The entrepreneurs leading Asia’s hottest startups explain how to write a standout fintech resume

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The entrepreneurs leading Asia’s hottest startups explain how to write a standout fintech resume

New fintech firms continue to open up in Singapore and Hong Kong – and many of them are hiring, albeit in small numbers. Fintech investment in Singapore nearly quadrupled to US$453m in the first half of last year, placing the country as the third largest fintech market by funds in Asia Pacific, just behind China and India, according to Accenture.

If you're thinking about leaving a bank and joining a fintech firm, you'll need to rework your fintech resume. But how? We asked fintech founders in Singapore and Hong Kong for their top resume tips.

Show evidence of cross-divisional collaboration

Fintech firms are small, so you must be able to collaborate with people throughout the business. “But in a large bank you often work in a silo and having a blinkered view about the large picture,” says Ovidiu Olea, a former HSBC associate director, now founder of Hong Kong FX start-up Valoot Technologies. “So show on your CV how you’ve at least tried to break through those silos – it shows a willingness to explore interesting projects and expand your network.”

Highlight your tech skills

Even if you’re not applying for a developer role, your CV must showcase your technology skills. “First and foremost, start-ups need all staff to have great tech expertise,” says Eddie Rong, CEO of Hong Kong money-conversion firm Heycoins. “So mention these, supported by job-related experiences.”

Don’t forget your failures

Working in a fintech firm which failed actually adds credibility to your resume. “l like to hire people who have start-up experience, no matter if they were successful or not,” says Rong.

Mention motivations in your cover letter

Fintech founders don’t like to recruit candidates looking for an easy exit from the banking the sector. You must want to move to a start-up on its own merits. Explain yourself in your cover letter – don’t wait for the interview. “The cover letter is an opportunity to make a sincere introduction of your motivations and aspirations,” says Freddy Lim co-founder of Singapore robo-advisor StashAway and former global head of derivatives strategy at Nomura

Demonstrate how you delivered under budget

Start-ups are constantly under financial pressure and are keen on candidates with track records of successfully delivering projects. “Writing that you ‘managed a team of 20 people’ doesn’t mean anything, but ‘delivered a large complex project on (or under) budget’ – with real numbers – tells a better story on your CV,” says Alex Medana, CEO of FinFabrik, a Hong Kong-based capital markets and wealth management fintech firm, and a former Deutsche Bank vice president.

Don't over emphasise education

“I’ve seen so many CVs that list GPA and test scores. That's really not necessary – how well you did in your degree is superfluous and sometimes just takes up space on the CV,” says Olea from Valoot.

Keep it (very) short

Keep your fintech CV to two pages preferable one. “Fintech is a popular, growing sector and I receive a high number of CVs. Time is the most precious commodity in a start-up, so I always appreciate it when people keep it succinct,” says Olea.

Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Email: smortlock@efinancialcareers.com or Telegram: @simonmortlock

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