Are you thinking about a career in the finance sector, but aren’t sure where to start? Take a look at our top tips to get yourself on the right track to nail your job application and interview in the world of finance.
1) Do your research
Many employers in the finance sector wade through hundreds of applications, and time and time again, their first piece of advice to graduates, interns, and apprentices is this: do your research! It’s not just about having the right skills for the job; you need to show them why you want to work at their company. Whether you are looking to get your first break in banking, insurance, or even real estate, you need to make sure you understand the sector and what your chosen organisation does – show that off in your application and in your interview!
2) Tailor your CV
If you’re planning on working in the finance sector, you need to make sure your CV sells your skillset and experience to suit their needs. A lot of recruiters will look for some evidence of an analytical mind and will test you on the phone and/or via interview to work on group projects, to assess how you interpret data and facts. Try to use your studies and your work experience to show off your ability to make decisions based on insights. Even if you don’t have much work experience, try to show through extra-curricular activities and hobbies that you can act on a pragmatic approach. This will stand you in good stead in the sector!
3) Practise on case studies
Although not all interviews are conducted in the same way, a lot of recruitment processes in the finance sector involve case studies. Recruiters and HR professionals will give you a task to do, based on a typical example of work you may come across in your placement. Try to look at examples on the internet and research what could be a typical task in the finance industry. This will help you plan and prepare for the interview, and will give you a chance to run through some ideas of how you would deal with a particular financial situation. The task will not be set out to trick you, but brushing up on your arithmetic and logic will help you in the long run.
4) Sharpen your communication skills
As with any industry, the finance sector deals with a lot of different people, and a lot of different situations. It’s really important you can clearly communicate an idea, a problem, and a solution to people in your team, as well as to customers and directors. You will be tested verbally and via writing, so you need to ensure you’re good at breaking down issues consistently via any medium.
5) Be yourself
The only thing that differentiates your application from someone else’s is your personality and your personal achievements. By making sure you’ve researched the company and know what you’re applying to, you can then show why that specific employer should go for you above anyone else. Whether you’ve done a bit of voluntary work, had a summer job, or have a favourite hobby, include aspects of your personality on your application form to make you stand out from the crowd – as long as it’s relevant to the sector.
CTA: Read more about what it’s like to work in the finance sector with our interviews.