Ways To a Dream Job in Finance With No Experience Featured

These tips should enable a non-financial graduate to substantially improve his or her chances of launching a career in finance.

Ways To a Dream Job in Finance With No Experience Featured

Ways To a Dream Job in Finance With No Experience Featured
Ways To a Dream Job in Finance With No Experience Featured
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Starting a career in finance is not an easy task. Finance jobs are extremely desirable, largely because they have the potential to provide tremendous financial rewards.

A finance job will impart skills such as financial modeling and analysis, but may not do much to provide other skills required for success in almost any profession, such as communication, problem-solving and time management.

The cyclical nature of the job market in the world of finance makes the problem even more challenging. The number of jobs available often hinges on the current state of the stock market. When things are going well, there are a lot of job openings. When the market takes a turn for the worse, however, those openings tend to disappear.

Whether you have just graduated or are still in school and are thinking ahead about your career, the following five tips can drastically improve your odds of getting hired:


#1. Selecting a Finance Internship

Starting a career in finance is not an easy task. Finance jobs are extremely desirable, largely because they have the potential to provide tremendous financial rewards.

A finance job will impart skills such as financial modeling and analysis, but may not do much to provide other skills required for success in almost any profession, such as communication, problem-solving and time management.

The cyclical nature of the job market in the world of finance makes the problem even more challenging. The number of jobs available often hinges on the current state of the stock market. When things are going well, there are a lot of job openings. When the market takes a turn for the worse, however, those openings tend to disappear.

Whether you have just graduated or are still in school and are thinking ahead about your career, the following five tips can drastically improve your odds of getting hired.

#2. Requesting the Internship Early

Don't wait until your last year of school to seek an internship. Instead, get started as soon as you can. Imagine how much further ahead you would be than your peers if you worked as an intern every year that you were in school. If you are like most students, you probably are thinking about getting a summer job to tide you over when school is not in session. Why not try to get an internship instead? It will do a lot more for your career than working at a menial job that is completely unrelated to the field of finance. There is plenty of room for career development in this industry as this report from Marks Sattin discusses.

#3. Searching for a Reputable Company

Try not to get into a rut when it comes to the types of internships that you look for. For instance, if all of your internships are for a company that deals with equity trading, it may limit your opportunities moving forward. Ideally, each internship that you apply for should be in a different area of finance. This can help you get a better sense of exactly what you want to do with your career. Having this past experience under your belt when you apply for jobs in the future can give you a leg up on your competition. During your interview, you can bring up any relevant internships so that you can let the interviewer know that you really do have an interest in the job that you are applying for. Additionally, exposing yourself to many different facets of the financial industry can give you a solid background that you can draw on in the future.

Regardless of what type of internship you get, you should work as hard as you can. Going above and beyond is a great way to get noticed. If you are good at your job, you may even be able to get hired by one of the companies that you intern for after you graduate. Don't miss out on an opportunity to make a great impression on potential employers during your internship.

#4. Understand the Industry Vocabulary

The best way to position yourself for a career in finance is to go into a business-related field such as economics or finance. Although companies sometimes claim that it doesn't matter what field your degree is in, you will stand a better chance of getting hired if your degree is related to the field of finance.

To increase your knowledge of industry lingo, consider subscribing to financial publications such as the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times. Most of these major publications offer discounts to students. This is a great way to not only keep up with what is happening in the world of finance but also to learn key words and phrases that you will need to understand if you go on to work in the field.

The more financial publications you can read, the more familiar you will get with the basic industry jargon. Wall Street is riddled with strange acronyms like CDS, EBITDA, and MBS that can make it hard to understand what someone is talking about unless you know what they mean. As you read through financial news publications, you will gradually increase your knowledge. When you come across a term that you don't know, be sure to look it up. Even though you may be exposed to this terminology during your courses, it is great to be able to be exposed to it in the real world, as well. You can also increase your knowledge by reading books on investing or by regularly visiting websites that are devoted to the world of finance. In a way, learning financial terminology isn't much different than learning a new language. The more proactive you can be about increasing your vocabulary; the better position you will be in when it comes time to search for a job.

#5. Consider Getting Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exam

Because the world of finance is so competitive, anything you can do to help yourself stand out is a good thing. One excellent way to do just that is by taking the Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. Obtaining the CFA designation is a great way to gain respect from other people in the industry. Before you are awarded the designation, you need to complete a series of steps including passing several exams and working for four years in an eligible role. You can get started early, however, by taking the first exam during your last year of college when you are pursuing a bachelor's degree. The exam is offered twice a year, typically in June and December.

These exams are quite gruelling to prepare for most people spend upwards of 250 hours studying before the exam. If you have already passed the first exam by the time you graduate, it will show potential employers just how serious you are about pursuing a job in finance. It can make a real difference when it comes to setting yourself apart from other candidates for the positions that you apply for.

Transition Into A Finance Career

Transitioning into a finance career after you've spent many years in another industry may seem exciting to some and daunting to others. The world of finance may offer a greater challenge as well as potential improvements in compensation, among other benefits. If you are pondering a midlife career change that involves a transition into finance, you need to go above and beyond to make yourself attractive to potential employers. That usually means seeking out internships before you graduate so that you can get some real-world experience. Taking other steps like reading financial publications to increase your vocabulary can also be beneficial. Finally, consider taking these CFA Level 1 exam during your final year of school. Although it is difficult, it can make a huge difference when it comes time to land your dream job.

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