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4 insider tips for junior finance candidates to progress their careers
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4 insider tips for junior finance candidates to progress their careers

Posted on 03 October 2023

​Are you an entry-level candidate aspiring to break into the competitive finance job market? In today's fast-paced and dynamic industry, standing out is crucial. Employers seek candidates who not only possess the right qualifications but also demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning, adaptability, and professional growth. In this guide, I'll share valuable advice to help you shine as an entry-level candidate in the finance sector.

1. Commit to continuous learning

The finance industry is constantly evolving, with new trends, technologies, and regulations emerging regularly. To stand out, showcase your dedication to continuous learning. Here's how:

  • Stay updated: Keep yourself informed about industry trends, economic developments, and market news. Subscribe to financial publications, follow reputable finance websites, and participate in online forums and discussions.

  • Pursue relevant certifications: While certifications are valuable in the finance field, they aren't always mandatory for entry-level positions. However, having them can give you a competitive edge. Consider pursuing certifications like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) if your career path aligns with them.

  • Gain practical experience: Seek out internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities to gain hands-on experience in finance. Practical knowledge is highly valued by employers and can set you apart from other candidates.

2. Build your professional online presence

In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is essential. Here's how you can use the internet to your advantage:

  • LinkedIn profile: Create a professional and well-detailed LinkedIn profile. Highlight your skills, experiences, and achievements. Connect with professionals in the finance industry and join relevant groups to stay updated on industry discussions.

  • Online networking: Attend virtual finance-related events, webinars, and conferences. Engaging with industry professionals and peers online can help you build valuable connections.

  • Personal branding: Share your insights and thoughts on finance topics through blog posts or articles. This not only showcases your knowledge but also establishes you as a thought leader in your niche.

3. Effective remote interviewing

In recent times, remote interviews have become the norm. Mastering remote interviews is essential for success in today's job market. Here are some tips:

  • Prepare your space: Find a quiet, well-lit space for your interview. Ensure there are no distractions or background noises.

  • Tech check: Test your technology in advance. Ensure your camera, microphone, and internet connection are working flawlessly. Use a professional email address and a reliable video conferencing platform.

  • Dress professionally: Treat a remote interview as you would an in-person one.

  • Build a personal connection: Use video to establish a personal connection with the interviewer. Maintain eye contact and practice good body language.

4. Standing out without certifications

While certifications are highly valued in finance, not having them doesn't mean you can't succeed. Focus on highlighting your skills and potential:

  • Relevant experience: Emphasise any relevant work experience, internships, or projects you've completed. Describe how these experiences have prepared you for the role you're seeking.

  • Achievements: Highlight any achievements or accomplishments, such as exceeding targets, solving complex problems, or demonstrating leadership skills.

  • Commitment to learning: Express your commitment to ongoing learning and professional development. Mention any courses or workshops you plan to take to enhance your skills.

​In conclusion, breaking into the competitive finance job market as an entry-level candidate requires a combination of continuous learning, a strong online presence, effective remote interviewing skills, and the ability to showcase your skills and potential. By following these tips and staying dedicated to your professional growth, you can stand out and secure your place in the finance industry. Good luck!

Watch our Hot tips video series discussing these points, in our video library.

​If you are looking for a role within the accounting support space, reach out to me here.

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