Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks: To stand out in crowded compliance field, refresh, refine resume, train tactically, network aggressively

The Skinny:

  • In this new initiative, “Fincrime Career Tips and Tricks,” ACFCS is engaging top minds across the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling, but demanding and ever changing, field.
  • This quarter, we’re focused on guidance for launching a career – everything from what motivated you to seek out a role in fincrime prevention, to where you’re seeing hiring opportunities and more.
  • For this tip, we look through the eyes of a longtime law enforcement officer who launched into the fincrime compliance field to refuel his passion and renew a sense of purpose, a wise choice that allowed him to employ, enhance and expand the investigative skills he honed over more than a decade – and mentor others. 

By Brian Monroe
bmonroe@acfcs.org
March 22, 2021

With minor edits by ACFCS VP of Content, Brian Monroe

In this new initiative, ACFCS engages the fincrime compliance community for wisdom and practical insights on how to enter and rise in a fulfilling, but demanding and ever changing, field.

We are asking minds across the spectrum and around the world of compliance officers, regulators and investigators to share some of their secrets to success.

Some of the questions: How can you take the first steps launching a career in the midst of a pandemic? And for those already working, how can you continue to develop professionally and take it to the next level?

For this tip, we look through the eyes of a longtime law enforcement officer who launched into the fincrime compliance field to refuel his passion and renew a sense of purpose, a wise choice that allowed him to employ, enhance and expand the investigative skills he honed over more than a decade – and mentor others. 

Name: Robert McKone II

Company: Truist Bank

Title: AVP – Financial Crimes Group Lead

Country: United States

What initially attracted you to the world of financial crime prevention? What keeps you here now?

I had a successful 14-year career in law-enforcement, but I eventually lost my passion for the profession.

I was looking for a career shift that would allow me to utilize my skills, training, and passion for investigations while transitioning from law-enforcement. Financial crime investigations is very rewarding and it gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

How did you overcome the experience gap for those new to their industry, field or country?

I consider myself a fast learner. My biggest hurdle was understanding the information that I was researching in a different capacity.

As a law-enforcement officer, I was reviewing the financial data with the intent of articulating how it was a violation of state law.

Now I look at the activity in order to determine risk-based activity, suspicious activity probability, key red flag indicators, violations of federal regulation, and violation of bank policies.

At the end of the day, it was the same principle with a slight paradigm shift.

What’s your advice to someone just starting out in the industry and wondering how to chart their career path?

I currently have three individuals that I am mentoring who are trying to make a career shift into civilian financial crime investigations, specifically within the banking industry.

All three of them have a firm foundation that they can build upon.

One is a former law-enforcement officer, one was a police dispatcher and now works in medical insurance fraud investigations, and the third has been in the banking industry for approximately seven years, but has only worked in the retail/branch operations level as a bank teller.

I have advised all three to take the following first steps towards changing their career goals: 

  1. Re-write your resume and cover letter to focus on career achievements and Knowledge Skills Abilities (KSAs) that align with the job duties of the specific role you are attempting to secure (i.e. Anti-Money Laundering, Fraud, Enhanced Due Diligence, Know Your Customer, etc.).
  2. Review open positions in the specified role you are attempting to secure and update your resume (if you have the stated experience) or work towards taking training opportunities to gain the desired experience.
  3. Seize training opportunities where available. This will often require you to spend your own money, but it’s worth the investment.
  4. You may have to consider applying for and accepting an entry level position in order to gain the experience needed to advance your career. 

Consider the following:

  • Are you able to financially take a salary decrease if the position pays less than your current salary? 
  • How long will you stay in the entry-level position before applying elsewhere? 
  • How much experience will you gain short-term when most of the career advancing positions will require 2-5 years of experience in the role?

Any advice or suggestions for job-seeking during the pandemic?

It appears as remote work in this profession has substantially increased. Utilizing job search apps typically allows you to isolate your search for remote work. Now would be a great time to actively search for remote work in the field.

Any other thoughts or guidance on getting started in fincrime careers to share?

Network, network, network…You can never make too many connections in the industry!

Get involved in sharing your career tips: How It Works

Each quarter, ACFCS is asking its members for advice on various aspects of fincrime careers, from getting your foot in the door to finding a mentor.

This quarter, we’re focused on guidance for launching a career – everything from what motivated you to seek out a role in fincrime prevention, to where you’re seeing hiring opportunities and more.

We’ll gather responses and share them back with our member community. Three participants will receive one year of complimentary ACFCS members (added to your existing membership for current members).

To learn more and submit your tips, click here