suit stuff

So, you want a job in investments?

Here are five tips to try when applying for your dream job, or even for cold calling by emailing your CV.

john HeadshotsTRY sq John Berry 3 minute read

If you’re early in your career and want a job in finance or investments, how do you do that?

New Zealand is small on a global scale. Our stock market makes up only 0.2 per cent of world markets, and our main financial-market fame is our currency being among the world’s top 10 most traded.

In recent years, the likes of Sharesies, MindfulMoney and KiwiSaver have made investing accessible and interesting. For many, a career in investment or finance is now a dream job.

You might like numbers, markets, dealing with people or helping make things happen. You might be attracted by sustainable finance or impact investing, which are new and exciting growth areas.

Here are five tips to try when applying for your dream job, or even for cold calling by emailing your CV.

Be engaging, be succinct

Make your cover email and CV punchy and short. Forget having pages about your teamwork excellence, loyalty or schooling. Focus instead on what gives you an edge.

Impressive university grades are good, but work you do for charities or sports clubs can differentiate you.

More valuable than playing sport at a high level is the coaching, mentoring and leadership you’ve done.

And simple things like how you sign on and off an email give clear signals – “dear” and “yours faithfully”, or “kia ora” and “ngā mihi”, or “hi” and “thanks and regards”.

What you write is not just about what you tell people, it’s also how you want to make them feel. Colour and simple graphics can help you stand out, and if you do only one thing, get someone to check your grammar.

Know yourself

Expressing self-awareness in your email and CV is invaluable. Know what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at. What motivates you and what is your passion?

Self-awareness also shows from what you’ve posted on social media over the years – how you exercise personal judgment is there for everyone to see.

Remember it’s not all about you: your approach should not be how the employer can advance your career. Turn this on its head – how can your skills help this company flourish?

Just as important as contributing skills is demonstrating you’ll fit the firm’s culture.

Personalise your approach

An email to “Dear Hiring Manager” is unfriendly, address it to a person. Reference, even in a small way, what the business does or what its purpose is.

For example, if a firm specialises in ethical investment and you don’t mention it, then you’re unlikely to be considered.

Also, if you use the same impersonal email template for multiple companies it will be obvious and easy to ignore.


If you are emailing firms hoping to get a job, you may need to spread the net widely. Don’t get disillusioned, you will get lots of knockbacks, and despite firms’ best intentions to reply to everyone, some will ignore you.

Don’t take that personally. All going well you be offered an interview, which makes the opportunity real.

Remember, you need a CV and good written skills to get you the interview, and a CV and good interpersonal skills to land the job.

– John Berry is chief executive of ethical fund manager and KiwiSaver provider Pathfinder Asset Management, which is part of Alvarium Wealth.(This article was originally published by Stuff July 12, 2021) 

Related Articles

Blog topic: Educational

its different this time1

'It’s different this time': The most dangerous words in investing

By John Berry on | 3 min. read

Investment gurus say the four most dangerous words in investing are “it’s different this time.” They’re dangerous because things seldom are different.

Read more
capatilism photo

Shareholders v stakeholders - can capitalism work for all?

By John Berry on | 3 min. read

Investors are increasingly considering how companies look after all stakeholders, not just shareholders, as they generate long-term value.

Read more
istockphoto 479528526 612x612iwisaver blog

Why I take my Kiwisaver seriously

By Mireia Muller-Pallares on | 6 min. read

Fast forward 10 years, and it still pains me to think about all the returns I have missed out on.

Read more

See all 16 articles in our blog

Impact rawfilm ihMzQV3lleo unsplash

Ready to generate wealth and well-being?

Join our KiwiSaver FundsInvest in Managed Funds


Product Disclosure Statements

Privacy Policy

Terms & Conditions

SIGN UP to our market commentary newsletter


Freephone: 0800 ETHICAL (384 4225)

Auckland: 09 489 3802


© 2021 Pathfinder Asset Management Ltd
All Rights Reserved