Getting a Job in Finance – Advice for Graduates

Today with so many people applying for the same job, it is even tougher than ever before to secure that dream job at a coveted company or institution. This is certainly very true when it comes to the finance sector where the competition for both entry and top level jobs is very stiff.

However, the good news is that there are also countless opportunities in this sector if you know how to approach it. Today, lots of businesses and even non-finance organisations are adding new positions suitable for finance people. According to Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide, employers are targeting and recruiting graduate candidates to fill up these positions.

Useful Tips

To work and make it in the banking and finance industry, you will be required to thrive and excel in situations that are often fast paced, high stress, and in environments that are ever-changing. Success in the investments and financial services demands a confident personality that is highly motivated, capable of forming independent views and being able to defend those views eloquently.

However, the fact is that searching for finance jobs comes with its own unique challenges. Because as a fresh graduate you are likely to be less familiar with the exact roles in a financial position than a seasoned finance pro would be, it becomes vital that you go the extra mile and do some extra legwork when beginning your job search.

Below are a couple of handy pointers on the different methods through which you could apply for and land that dream finance job.

Find Volunteer and Intern Opportunities

Volunteering and interning can greatly bolster your CV and credentials with the added experience you will have received in the finance industry. You will be able to market yourself better compared to your fellow fresh graduates.

Search company job boards for possible internship and volunteering openings. Research non-profit organisations and see whether they could be having open volunteer positions available or perhaps they might be interested in the kind of services you can offer as an intern or volunteer.

Do your Research Well

It is important that you do your own research. When at networking events, don’t shy away from asking questions from the professionals. Make sure you understand how finance institutions like banks work plus the differences between the diverse finance roles. Understand the terminology being used in the finance industry. Keep up with the latest financial news by reading widely and from reputable sources such as the Financial Times.

Chart Out your Finance Career Path

It is important that you market yourself to potential employers as somebody who’s more interested in a finance career, and not merely the pay package. Are your hopes pegged to becoming an accountant? Or perhaps you have pegged your career hopes on finally becoming a financial analyst?

If you’ve graduated only recently, think about where exactly you want to go with your finance career. Undertake some research on what is trending in terms of hiring and see what employers are demanding. From there, pinpoint which among the available graduate finance jobs have the biggest appeal to you and then proceed to learn as much as possible about them.

Know your Worth

It can be quite challenging to establish your worth or state your salary expectation when you haven’t previously worked in a specific role. It also becomes difficult to determine whether that employer is offering you competitive compensation.

The Robert Half Salary Guide 2016 provides you with a comprehensive breakdown of beginner salaries for employees joining a standard company in the UK. By knowing your worth, the potential employers will know what you mean for their businesses, and you’ll also be boosting your odds of landing an opening that brings job satisfaction.

Work with Professional Recruiting Agencies

Typically, professional staffing agencies have the industry pulse on the tip of their fingers when it comes to the kind of graduate finance jobs clients want and are looking for. Such agencies work with you in order to identify the finance position that best matches your qualifications, professional aspirations and career plan.

Carry out your research, know how best to market yourself, and identify reputable agencies. Subscribe to incisive and informative blogs or more tips on your job hunt.


The banking and finance sector is extremely competitive when it comes to landing a job. So take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself and get your foot in the right door. For example, it’s an excellent good idea to regularly attend open finance forums and events for purpose of networking. Attend presentations from leading companies while still on campus.

The point is to gain as much experience as you could even before you begin the actual job hunt. Perhaps the most important thing is your dedication to this potentially rewarding profession. Always be eager and keen to learn, stay passionate about financial events and markets. Stay abreast of what is trending in the financial sector. You never know what the interviewing panel will ask you once you have landed that job interview