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You may be happy to know that there are NO specific FRM eligibility requirements to register for and sit the examinations. That said, we are quick to point out the following;
While there no specific things required, there are certain intrinsic values that you NEED to have in order to maximize your true eligibility status. (These values are discussed later in this article)
In this post, we will be discussing the on-paper attributes needed as well as those other not-often-conversed qualities you should know about.
Requirements to use the Credentials
In addition to the above, to become a certified financial Risk Manager, you must satisfy certain stipulations as laid out by GARP. These include:
- Passing both levels
- Having at least 2 years’ work experience in risk management OR
- Having at least 2 years’ work experience in a related field, such as risk consultation, economics, portfolio management etc
- Giving proof of work experience directly to GARP within 5 years of passing both exams
- Possessing an active GARP Membership status
Additional Information to Consider with respect to Eligibility
Below we present some new information with respect to being part of the course and ways in which to get the most out of it.
Reaping the benefits
Eligibility (and subsequent certification) through GARP’s certification program is one of the most sought after qualifications in the field of finance and risk management.
Its career benefits are immense, from strengthening your credentials to opening doors of promotions and higher salaries.
The possibilities are endless! Nevertheless, without the right approach during and after the certification course, it’s easy to miss out on these awesome benefits.
Here are some of the ways to milk the most value out of the certification, during and after course completion.
Apply for a scholarship during the program
The course costs a considerable amount of money, but a scholarship can help to offset some of the costs. Between having to pay enrollment fees and individual sign-up fees for the exams, you may find yourself on the short-end.
On top of that, there are internal and external study materials that you have to fund from your pockets. Fortunately, GARP now provides a scholarship program that you can take advantage of to finance your FRM certification program.
This opportunity can ease your financial burden, giving you room to purchase the necessary study materials needed to prepare for the exam. Of note, this scholarship is available for undergraduates, and it covers costs in part 1 segment alone.
The sponsorship is awarded based on merit, college GPA, and references from university officials. If you haven’t finished repaying your student debt after college, GARP’s scholarship is one way you can get the accreditation without breaking the bank.
The course is laser-focused on topics in financial risk. However, to get the most benefit out of your eligibility, seek to gain a balanced set of skills.
For instance, get materials that teach you HOW to apply the skills and concepts, and not just memorize them. A financial revolution is taking place and employers are looking for individuals who are able to function without constant surveillance.
Taking advantage of study groups
However, the benefits from study groups will live long after you attain certification! One long-lasting benefit you can get from study groups is communication skills.
In most work environments, the best communicators typically get more benefits and are much respected than anyone else. You will need excellent talking skills to land your first job, in case you are pursuing accreditation straight from college.
Therefore, learn how to tell the best (appropriate) stories and communicate with impact in study groups. You can do that by teaching and taking charge on the topics you feel confident about.
Embracing conceptual learning
However, remember that the whole point of the certification is to gain cutting edge skills that can make you a trailblazer in your career. For that reason, instead of focusing exclusively on passing the exam, prioritize in-depth knowledge and skills.
Your study techniques should, therefore, involve ending each topic by looking at ways in which you can apply the new knowledge in a work setting.
If you are juggling work, family and the program at the same time, it won’t hurt to put practice into your newly acquired knowledge.
This technique also increases your chances of passing the exam.
Mentioning the certification on your CV
Eligibility has certain perks and you shouldn’t be afraid to use them. In the process of looking for the two years of professional work experience after passing level 1 and 2, it would help to mention that you have passed both exams on your CV.
Summarize your new skills and any relevant experience that you might have amassed in the course of the certification program. Think about the industry-relevant skills that the course equipped you with, and make them stand out in your resume.
Also, don’t forget to mention that you can manage to accomplish quality work under pressure, giving evidence of how you juggled the program with other responsibilities, including work and family.
However, consider this angle also…even if you haven’t yet passed the entire course, you can still mention that you are in fact a part of it! Yes, be proud of the fact that you have enrolled and state this with confidence!
Emphasizing course content to get ahead
The point of a resume is to showcase and brag about your intellectual capabilities, practical skills, and academic background. Luckily, the endorsement by GARP packs all of that in one.
You only have to emphasize and expound on how the course content has equipped you with skills that will add the most value to an organization. It’s almost like having an Ivy League school name on your CV.
However, know that employers will want to know that you can relate your course studies directly to the issues that affect their organization. Therefore, you should never use the same resume for different job applications, buts that’s a story for another day.
Get ready to talk about parallels
When looking for professional work experience after certification, you will have to apply analytical and critical thinking abilities in job interviews.
One of the questions you might encounter is, ‘I see you have studied x and y which is unrelated to this position, are you certain you are best suited for this job?’
With such questions, you’ll need to leverage your critical thinking, and go back deep into your studies. Use your knowledge and make relevant bridges towards your goals.
Of course, the position is appropriate, or you wouldn’t have applied for it in the first place. Often times, the employer wants to see motivation and an ability to apply textbook knowledge to real life.
Place the title at the top of your CV
You are no longer carrying a simple ‘eligible’ mark; you now have the right to use the certification. Use your FRM title after your name, and all communication emanating from your desk.
You have earned it and your communique should reflect this at all times. It helps the world to know that you have joined an elite international club of Financial Risk Managers.
Using the title in your CV, therefore, summarizes everything in a nutshell for the time-bound HR managers and top executive recruiters. You should then talk about the skills you earned from the program and your accomplishments thus far.
Placing this information at the top of the resume gets the most attention from employers.
Take on relevant jobs
Whether as a full-time employee, a short-term consultant, or a top executive, you should aim to put your certification to good use. That means taking on jobs that are directly relevant to the skills acquired.
The more you demonstrate your experience and success in projects, the more you will be considered for higher job responsibilities and better pay.
Especially for those making a career switch into risk management, an extensive portfolio of projects (together with the actual certification or even from an eligibility standpoint) shows your commitment to the industry.
Build a portfolio
In time, your efforts will be focused around moving from eligibility towards an accomplishment. Many hiring managers want to see your undertakings and accolades.
After attaining the endorsement, one way to showcase that title is through a career profile on your own personalized website. Keep this portfolio updated with your latest projects and accomplishments.
Additionally, the two years’ work experience needed by GARP as part of the certification process should fit well in this profile. Talk about the assignments you completed, the professional bodies you are a member of and the list of clients you have served before.
The point here is to demonstrate that you have applied your knowledge in the real world.
Acknowledge your GARP membership
Becoming a GARP member is a no-brainer after gaining certification. GARP is a respected professional body in financial risk management, all across the world and you should acknowledge this.
Employers greatly value professional bodies and prefer employees that actively participate in them. This is so because the recruiters understand that professional organizations help employees stay relevant in their fields.
Showcase your knowledge of the company and the industry
After attaining the certification, it would be best to leverage it for higher job positions in your organization. This type of career advancement is usually the motivating factor for many students, as it comes with higher salaries and better benefits.
Senior leadership will be looking to see if you have gained a vast knowledge of the industry and the organization. As a result, now would be the time to demonstrate that you understand the dynamic risks that affect the organization.
You should lead conversations in risk management, regulation, compliance, and ethics. You can create and submit proposals that show your in-depth knowledge and desire to add value to the organization through risk management.
Aim for efficiency
Let everything you do justify your new title. As you aim for more job responsibilities, you should demonstrate high accuracy, critical thinking abilities, analytical skills, and an ability to deliver the best even under pressure.
As a certified Financial Risk Manager, you should also be comfortable taking the lead on projects and guiding others to achieve organizational goals.
Aim to be the ‘go-to’ person for all questions and answers in risk management in your company.
Boosting your credibility
There is no better way to do this than by showing confidence within your operations. Right from the start, your work quality should speak for itself. You should be highly informed in the company and about your industry.
Show that you are a good time manager and always seek to communicate clearly. These skills are needed essentials and it would help to make sure that they are visible.
Participating in networking sessions is another sure way to boost your credibility. Networking not only builds your communication skills, but it can also help you to stay informed about all industry happenings.
Through the networks, it is also easy to land greener pastures. You don’t necessarily have to leave your organization when you find new opportunities; rather, you can leverage them for promotions or higher salaries in your company.
Interact with top management
After certification, you should feel confident to take your position around the big table. Aim to stand out from the rest through providing solutions to the issues that press your organization.
Don’t shy from engaging top management about innovative ways of managing risk and creating value. Show that you have a high business acumen and leadership skills needed to steer the company vision.
Make everyone see how risk management ties to all growth strategies and long term goals.
Champion a culture of risk awareness
One other way to make the most visible impact in your company is to champion a culture of risk awareness. In this, you will be responsible for educating other employees on matters of risk.
You can create workshops and training sessions where you disseminate knowledge on risk management and analysis. In this way, you will be extending the benefits of the certification to the rest of your organization.
At the same time, you can take part in creating or championing the code of conduct and ethics in your company.
The bottom line
There are many ways to gain from achieving your hard-earned certification. The benefits of the program start long before you even receive the accreditation.
After passing both exams, you can leverage your practical skills to get the work experience needed. After getting the certification, you can use your tools such as networking and leadership skills to land promotions and a higher salary.
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