You've uploaded your CV to our resume database. You've applied to more jobs than you can remember. You've stood outside London's Liverpool station wearing a sandwich board advertising your skills. You've taken out an advertising hoarding specifying your availability. Nothing's worked. No one has bitten. You are as attractive to a recruiter as a sausage to a vegan.
What's going wrong?
It's possible that your CV contains the wrong words. Although job seekers almost always outnumber available jobs, there are some words denoting particular skills which recruiters struggle to match to jobs in the current market.
We're not suggesting that you drop these words into your resume if you don't actually have those skills. But if you want to increase your strike rate you might want to try to develop these shortage skills. Alternatively, if you already have these skills you might want to arbitrage between regions and sell them where they're most in demand.
Based upon an analysis of the jobs currently advertised on eFinancialCareers globally, and the CVs in our own CV database, these are the words and phrases which are particularly sought-after by recruiters now. In each case, we've compared the number job advertisements containing each word or phrase with the number of CVs specifying that same skill.
As you can see, there are huge discrepancies between skills and regions. Interestingly, the Asia Pacific region looks a little over-broked.
In-demand finance skills, globally and by region
1. 'Regulatory change'
'Regulatory change' is the hottest phrase you can put on your resume now. There's a big shortage of regulatory change expertise globally, but it's most acute in North America. Regulatory change expertise is self-explanatory - it means you can help banks adapt their businesses to cope with new regulations.
Regulatory change resumes per regulatory change job globally: 1.8
Regulatory change resumes per regulatory change job in Asia Pacific (APAC): 1.3
Regulatory change resumes per regulatory change job in North America: 1.1.
Regulatory change resumes per regulatory change job in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA): 2.2
2. 'Compliance advisory'
'Compliance advisory' is the second hottest phrase to drop into your resume. Compliance advisory professionals are more than mere monitoring drones who check that banks adhere to rules - they're consultants who work with (for example) salespeople and traders to develop new products that match changing regulations. They're particularly in demand in EMEA.
Compliance advisory resumes per compliance advisory job globally: 2.5
Compliance advisory resumes per compliance advisory job in APAC: 2.5
Compliance advisory resumes per compliance advisory job in North America: 4.7
Compliance advisory resumes per compliance advisory job in EMEA: 2.2
3. 'Model validation'
'Model validation' is also a good skill to have on your CV. It's especially helpful if you're looking for a job in EMEA or North America, but there's a glut of model validators in APAC. Model validators are often quants who verify banks' derivatives pricing and internal risk models to ensure they're working as they should.
Model validation resumes per model validation job globally: 8.1
Model validation resumes per model validation job in APAC: 22.2
Model validation resumes per model validation job in North America: 5.5
Model validation resumes per model validation job in EMEA: 7.5
4. 'Collateral' (in North America only)
'Collateral' can apply to anything from collateral management to collateral transformation, or simple 'collateral operations' jobs. Collateral is becoming a far more important focus for investment banks. Trading is being forced through centralised clearing houses which are very fussy about the kinds of collateral they will accept. Our research suggests there's a healthy number of collateral specialists in APAC and EMEA, but a comparative shortage in North America.
Collateral resumes per collateral job globally: 14.2
Collateral resumes per collateral job in APAC: 19.8
Collateral resumes per collateral job in North America: 8.4.
Collateral resumes per collateral job in EMEA: 18.1
5. 'Liquidity risk' (especially in North America and APAC)
Liquidity risk refers to the risk that a bank gets stuck with an investment which is (probably) declining fast in price and can't be sold. Liquidity risk experts have been sought in EMEA for sometime and the region looks well catered for. However, there's a comparative shortage of liquidity risk expertise in North America.
Liquidity risk resumes per liquidity risk job globally: 14.7
Liquidity risk resumes per liquidity risk job in APAC: 13.8
Liquidity risk resumes per liquidity risk job in North America: 7.5
Liquidity risk resumes per liquidity risk job in EMEA: 20.8.
6. OTC derivatives (especially in North America and EMEA)
'OTC derivatives' skills can refer to anything from drafting contracts for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives transactions to re-engineering the process for OTC derivatives trades so that more of them take place through centralized exchanges. Regulators are pushing for derivatives to become exchange-traded in both North America and EMEA, and this may explain the comparative shortage of staff in these regions.
OTC derivatives resumes per OTC derivatives job globally: 14.9
OTC derivatives resumes per OTC derivatives job in APAC: 28.8
OTC derivatives resumes per OTC derivatives job in North America: 8.7
OTC derivatives resumes per OTC derivatives job in EMEA: 15.3
'C#' is the computer programming language typically used by banks to build trading, pricing and risk systems. Knowledge of C# typically needs to be combined with some knowledge of financial markets and financial products. Whilst there's a glut of C# resumes in Asia, the skillset seems to be less prolific in the U.S. and - to a lesser extent - EMEA.
C# resumes per C# job globally: 14.9
C# resumes per C# job in APAC: 28.9
C# resumes per C# job in North America: 7.6
C# resumes per C# job in EMEA: 13.9