Get your risk letter right
You work in risk management and you have solid experience and a well-crafted CV. In theory, you should be a shoo-in for getting a job interview.
However, one thing still stands in your way – your cover letter. Recruiters and hiring managers will often read this before they even bother to open your resume, so it’s vital that you get it right.
Here are some expert tips to help you perfect your risk management cover letter.
Make your years clear
Make it easy for hiring managers and recruiters to see your level of experience by stating the number of years you’ve worked in your field of risk towards the top of the cover letter, says Yimin Lam, a manager of financial services risk at recruiters Robert Walters. “Hiring managers may not pay much attention if you write ‘worked as a credit analyst in three global banks’ – so instead write that you have ‘eight years of experience’.”
But don’t go too far backin your risk cover letter
Once you’ve stated the length of your risk career, you then only need to provide details of the past four or five years, says Andrea Mak, a manager of banking and financial services at recruitment agency Randstad. “Any experience or knowledge that spans longer than that may be outdated given tighter risk control and changing guidelines.”
Pick your top achievements
Your risk resume should already be full of achievements, but you’ll also want to more briefly mention the top two or three most significant ones in your cover letter, says Mak. “This is especially important if you’ve accomplished something outstanding in preparing risk frameworks or risk controls. Highlighting these will help your potential employer identify your strengths and differentiate you from other candidates.”
Focus on regulations in your risk management cover letter
“Careers in risk are increasingly dictated by current and upcoming financial regulations, so articulating your in-depth understanding of regulations and your direct experience in dealing with them goes a long way,” says James Findlay, head of risk and compliance at recruitment firm Selby Jennings.
Demonstrate your cross-department communication skills
“Make sure you inform the reader of your risk management cover letter about all the areas of the bank you have dealt with,” advises Findlay. “Risk is now instrumental to the whole bank, so an ability to face off and communicate effectively to all functions is crucial, as is an understanding of how different departments operate.”
Show off any senior stakeholder experience
“List the level of senior management interaction you’ve had – this is particularly important if the new risk job requires working with anyone close to or in the front office,” says Findlay. “Your ability to confidently report and regulate front-office traders is something a potential employer will want to see in a cover letter.” Lam from Robert Walters adds: “Be specific here – instead of saying ‘I have interacted with senior stakeholders’, say ‘stakeholders at director, MD and head-of-department levels’. And state your actual involvement in any risk committee – participating and presenting is very different from just preparing the decks.”
Credit risk: summarise your coverage in your cover letter
“In credit risk be sure to highlight your client and sector coverage – for example ‘TMT and commodities companies in Southeast Asia’ – and documentation experience. Use numbers and state your approval authority if any,” says Lam.
Operational risk: go broad
“Recent changes in financial regulations demand that operational risk professionals move from a reactive to a more proactive approach,” says Claudia Dumitru, a risk and compliance consultant at recruiters Astbury Marsden. “So on your cover letter demonstrate not only in-depth knowledge of ORM, but also broader exposure to different facets of risk management and related functions in the bank that are relevant in this new ORM era.”
Market risk: product expertise is key
“The cover letter is a great tool to highlight your technical skill-sets in market risk, so incorporating product knowledge is essential,” says Dumitru. Lam adds: “Market risk managers should share a full view of their asset class coverage. And also, as regulatory demands increase, highlighting project work can add more substance to a market risk CV, especially in areas like stress testing.”
Show transferrable skills
As banks expand their risk departments, it’s becoming more common for candidates to move between different risk function, says Mak from Randstad. “If you’re changing roles, you should indicate why you’re interested in moving, highlighting that you want to learn new skills and that you also possess some transferable skills.”
State long-term goals
Recent regulatory upheavals mean risk management now offers broader and more dynamic careers than it did in the past – and employers want to hire candidates who show long-term commitment to the sector. Mak recommends including a forward-looking statement in your cover letter outlining what you aim to achieve in the role over the longer term.
Do all the above succinctly
A sentence (or two at the most) is enough for each of the above recommendations – you only need to summarise your skills and achievements. “Make sure your letter is succinct,” says Chris Haynes, associate director, risk and compliance, at recruiters Taylor Root. “An alarmingly high percentage of risk cover letters read essentially like a version of the candidate’s CV – rambling on and repeating the obvious.”
Risk Manager Cover Letter
Risk Managers advise key executives on potential risks and help them make informed business decisions. Typical work activities of a Risk Manager are implementing risks management strategies, assessing risks, determining the level of risk the organization is willing to accept, purchasing insurance, training staff on risk-related issues, ensuring compliance to standards, taking part in audits, and preparing business plans to be applied in case something goes wrong.
A well-written cover letter sample for Risk Manager usually mentions the following skills and abilities:
- Training in business and risk management
- Technical skills
- Problem-solving orientation
- Being able to cope with pressure
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- A good understanding of business issues
- Computer proficiency
Below is provided a cover letter example demonstrating similar Risk Manager experience and qualifications.
For help with your resume, check out our extensive Risk Manager Resume Samples.
Dear Mr. Hardy:
Upon learning of your search for a seasoned Risk Manager to join your team at Barraby Health Services, I felt compelled to submit the enclosed resume for your consideration. As a dedicated and highly accomplished professional with more than 16 years of experience spearheading risk management and mitigation for reputable healthcare companies, I am prepared to vastly exceed your expectations in this role.
Throughout my career, I have demonstrated continual expertise in performing high-level risk assessments, leading motivated and productive teams, and driving policy development and implementation to minimize liability risk. My demonstrated success in overseeing strategic business planning and implementation, along with my excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, positions me to make a significant impact on your organization.
Highlights of my experience include the following:
- Directed all activities pertaining to risk analysis, evaluation, and mitigation for Open Heart Healthcare in Houston, identifying areas for concern and orchestrating corrective actions to minimize liability risk for individual providers, group practices, and healthcare facilities.
- Controlled risk through keen analysis of data derived from aggregate claim reports, individual claim analyses, on-site risk assessments, and additional internal and external sources.
- Suggested and helped to implement appropriate risk management interventions at provider offices, group practices, and facilities.
- Instrumental in developing and introducing new risk management tools, including a practice assessment tool and staff training seminars and modules.
- Led educational presentations to upwards of 150 healthcare professionals—including C-level executives—on current risk management topics relevant to the healthcare industry.
- Hiring, mentoring, training, and supervising team members, conducting performance appraisals and handling all disciplinary actions to ensure top-flight performances.
With my experience directing all facets of risk management, combined with my inherent interpersonal and analytical skills, I am ready to provide outstanding support and leadership to Barraby Health Services. I look forward to discussing the position, and my qualifications, with you in further detail. Thank you for your consideration.
Kristin D. Parker