Are you confident you’re going about your search for finance jobs in the right way? There are efficient and not-so-efficient approaches to seeking out jobs in this dynamic industry; if you’re not sure which is which, it might be time for a refresher.
Streamlining and — hopefully — shortening your finance job search requires a careful plan and no shortage of diligence. As you compile and then narrow down your list of potential employers, sit for initial and then follow-up interviews, and launch into salary negotiations with your shortlisters, you’ll want to keep these key considerations in mind.
- You Need a Deep, Diverse Network
Recall that timeless piece of professional wisdom: “your network is your net worth.”
Long before you begin actively seeking employment in the finance industry, you need to cultivate a deep, diverse network of peers, mentors, and potential colleagues. Don’t think of this as schmoozing or putting on airs — as a component of professional development, it’s every bit as essential as your degree.
- You Should Pay Attention to the Buzz
Pay close attention to what others say about prospective employers. After all, said employers are doing the same for you.
Early on in your search, devote several hours per week to scanning financial employer reviews and collecting feedback about the companies serving your professional niche. Learn which finance firms are hiring and which not-so-well-regarded competitors you’d best avoid.
- You Need a Relevant, Finely Tuned Resume
Consult with a career coach or mentor to align your CV with the positions for which you’re applying. If you’re spreading your eggs across two or more baskets and applying for multiple roles with different employers, you may need more than one resume.
- Your Choice of Specialty Matters
Not to overstate things, but your chosen specialty matters. A lot. It could well determine your lifetime earning potential, long-term advancement opportunities, even where you find yourself raising your family.
Before you make contact with prospective employers, review current career options for financial professionals with your credentials. If you find your options wanting, consider your professional development or advanced degree options.
- You Need to Sit for Multiple Interviews
Even in a tight labor market, you’ll find plenty of capable professionals competing for your job — especially at the entry level. Regardless of your pedigree, then, you’ll need to sit for multiple interviews with several different employers. You’ll also need to sit for multiple interviews with the same employer: a screener, a meet-and-greet, a more thorough workover, and perhaps additional tete-a-tetes, depending on your field and seniority.
- You Don’t Need to Hit a Home Run on Your First At-Bat
Remember, there’s an unbelievably wide range of finance jobs available to greenhorns and seasoned professionals alike. If you don’t land your dream job, don’t worry. You’ll find a home somewhere, even if it turns out to be no more than a launching pad for your true ambitions.
Your Future Awaits
Your job search isn’t an end in itself. It’s the beginning of the next phase of your life — and, perhaps, a critical building block of a long, fruitful career in finance.
Like the jobs for which you’re applying, the job search is what you make of it, so remember not to sweat the small stuff. You’re playing the long game here.