Building an effective financial analytics portfolio requires showcasing professional achievements, certifications, and knowledge acquired through educational programs. This article offers insights on how to select the most impressive work samples, create an engaging narrative, and use digital platforms for maximum accessibility and visibility.

Key Insights

  • A Financial Analyst portfolio is a collection of professional work, skills, and training that helps distinguish a candidate during job applications. It can be submitted during job applications or saved for interviews.
  • To build a strong portfolio, candidates should keep track of completed projects and highlight their role, skills utilized, and impacts on the organization. Those new to the field can include pieces from college or MBA programs or pieces created during a bootcamp or training program.
  • When selecting pieces for the portfolio, it's important to showcase a range of abilities. Work samples should not only demonstrate financial knowledge and technical skills but also the positive outcomes of the work in terms of impact on the organization.
  • Aspiring Financial Analysts can also create a digital portfolio for easy accessibility and updates. There are several websites like Crevado and Squarespace that provide portfolio creation features and allow for customization.
  • When building a portfolio website, it’s important to have clear navigation, SEO-friendly copy, and an 'About Me' section. Specific credentials, samples from projects, and visual components can be added to tell the candidate's professional story.
  • Noble Desktop offers various classes devoted to financial modeling and analysis, including the Financial Modeling Bootcamp and the Financial Analyst Training Program. These programs provide hands-on training in corporate finance, Excel skills, and financial modeling.

If you’re applying for jobs in financial analytics, your professional portfolio is one of the most important parts of your application material. Employers will likely consider your portfolio, along with your resume and cover letter, when deciding if you’re the most qualified candidate for the position. That’s why it’s essential to have a strong portfolio that highlights your most impressive and applicable skills, qualifications, and work. Read on to learn more about how to create an attention-grabbing financial analytics portfolio.

What Is a Financial Analyst Portfolio?

For Financial Analysts, a portfolio is a physical or digital collection that documents your professional journey, training, and skills. This collection of your work and other important documents is integral in showing Recruiters why you’re the best person for the job. While nearly every job in finance requires applicants to submit a resume and cover letter, assembling a professional portfolio allows you to distinguish yourself from others. You may choose to submit your Financial Analyst portfolio as part of your job application or save it for your first interview. Either way, it’s designed to provide a detailed and accessible summary of your most important professional accomplishments in finance. 

How to Build Financial Analyst Portfolio Projects

Creating a strong Financial Analyst portfolio takes time and requires completing multiple finance-related projects. Those you select may be the culmination of months or even years of work. That’s why it is a good practice to keep track of any projects you complete in your current position, whether it’s volunteer work, an internship, or a role as a Junior or Senior Analyst. When you complete a project on your own or as part of a team, make notes not only pertaining to your role but also the skills you used and the outcomes it led to for your organization.

If you are new to the field of financial analytics, you may not have accumulated work experience. That’s not a barrier to creating a strong portfolio. You may instead choose to start by including pieces you completed in college or during your MBA that showcase your financial knowledge. Keep in mind that a portfolio is a fluid work; you can add, subtract, or exchange documents as you need, and you can also weave a new narrative to discuss your work as you evolve professionally.

Enrolling in a bootcamp or training program in Financial Analytics, such as the one offered by Noble Desktop, is a great way to practice your financial analytics skills and build pieces that can be used as part of your professional portfolio. 

Choosing Financial Analyst Portfolio Pieces

Most Financial Analysts have multiple projects to select from when deciding what to include in their professional portfolio. However, choosing the ones most likely to get the attention of employers can be difficult. No matter the finance position you’re applying for, selecting your best work to include in your Financial Analyst portfolio is a good idea. This means choosing work that not only demonstrates your skills and financial knowledge but also highlights the positive results of your work. Remember that the documents you place in your portfolio, as well as the order and way you present them, will tell employers your professional story. The more effectively you communicate this story, the more likely you’ll be to get their attention. 

When selecting material for your finance portfolio, choose work that showcases a range of your abilities. Perhaps you will select a project in which you use advanced Excel functions for data analysis or SQL to retrieve essential financial information from databases. You may also include a team project that helped your company stick to its quarterly budget. If you’ve earned any professional certifications or licenses, these should also be included to demonstrate your commitment and dedication to financial analytics. In addition to samples that illustrate your technical and financial skills, it’s also a good idea to include those that highlight soft skills. These may be samples from team projects where you had to clearly communicate with coworkers or any leadership roles you held.

If your contribution to your organization can’t be quickly understood from the sample itself, you can provide context details to tell the whole story. Think of the pieces you select as parts of a longer story, each providing essential details to the audience. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of a Financial Analyst portfolio is to show the impact of the work you’ve done, the lessons you learned from it, and the relevant outcomes of that work for both you and the organization.

Choosing a Financial Analyst Portfolio Website

In addition to, or instead of, a physical portfolio, some aspiring Financial Analysts also choose to have a digital version. Doing so has several advantages. It allows you to store your work where it will be easily accessible at all times. You can share a link to your portfolio with coworkers or teachers for feedback, and you can also include it on your resume or in your cover letter so Recruiters can see your work samples. In addition, online financial analytics portfolios can be easily updated as you have new work available.

If you’d like to have a digital Financial Analyst portfolio, different options are available to help you create and host it. Some sites, such as Crevado, include portfolio creation features. You can customize your online portfolio by dragging and dropping your own photos, audio clips, images, or other features, then rearranging them as necessary. You can also select the privacy control you like, so the portfolio is only available when you want it to be and with whom you wish to share it. Other sites like Squarespace give you the option of working with one of their pre-built templates or importing your own portfolio instead. Prebuilt portfolio websites provided the added advantage of being easier to update regularly than those with more customized features. However, if you have a flare for design, you may wish to showcase your digital skills by creating your unique, attention-grabbing Financial Analyst portfolio.

Building a Financial Analyst Portfolio Website

When creating a portfolio website, there are several core features you’ll want to include that are common to portfolios across industries and professions. For example, it’s essential to have a clear navigation menu that helps users access all portions of your website. You also want to have a clear, well-written copy with keywords in finance that are attentive to SEO. Another common feature of professional portfolio websites is an “About Me” section that allows you to include your resume, any awards you’ve received, testimonials about your work, and your contact information.

When creating a portfolio website in financial analytics, there are additional elements you may wish to add as well. When deciding what you want to display on your portfolio website, remember that the goal is to show Recruiters your unique skills and why they distinguish you from other candidates. You may want to include any certifications you’ve achieved, such as CFA certification or any licenses you hold in finance. Since not all aspiring Financial Analysts have these credentials, they are important to showcase. Another important aspect you will want to include is samples from specific projects you participated in or managed. These can be written project overviews that explain the project, its context, and any relevant outcomes it helped achieve for the organization. You may also add visual components like pictures or screenshots for further explanation. Any element you choose should tell the story of why your background in finance has made you a competitive candidate for future work.

Polishing a Financial Analyst Portfolio Website

Once you’ve created your Financial Analyst portfolio website, it’s time to polish it before making it live or sharing the link. Just like any other document, it’s essential to ensure the writing is clear, concise, and free of grammatical errors. If you wrote the text using an application such as Microsoft Word, make sure to let the program check your spelling and grammar before importing the text to your website. In addition, it’s a good idea to run the copy through software like Grammarly, which can spot any lingering sentence-level errors. You may also want to read the text aloud to spot any awkward wordings or repetitive portions. Asking others to read the content is also helpful to ensure it’s as polished as possible.

In addition to ensuring the writing on your Financial Analyst portfolio website is polished, it’s also important to include a sample of your best work. If you have many projects to choose from and are having difficulty deciding which to place on your portfolio site and which to omit, keep in mind that less is more. Instead of choosing ten projects and knowing three of them are better than the other seven, just work with the three strongest projects. Make sure each one you include shows a different finance skill or tool you used, as well as how doing so contributed to your company or organization.

One-on-one mentoring and professional support is offered in Noble Desktop’s FinTech Bootcamp for those who want additional help creating a professional-grade Financial Analyst portfolio website.

Learn the Skills to Become a Financial Analyst at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop, an educational provider located in New York City, offers a range of classes devoted to financial modeling and analysis. Financial Modeling Bootcamp is a hands-on, 18-hour course that teaches students fundamental financial concepts, such as corporate valuation, accounting, and finance. Participants in this small class create their own discounted cash flow using Microsoft Excel. Over three days, expert instructors also help students develop a comprehensive financial model for an actual company. As a prerequisite to this bootcamp, students should have intermediate Excel proficiency.

Noble also has a Financial Analyst Training Program that provides expert instruction on timely corporate and financial concepts, such as making a full valuation model. Those enrolled in this intensive program receive instruction on fundamental Excel skills, such as using shortcuts and PivotTables. Advanced Excel techniques are also covered in this 30-hour program, like Goal Seek and cash flow projection tools. All learners also receive instruction on creating a three-statement financial model for a public restaurant company.

In addition to the Financial Modeling Bootcamp and Financial Analyst Training Program, Noble Desktop also has in-person and live online financial modeling training courses. The

Excel Bootcamp offers 18 hours of instruction on core business Excel skills like working with VLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, and What-If Analysis for Goal Seek. FinTech courses are also available, like Algorithmic Trading with Python, Python for Data Science Bootcamp, and FinTech Bootcamp. This course provides students with hands-on training from expert instructors in FinTech skills like working with Python and SQL for data analysis, creating machine learning models, and working with different data types like integers, floats, and strings. All students have the option of a free course retake for up to one year, as well as one-on-one mentoring.