it's at best tangentially related to more general finance jobs and it's hard to see that offering much in your favor. You were there less than 18 months, had to leave because (forgive me if this sounds harsh, I'm just trying to look at it as a hiring manager might) you couldn't succeed at it. Shifted to a non-finance job which you are now trying to leave to shift career again.

None of these are out and out deal-breakers, after all commission-only jobs are easy to get but often difficult to succeed in and it's not that unusual for people just starting out in their career to take some time to "settle" but they do have negative connotations and since your (limited) experience isn't hugely relevant to general finance jobs it's a tough sell to compare you positively with someone who is, say, just graduating.

So what can you do to make yourself a more appealing prospect?

Well, I would look to bolster your resume in the ways that you can, I'm not sure what college degree you have but perhaps some sort of relevant financial course, or look into taking your Series 7 yourself. This will not only improve your employability purely from a qualification and skills perspective but also will show a degree of commitment to the financial services arena that will help dispel the "can't make up their mind" impression.

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