5 Steps to Getting a Finance Job: A Guide to Succeed in the Industry

The world of finance is constantly evolving, making it an exciting and challenging field to work in. However, landing a job in finance can be highly competitive, as there are many talented applicants vying for the same positions. To succeed, you need to have a combination of essential skills, relevant experience, and industry knowledge. Additionally, you need to approach your job search strategically and thoughtfully to increase your chances of landing your dream role. In this article, we will explore the critical steps you need to take to secure a job in finance. From understanding the necessary skills to identifying areas of finance that interest you, to creating a job-ready CV and mastering interview techniques, we have you covered. Whether you are a recent graduate, a professional looking for a career change, or someone starting a new career path, this guide will provide you with the tools and insights to get the job you want in the finance industry. By the end of this article, you will be on your way to achieving your career goals in finance.

Skills You Need to Land a Job in Finance

If you want to work in the finance industry, there are specific skills that you need to have. These skills include:

  • Analytical skills: The ability to process and interpret financial data is essential in the finance industry. You need to have excellent analytical skills to make informed financial decisions
  • Quantitative skills: You also need a good grasp of maths to work in finance. Quantitative skills will help you manipulate financial data and create financial models
  • Mathematical skills: A good understanding of algebra and statistics is vital in the analysis of financial data
  • Technical skills: Working in finance requires you to use various software and tools. You need to have proficiency in software such as Excel and other accounting software used in finance organizations
  • Problem-solving skills: As a finance professional, you need to have the ability to identify and solve complex financial problems
  • Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skills are essential when working in finance, or any other role for that matter. You need to be able to communicate effectively with colleagues and clients
  • Excellent communication skills: You also need excellent oral and written communication skills to convey complex financial information to others

To develop these skills, you can take relevant courses and work on developing them through practice in your work history.

What skills do you need for a career in finance?

Hard Skills Soft Skills
  • Financial analysis
  • Accounting
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Economics
  • Communication skills
  • Proficiency in spreadsheet software
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork

If you’re considering a career in finance, it’s essential to have a mix of hard and soft skills. A finance career requires a strong foundation in finance and accounting principles, as well as an ability to analyze data and communicate effectively. Time management and attention to detail are crucial, as well as the ability to adapt and solve problems. Proficiency in spreadsheet software is also essential. If you’re looking to improve your financial skills, there are many resources available online, such as websites like Investopedia or Udemy’s finance and accounting courses.

Areas to Consider When Searching for a Job in Finance

When considering a job in finance, there are various areas to explore. These areas include:

  • Accounting: You can work in accounting if you have a degree in accounting or finance. Working in accounting involves managing a company’s financial records, including accounts payable and receivable, budgeting, and preparing financial statements
  • Investment Banking: If you like to work in mergers and acquisitions and have a degree in finance, you can consider working in investment banking
  • Financial Consultancy: Financial consultants help clients to make informed financial decisions. If you have experience in financial planning, investment management, and portfolio analysis, you can consider working in financial consultancy
  • Quantitative Finance: Quantitative finance involves using mathematical models and computer programs to analyze financial data

Finance Related Jobs

Job Title Expected Salary Range
Financial Analyst $50,000-$80,000
Financial Planner $50,000-$100,000
Investment Banker $90,000-$600,000
Corporate Finance $70,000-$150,000
Accountant $45,000-$80,000

Researching potential organizations and roles within finance job areas can help you identify suitable positions to apply for. Research can be done online via recruitment websites and company websites, or face to face with finance industry experts.

Why are you looking for finance jobs?

There could be various reasons an individual is looking for finance jobs:

  • Interest in the field – finance can be a highly rewarding field with numerous opportunities for growth, making it a popular choice for those who love numbers, analysis and creating financial strategies.
  • High paying – finance jobs are known to pay well, particularly in top-tier positions such as CFO or Investment Banker.
  • Job security – finance jobs are in high demand and tend to remain stable even during economic downturns.

If you are looking for finance jobs, there are several websites and products available to help you in your job search, such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. These platforms offer various job postings, networking opportunities, and resources to assist in the job search process.

Create a Winning CV

Creating a CV that stands out from the competition is essential in the finance industry. Follow these tips to create a winning CV:

  • Keep your CV concise and to the point. Two pages are preferable in most cases
  • Highlight technical skills such as financial analysis, modeling and Microsoft Excel proficiency
  • Include your educational background, qualifications, and any relevant coursework. It is best to have a degree in finance or accounting
  • Include any experience you have, whether that’s internships or relevant work experience in the industry
  • Include extra-curricular activities that emphasize your skills in data analysis, problem-solving and communication
  • Ensure all your details are up to date and that your contact information is correct

There are various online resources you can utilize to perfect your CV. Websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor can help you research industry best practices in CV creation. Additionally, CV templates and examples can help you visualize and create a professional-looking CV.

How do I make my CV stand out from others?

To make your CV stand out from the rest, consider these tips:

  • Customize the CV to match the job description and the company’s requirements.
  • Use bullet points to highlight your achievements and skills rather than long paragraphs.
  • Provide quantifiable achievements to back up your skills and experiences.
  • Include relevant keywords and industry-related language to get past the automated screening process.
  • Show your personality and character by highlighting your hobbies, interests, or volunteering work.
  • Design your CV to look visually appealing but not too flashy.

Additionally, websites like Canva offer professional and unique CV templates that can make your document stand out. Remember to proofread and edit your CV to ensure that it is free of errors and have someone else look over your CV to get a different perspective.

After creating your CV and researching potential job vacancies, it is time to apply for the role you have identified. Here are some tips for applying for finance jobs:

  • Apply through company websites
  • Search job advertisements on different job boards and websites. Examples include Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and many more
  • Consider working with recruitment agencies as the in-house recruiters can sometimes identify more job opportunities that fit your CV
  • Read the job descriptions carefully to ensure you meet the requirements before applying
  • Provide your documents and certificates during the application process

Keeping a record of the roles you apply for is essential to track progress and follow-up. Some websites store application history, which makes it easy to keep a record. If that is not available, you can develop a spreadsheet to document the positions you have applied for, the application dates and the status of the application.

How do I write an application letter for a finance job?

Writing a winning application letter for a finance job requires some key elements to make you stand out from the competition. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Tip Description
Research the company Learn about the company’s mission, vision, and values. Understand the company’s financial goals and objectives.
Tailor your application Customize your letter to the specific job you’re applying to. Highlight your experience and accomplishments which are relevant to the role.
Use an appropriate format Use business letter format, with correct spelling and grammar. Ensure the letter is professional and easy to read.
Showcase your skills Emphasize your skills and experience in finance, accounting, and/or investments.
End with a strong closing Reiterate why you would be the ideal candidate for the job and thank the employer for considering your application.

Remember to keep your letter concise and to the point. Use bullet points or

    formatting for ease of reading, and avoid any irrelevant or unnecessary information.

    If you need more guidance on how to write an application letter, there are various websites and resources available. One such website is indeed.com, which offers templates and sample letters to guide you in crafting a professional and effective application.

Interview Preparation

Congratulations on securing an interview for a finance job! Here are some tips to prepare:

  • Research the organization and develop a general understanding of the field you are interested in.
  • Understand the role, job description and responsibilities.
  • Practice answering interview questions with friends or family and seeking their feedback on the responses.
  • Prepare questions to ask the interviewer to show your interest and enthusiasm for the role.
  • Dress appropriately and professionally.
  • Arrive on time for the interview. Make sure to plan your commute beforehand.

Doing a mock interview with friends or family is an excellent way to identify blind spots and work on those areas that require improvement. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what you would like to achieve from the role so that you can respond to the interview questions confidently. If you are looking for more guidance, consider research on the organization’s frequently asked questions. Understanding these common queries will assist with better interview preparation.

Securing a job in finance may not be easy, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Remember to highlight your relevant skills and experience during the interview, and showcase how they make you an ideal candidate for the job.

To aid in your preparation, you can also check out efinancialcareers, a website that provides you with information on finance roles and interview tips. Additionally, LinkedIn is an excellent resource to network with professionals in the finance industry and learn about job openings. Stay persistent in your job search and continue to build your skills and knowledge to improve your chances of getting hired in the finance industry.

What are 5 ways to prepare for an interview?

  • Research the company and the role you have applied for, understand their values, mission and vision.
  • Practice answering common interview questions, prepare your own set of questions to ask the interviewers.
  • Dress appropriately and arrive early on the day of the interview.
  • Bring copies of your resume, portfolio(if any) and necessary documents.
  • Be confident, presentable and courteous throughout the interview.

These are just a few tips to ace your interview. It is always important to approach an interview with your best foot forward. For more detailed information and guidance on interviews, there are many online resources available. Platforms such as LinkedIn Learning, interviewcoach.com and careercast.com offer courses, webinars and coaching sessions to help you prepare for an interview.


Landing a job in finance requires dedication, acquiring the right skills, and a lot of hard work. The competition in this industry is high; hence it is imperative to be strategic in your job search. Research the various job opportunities available in the sector and tailor your application accordingly. Remember to highlight your technical, analytical, and communication skills while writing your CV. Ensure you follow up with potential employers after applying for a role and make sure to prepare yourself adequately for the interview process. Remember to persevere through any setbacks you may encounter during the job search process. With the right approach and with the tips outlined in this article, you’re on your way to a career in finance, and settling for nothing less than your dream job!

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