The best CFA Institute tools to make your career great!

Current economic conditions worldwide remain stagnant as a result of the prolonged coronavirus pandemic. Compared with other markets, the Swiss economy emerges to be quite resilient1. Nevertheless, a lockdown of the local economy in the second quarter has taken its toll with increased unemployment. As a result, the current job market environment in Switzerland is momentarily unfavorable.

In these circumstances it is of the utmost importance to take every opportunity to apply for emerging vacancies. To help in these errands CFA Institute has introduced a brand-new instrument to support Candidates and Charterholders, namely Career Tools. You may easily access them through the platform via the “My Tools” tab. In this article, I will provide a preview of how these tools can boost your job application process.

However, before sharing specific insights, I should note it is a given that many of you stand at different stages of your career. Consequently, the problems you face during a job application process may vary. While interviewing, at different stages of your career the interviews may look different. It is also important for you to notice that the way recruiters and hiring managers approach recruitment process is constantly changing and if you have not been in any process for a very long time (say 10 years), it may be an uncharted territory for you. Having this in mind, CFA Institute has purposely tailored Career Tools to address various problems you may be confronted with during the application process. Let me now introduce some of the new Career Tools.

Whether entering or reentering the job market, these tools are for you!

No matter what career stage you are currently on, you need to be able to showcase a match between your skills, experience, and the role you are applying for. To be able to do that it is necessary to separately adjust your CV to every position you apply for. Moreover, in case you apply for a job in Switzerland, you need to take into account specific aspects of your CV such as an adequate photo, an appropriate description of your experience, an explanation of employment gaps or language used2.

Preparing a great CV is a time-consuming process. To streamline this task, make use of CV Builder, one of the new, slick Career Tools. This application instrument will essentially guide you step-by-step through all the necessary sections required in a well-drafted CV. For this purpose, you will need to fill consecutive fields related to your education, experience and skills. In case you are unsure of how to formulate specific segments, numerous tips and suggestions are there to help you. Moreover, it continually saves your progress, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work. In the end, as you complete all the sections, you can export your CV to a separate Word file within six predefined templates best suited for your needs.

Another tool that CFA Institute puts at your disposal is CV360. This smart instrument is well suited for those who would like to go for the most prominent companies in the Swiss job market. It analyses how your CV is read by the applicant tracking systems (or ATS). This is a software used by recruiters, which automatically screens received CVs and accepts/rejects candidates’ profiles based on specific parameters. It is a fact that 75% of applications are rejected by ATS, while 62% of companies that exploit this software confirm that qualified candidates may mistakenly be filtered out3. So, be careful! Have you used a wrong formatting of bullet points or sent your CV in a .pdf format? Then there is a high chance that your application will be turned down. Therefore, it is imperative to upload your document to CV360 and let it examine your CV before you give the “Submit” button a final click.

The CV is a fundamental document of every application. However, you probably have also found writing a convincing cover letter troublesome. If that is true, then Cover Letter Builder is there for you. With this support in hand, you will easily create subsequent versions of this document tailored to specific companies and positions. The cover letter is especially important in the Swiss job market, as it allows an employer to get an impression of your motives and ambitions. Essentially, Cover Letter Builder will help you properly express your interest in a company, emphasize your match with an announced position and provide details essential to strengthen your candidacy. For this purpose, you will find a list of action words or sentence suggestions useful to draft a powerful document.

Career veteran? Career Tools are also for you!

More senior professionals may feel that they know all about it already. This is rarely true and even if you know everything about applications and interviewing, you probably can still improve. Obviously, improvement comes with training. During a job interview you may be asked many unexpected questions. The purpose of these questions is to assess not only your hard skills but also your personality traits. To prepare for this challenge, launch the Interview Simulator. The tool offers you 161 HR questions and specific suggestions regarding each of them. Not only will you have a chance to prepare your answers in advance but also to record them on the video to rehearse later. This functionality is particularly useful considering video interview applications, which are commonly used by recruiters. This constitutes another kind of IT tool, which automates an interview process with artificial intelligence. This software analyses your video answers to predefined questions. Subsequently, it assesses thousands of data points to draw conclusions on aspects such as behavioral profile, body language or presentation clarity. A most prominent example of such software is HireVue, which is used by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan4. Therefore, do not waste time and launch Interview Simulator, which will help you practice giving smooth and convincing answers to various HR questions.

Speaking about the interview processes, some take the form of a complex assessment center, which also takes place on the company’s premises. However, it usually lasts a couple of hours and aims to test your skills in practice. If you are unsure what to expect from this kind of evaluation, then check the Assessment Center Tool, which will give you an in-depth overview of the whole process, its objectives, and tasks you may likely expect.

A job interview is a structured process conducted onsite, during which you have a chance of showcasing your experience and qualities to a potential employer. However, a hectic schedule of market fairs and random business meetings may not give you that much time to introduce yourself. For this kind of situation, you need a short introduction statement, commonly known as an ‘elevator pitch’. To help you build your individual pitch, CFA Institute introduced another tool, Elevator Pitch Builder. This application will guide you through four specific elements necessary to prepare a powerful elevator pitch with suggestions of convincing phrases. If you are not familiar with this form of a business presentation, then prepare your striking professional statement in advance with support of this instrument.

Take your application to the next level!

Applying for a job is a lengthy and demanding process, during which a candidate goes through various challenging tasks. Consequently, solid preparation is of immense importance. If you are currently searching for a job, then CFA Institute Career Services' instruments will be of high value for you. Therefore, don’t hesitate and lift off your application process with the support of the CFA Institute Career Tools!


1 sigma Resilience Index 2020: global resilience put to the pandemic test




All Careers Advice