Finance is one such industry which is difficult to get into, especially for undergraduates and people switching from some other industry to finance. This happens because such candidates lack experience, which is considered as a key factor by finance companies for hiring new employees. Several resumes reach the interviewer's desk, but only the candidates who either display reasonable work experience or have something exclusive, are called for the interview. It is during the interview, when a candidate without any work experience can create an impression on the interviewer, to get into the industry. Experts often get several questions from candidates who are interested in making a career in finance. Here is what they recommend.
Tips to Get a Finance Job Without any Experience
Build a Strong Resume
A candidate's resume is responsible for creating the first impression on the interviewer. Hence, a strong resume with no typos, proper formatting, and accurate information must be built. Candidates who are unable to build a good resume must not hesitate from taking the help of professional resume builders. With a perfect resume, the candidate's chances of being shortlisted for the interview are highly increased.
Take up Internships
Candidates lacking full-time experience in finance face difficulty in obtaining jobs. Generally, only entry-level positions are open to such candidates. As most of the entry-level positions do not require experience, the number of candidates with no knowledge of the work involved will be substantially high. To stand apart from the group, candidates can gain some work-related knowledge by taking up internships in finance companies. Internship will help the candidate understand how the industry works, what are the various departments involved, and how the work flows through these departments to finally meet customer demands. When interviewers come to know that a particular candidate is well aware of the functioning of the industry, his chances of getting selected are more as compared to others.
Work for Different Internship Programs
Diversifying areas of internship helps the candidate in gaining perspective of different functions in the finance industry. For example, equity trading, bonds, portfolio management, commodity trading etc., are all individual areas of the finance industry, and each of them has a different kind of work involved. Working in different areas during internship can give a clear picture to the candidate and make the choice of a field easy in the huge finance industry. This will also be a plus point for being selected in the interview, as it will reflect the candidate's knowledge in various areas and his dedication towards the industry.
Build Your Network
Many finance companies offer internship programs to identify prospective employees for the upcoming year. A good performance during the internship can open the doors of a company for a well-performing candidate. Building healthy relations with full-time employees working in the company can be a good way of getting into the business. Apart from this, going for informational meetings with people working in the industry helps the candidate to learn about their companies and other relevant information. While doing so, candidates must maintain a formal approach and try not to be too aggressive. Calling up contacts several times or sending them e-mails five times a week, can force them to avoid meetings, which will not be good for the candidate.
Read Financial News
Going through financial news may not seem interesting at the beginning to candidates taking their first step towards the industry. This is because they lack understanding and knowledge about the whole subject. However, with consistent reading, candidates will be able to remain updated about the happenings in the finance industry, which can be showcased at the right time during the interview. Interviewers are generally impressed with such candidates who keep track of what's going on in the industry, even when they are not directly associated with it.
Learn Financial Terms and Jargon
During interviews, it is highly possible that the interviewer will ask the candidate meanings of various financial terms which are used every now and then in the workplace. Being equipped with the correct answers will leave a mark on the interviewer and increase the chances of being selected, even if the candidate does not have experience.
Prepare for the CFA Exam
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a reputed designation in the finance industry. A candidate needs to appear for three exams and gain four years of relevant experience to achieve this designation. Every level of exam needs the candidate to fulfill 250 study-hours. Therefore, any candidate appearing for the CFA exam is rated a bit higher than others, as finance professionals know what it takes to become a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Improve Communication Skills
A candidate who is able to present his thoughts in front of the interviewer clearly, is better than the ones who fail to express themselves properly. Improving communication and presentation skills will help the candidate to perform better in the interview. It is better to practice commonly asked questions so that any blunder during the interview can be avoided. An interview lasts about 20-25 minutes. It is during this short time period, when good candidates are selected and not-so-good ones are rejected. So, it is better to be prepared beforehand for the face-to-face session.
Jobs in the finance industry depend on the stock market. When the market is booming, jobs in the industry boom as well. And when the market takes a bearish turn, the number of jobs in the market also reduces. Whatever be the situation, getting a good entry-level job is not easy for candidates with no prior industry experience. However, keeping the above things in mind will surely help candidates in cracking interviews and taking their first step toward building a successful career in finance.