Top 5 Tips to Helping You Land a Job After Studying Finance
Browse Finance Courses
Your graduation ceremony is just around the corner but you’re nervous. You’re not sure what the next steps are. If you’re about to complete a finance degree, you may be wondering how to get started on your career path and, of course, land your first job.
Luckily, the outlook is bright for people with this qualification. The average salary for a finance graduate job starts at £32,000 per annum, according to the latest statistics. Of course, before you can start making money, you need to find employment.
Getting a competitive edge over the pack will take hard work and dedication. However, it will also allow you to progress quickly through this interesting and fulfilling career. Let’s take a look at five of the smartest ways you can work towards getting your first finance job.
1. Pick Your Finance Career Path
Finance is a massively broad umbrella term that covers many different industries. Before you start your first job search, it’s important that you pick your niche. Understanding the first job roles that may be available to you is the first step in launching your new career. Here’s a breakdown of the industries in which you may wish to work:
When you are in your final year of completing your bachelor’s degree, it’s worth considering which sector you would prefer to work in. The earlier you decide on a potential career path, the more time you will have to research that area and gain knowledge of how to land a role.
2. Research Top Financial Employers
When you have decided on your career path, it’s time to dig deeper and look into potential employers. While the leading companies will not always have graduate roles available, keeping abreast of them and their upcoming news will give you the best chance of success. What’s more, many of the top British employers offer both graduate job roles and schemes.
Looking for a finance career in investment banking? Make sure that you target your job search. Some of the UK’s top investment banks include J. P. Morgan, Barclays Investment Bank, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and The Goldman Sachs Group. These major companies employ graduates, which means it’s worth regularly checking their sites.
If you’ve chosen a career path in accountancy, searching for employment at the UK’s top accountancy firms is a smart place to start. With that in mind, four of the leading firms are Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Ernst & Young (EY).
Of course, you can also use your finance degree to land a first job in insurance. Before you do so, you will need to familiarise yourself with the country’s top operating insurance groups. Major companies include AXA, Aviva, Legal and General Group, Admiral Group, Direct Line, RSA Group, Standard Life, Liverpool Victoria and American International Group.
3. Gain an Internship or Experience
When you are familiar with the leading companies in your sector, the next step may be gaining experience. Finance students should actively seek internships throughout the course of their bachelor’s degree. However, if you have not gained experience while studying, you can still seek it after you have graduated. Doing so will help you to hone your existing skill set and gain contacts that you can utilise when it comes to landing a full-time job.
Unlike other industries, many finance-related internships are paid, which means that you can start earning money while building your experience. It’s worth noting that you will likely have to submit an application, attend a job interview and even complete a series of sector-specific tests before you get an internship in your field. Search for relevant internships in your area.
4. Network, Network, Network!
What you know matters—but so does who you know. Getting into the habit of professional networking could help you to land your first job in finance. Through this process, you may meet potential employers, recruiters and contacts that could help you elevate your career. Traditional networking happens on a face-to-face basis. However, you will also want to make use of online platforms and social media sites to cover more ground here.
LinkedIn is the smartest place to start when attempting to network online. You can enhance your employability in the financial sector by ensuring your profile is updated continually. Be certain to include any information regarding your qualifications, work experience and finance-related skill set. You should also ensure that you have a professional headshot.
When it comes to making connections, start with professionals that you have made through your work experience. You can also reach out to recruiters that deal with the financial sector and potential employers. In some circumstances, you can direct message people of interest. However, you should avoid spamming potential employers when you first get started.
Attending networking sessions could also help you increase your employability. While this process may seem intimidating at first, it’s worth your time and efforts. Meeting professionals in the financial sector gives you a higher chance of landing your first job. With that in mind, you should seek out sessions that pertain directly to financial services and banking.
5. Apply for Entry-Level Jobs
You’re not going to walk out of university and into a CFO role. If you’re serious about a career in the financial sector, you’re going to need to work your way up the ranks over time. That means starting with an entry-level role when you first set out. Understanding the types of roles that suit your education and experience is the first step towards gaining employment.
Of course, you should do your own research depending on your chosen finance career path. However, some of the graduate job roles you may want to consider include financial analyst, financial auditor, loan officer, accountant and junior tax associate. Finding a first job in one of these areas could set you on course for a successful career in the financial sector.
Entry-level roles aren’t for everyone. You may decide to go down a different route and pursue a graduate finance scheme. Prospects list the available schemes online, which means that finding one near you is straightforward. Needless to say, many of these schemes are highly competitive. You will need to prove that you’re the creme de la creme of finance graduates to win a place on one of the better-known, and more highly-acclaimed programs.
Hoping to find your first job in the financial realms? Increasing your employability and chances of career success is the place to start. Follow our five tips to enhance your chances of gaining your first job quickly. Take the time to gain relevant work experience, make professional contacts and—crucially—research your career pathway. Good luck!
Browse Finance Courses