Finance has always been a popular career path for young men and women fresh out of college who want to become millionaires or entrepreneurs by the time they are in their 30’s. Unfortunately, things aren't that simple. Finance is actually an incredibly competitive profession. It's tough to find a job as recent graduate anytime—and when the economy isn't doing well, it can be even harder.
Landing a great job in finance is tough, but it's not impossible. Here are just a few tips that job seekers might find beneficial as they search for their dream careers in finance.
Find an Internship
One common complaint that job seekers have is that they need work experience to land a job, but they don't have experience because nobody will hire them. Entry-level jobs are practically designed for those with little to no experience, but even finding these can be tricky in a volatile job market. To ensure that young job seekers get the work experience that so many employers look for in applicants, many of them look for internships instead. An internship is much easier to land than a job in most circumstances, especially for college students or recent graduates. Taking the time to complete one or more internships also shows a great work ethic, something that is especially valuable in finance. Another great benefit of having an internship in the finance industry or at specific firm is the amount of useful, professional contacts that are created. Many of these will be extremely useful down the road.
Most people look at part-time jobs that they have when in school as simple jobs that they only do until they're done with college. Instead of working as a cashier or fast food restaurant, take the time to look for internships or entry-level finance jobs. This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience before you are "officially" in the job market. If commuting is out of the question, consider looking for a position with your college’s finance or economics department.
Seek Out Diverse Experiences
Completing several internships is a great way to show that you have a strong work ethic, but they are especially valuable if they provide several different experiences. Having an internship in fixed income, another in equities, and yet another in portfolio management will make your resume will look that much more impressive to employers.
Educate self about the World of Finance
Most people who want a career in finance probably majored in something related to it, but this isn't the case for everybody. Many liberal art majors or those who otherwise have little educational background in finance apply for jobs in the industry, and employers will be glad to interview them. After all, skills like communication can be inherently valuable in the finance industry. However, you should still take the time to educate yourself about the finance industry and financial news or media outlets before looking for a job in finance. You should be able to discuss at least some of the ins and outs of the industry with your employer, if only because it will show that you are invested in this career path and are willing to learn.
No matter what the job market looks like at any given time, the real key to finding a job is persistence. As a recent college graduate, the odds will be against you: your resume will be lumped together with countless other applicants, many of which will be highly qualified and possibly have more experience. Just remember that there is a job out there for you and your unique skills—and if you follow these tips you will be closer to finding it.
This article was written by Thomas Stern, who is a financial adviser, freelance writer and technology enthusiast. Thomas recommends doing more research on the industry, and checking out other resources like finance jobs with moneyjobs.com