You just graduated from college and you’re looking for your first finance job – don’t allow your worry to get the best of you. Searching for your first finance job might not be the easiest project to take on, but it is the first step in your career and a milestone that you will be proud of.
Your first job might be the dream role you have always desired, or it might be a stepping stone to a growing career. Whatever the outcome, a little career advice on finding your first finance job will go a long way in helping you navigate the job market.
Like most industries, there are many departments and positions within a company. Your first step is to identify what interests you and where you ultimately see the potential to grow and develop professionally.
7 Tips to Finding your First Finance Role
Follow along for some helpful advice when it comes to finding your first finance position in a competitive industry.
1. Use your network
Networking and making connections (even if it’s virtual) is important. This is especially key when you don’t have a lot of experience. The more you network the more you will connect with professionals in the finance field who will help you with your career. When you build relationships, these connections will be able to vouch for you and could also open doors to future positions that you are interested in.
LinkedIn is a great way to find and join groups in your field. Additionally, some groups you can look into joining include, Accounting and Finance Women’s Alliance (AFWA), National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), ASCEND, Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
2. Do your research
As you apply and get interviews, it’s important to do your homework on companies and see what they are all about. Try to understand their purpose, history and goals so you know if it feels like a good fit for your interests. Go on their social media pages, reviews and even connect with employees, if possible, to chat about the company and what their culture is like.
3. Find a mentor
Having a mentor in the financial field will give you the support and advice you need to break into this industry. Find a mentor that is in your field and one that will guide you on the career path you choose. Your mentor will be able to recommend opportunities to you and help you connect with other peers in your field. Make sure to respect your mentor’s time by being prepared every time you have a meeting and stick to your scheduled meeting times.
4. Be open to entry-level positions
When you don’t have a lot of experience, you need to apply for jobs that might be entry level to match your training and skills. Don’t let this bring you down, instead, use this as an opportunity to showcase your enthusiasm and become a valuable asset to the company.
5. Seek out an internship
Internships are a great way to break into the industry, especially if you have little to no work experience. During your internship, you will be able to learn about the industry, sharpen your skills, build connections and grow in your sector. Make sure you treat every internship as a professional role so that when it comes time for you to apply to a full-time position, you will be ready to take it on successfully.
6. Focus on your soft skills
Many employers look for soft skills in candidates nowadays. You cannot teach someone communication skills, problem-solving and leadership – these are skills that are often natural abilities and developed with experience. Not everybody has these skills, therefore, you need to hone these skills and truly show your interviewer how you will leverage them to help the company.
7. Chalk out your career objectives
As you figure out your career path, take some time to reflect and jot down your major career goals and objectives. This will help you have an outline as to how you are going to get where you want to be and what needs to be done for you to get there. You might need to sign up for extra courses or take on training opportunities in the future. By thinking about your goals, you will be more prepared for what is required for you to progress in the finance industry.
Good luck in your career endeavors!
If you are currently looking for a new position, contact one of our Ledgent Finance and Accounting recruiters today!