CSR Partners

BLOG: FOUR top tips to land your first job in finance

Saturday 17 September 2011 at 1:12 pm. Used tags: ,

It’s tougher than ever to secure a job in finance, with only a small percentage of recent graduates managing to scoop the highly coveted city roles, and while there is little doubt that the banking sector will improve greatly in the future, now is a good time to re-assess your approach to finding employment in such a competitive industry.

Although it can be challenging to land your dream job in finance, you shouldn’t be deterred. Persistence and a positive attitude are both essential attributes in finding and being offered the right opportunity.

Here are a few basic tips to help make you stand out from the crowd.

1. CV surgery

In many instances, a CV can really let a candidate down. Remember that it is your very first introduction to a recruitment agent or employer. They will see your CV before they meet you in person. Your CV has to work for you; it really has to sell you to a prospective employer.

Firstly, you should make sure your CV is well presented and well organised. The very look and feel of your CV could be enough to put you to the top or bottom of the pile.

Be sure to clearly outline your relevant experience and always proofread before sending. Bad spelling and grammar doesn’t do you any favours. It could be wise to ask someone else to give it a read too.

Also, when it comes to your CV – one size doesn’t always fit all. Be prepared to tweak and shape (with honesty of course) your CV with each new application you make. This will help ensure it best fits the requirements of the role and highlights all the necessary points.

2. Use a respected agent

Make sure you use an experienced and well-respected recruitment agent. Check out the clients that your recruitment agency works with and has worked with in the past. You want to make sure you’re in with the best chance of being seen by top companies.

Also, try to use a recruitment agent who is highly experienced and specialises in your particular area of industry. The connections and knowledge of an established recruitment agent can really help you get the attention of a prospective employer.

3. IT up to scratch?

If you feel you’re not up-to-speed with relevant computer software, it could be worth investing in some additional training. With many graduates coming out of universities with similar grades and experience – an additional IT qualification or specialist certificate could really set you apart from the throng of candidates.

Not only does it increase your skill-set, it also shows real drive and determination to get ahead.

4. Be prepared…

Always do your preparation before an interview. Your recruitment agent should be able to help you with this.

Make sure you research the organisation as thoroughly as possible – paying particular attention to company history, recent activity, developments and successes. Read as much as you can about them to show a keen interest in their work. Also, familiarise yourself with any recent changes or news in the industry sector as a whole – to demonstrate your knowledge of the bigger picture.

To see the latest jobs in finance across the world, just click Financial Recruitment and head to 'Vacancy Search'.