I just got my MBA in finance with two years of work experience in the finance world. I am located in Atlanta. Am I crazy to be asking for 90-130k for a Sr. financial analyst, manager, or director position? I've been offered 100k before but have been placed on the waitlist. Some recruiters are calling, and when they ask for the pay range, they act offended. I attached my resume to see if you can determine if it is. Thank you in advance for any tips or advice.

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Sr financial analyst to director is HUGE range of roles and responsibilities. Titles change, but with your experience you would be a sr, financial analyst in most companies.

If you are in Atlanta that is generally $100k or less. So yeah, if you through $130k, I’d feel you are out of touch on what you bring to the table.

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A. If you've been in managerial roles you need to do a better job calling those out
B. I'd be skeptical of someone having true managerial experience with so few years of work under their belt. It's your responsibility to convince me

Otherwise the comment before mine is right - you come off as a (non senior) financial analyst, but possibly one who can progress faster than another FA without an MBA.

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Consolidate your resume to 1 page - especially with only 2 YOE

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Not to beat up on you OP, but GSU’s career office probably has a resume review service that you could leverage. Obviously knock it down to 1 page to start.

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I'm not seeing any degrees on there.

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Thank you all for the feedback I have reduced my resume to 1 page and will remember to apply the salary adjustments recommendations

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I think your reach yet realistic target should be senior financial analyst in Fortune 500, be it headquarter or division level offices.

Quite a few in Atlanta.

Your career and education choices, as many have pointed, are questionable, but it is what it is.

Id aim for 75k-90k.

There’s no way you’d be remotely competitive for manager or above in any Fortune 500 to be blunt.

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Former finance manager at F500 here. You’re not qualified for manager level at most firms imo.

Finance Analyst is what you should aim for. Senior will be tough unless the company has inflated titles. Realistically I think an entry level role at a F500 is reasonable. $75K would be a good target, but you’ll have to test the market.

Not to be harsh, but what about your resume makes you more qualified than someone straight out of undergrad with a degree in accounting or finance? Your work experience demonstrates that you have some professional experience and have likely worked out the kinks that a 22 year-old likely has, but I’m not sure I’d put it on par with the work experience of an entry-level fresh-out-of-undergrad analyst at a F500, so it’d be tough to slot you in beyond one level above that (which might not be a senior analyst at many firms).

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You can ask for whatever you want. Unless your MBA is from a full-time program at a top 30 school, I'd say the 80-90 range is probably right.

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You have very little experience. The MBA in my mind would add at most $10K (an MBA is supposed to augment previous experience, which is minimal, so the MBA itself is also of minimal value). Also - having a two page resume for less than 3 years of experience tells me that you're probably still at a junior level. So I think your high end ask is very high.

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Assuming your MBA is Georgia State, the average graduate salary is $70K; top quartile is $93K.

A range of $70K-$95K feels about right… Might be generous, since you have less experience than most MBA grads.

https://robinson.gsu.edu/document/employment-report-flex-mba/?wpdmdl=8156

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Damn average salary of incoming class is less than $55k? That’s like… below market entry level for Fortune 500/professional services in Atlanta and yet average work experience is 4 years. Not trying to bash but that’s just so below average, compared to other MBA in the city. Sure Emory is a private school and GT just trashes GSU in tech and engineering but their average MBA salary is ~2x…

Weird question but why do you still have summary and core competencies section?

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Hmm interesting. Haven't seen much of that lately. I would (in my humble opinion) say that it shouldn't be added when you are running low on space

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Remove summary, core competencies, and leadership experience

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I started my career as a back office analyst at a bulge bracket Bank. I think we had equivalent experience after 2 years. At that point I was making 65k. The MBA is not a top program. It might add another 10k. I think you are looking at 75k to 90k target salary.

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Im being generous here. I think anything above 75k is going to be tough.

But I hope you don't take it personally. This feedback you're getting is great. I'd implement all of this asap. And target applications to analyst roles inside and outside of f500. When asked what comp you want. Give them a range of 65k to 90k.

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I think 100k is probably a good number for you to land on with the YOE /credentials you've got.

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Here's a suggested template

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Your resume shows financial analyst experience starting in February 2023. So a senior financial analyst, manager or director are pretty far out there. For a new mba grad with minimal experience sub 100k is what I’d expect. If you can find someone willing to pay more to for it.

Your school should have data on starting mba salaries. I’d be surprised if it’s 100k+ “on average”. Few years you could be up there though with good performance reviews.

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Agreed. There’s a world of difference between top ~20 MBAs and the rest.

Part of that is that top programs prioritize applicants with more experience.

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Not an unreasonable range necessarily, but the recruiters calling you likely aren’t bringing those types of opps (“financial analyst” can mean a lot of different things). Outside of headhunters for very specific types of roles, I’ve found that most third party recruiters are garbage. If you know what you want, try to proactively find roles vs. wait for a recruiter to come to you

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"Improved efficiencies" what does that even mean?

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You need measurable objective results. This is way too vague

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Leadership section is not leadership. Nix that section. Also nix the 40 hours per week. Get some resume help. This is a $50-60k resume. Too verbose.

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Based on what you listed in your resume - you would not qualify for roles beyond 90k, unfortunately. Those are all IC-level tasks you’ve listed and has no demonstration of leadership capabilities. Plus you have no measurable impact. Plus you only list 2 years of experience on your resume. You would at most qualify for a senior analyst role, and 75-90k would be the right range, and maybe a little bit in the lower / middle end since you’re in Atlanta.

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I’d say the salary is a bit of a stretch given your experience. Analyst level sounds appropriate. $75k-90k would be the comp range I would expect, especially in Atlanta.

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2 YE and you want to be a a Director? Lol. At best you’re a financial analyst. Have you ever managed a team or multiple teams? How many directs have you managed? How big was the largest team? Do you have managerial oversight of programs that move the needle of you firm?

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I assumed I could speak to it instead of putting it on my resume, but I see that was wrong.

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As others have said, be realistic with your experience. You're not going to get a "real" director, sr manager, etc. title with that resume. Likely an Analyst or Sr Analyst position. Slim down your resume, less is more, remove the core competencies and leadership sections. Make your summary section actually meaningful, and your bullet points under job more tailored and pointed to the types of roles you want to pursue. Start looking at what analyst roles typically ask for, the buzz words, technology, etc. that you might need to add. Based on the market, and how much more expensive Atlanta has got, I would say to target $75-100K optimistically. I believe that aligns with Analyst roles at top firms so shouldn't be an issue if you can swing it. However, if you have problems hitting that and need to go to lesser firms, you'll need to target $50-75K to get your foot in the door somewhere.

As others have said, MBAs have questionable value in general in the current market even from top programs which pad their stats from individuals that were already making six figures before they even joined the program.. Good luck and remember all the feedback is just trying to help you. Everyone started out with an empty resume at one point.

When talking to recruiters, be humble, open, and curious, but be firm (though realistic) on compensation. Early in your career you need to get in somewhere, anywhere, to build up a real resume and accomplishments.

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