Complete Guide to a Successful Career in Finance

by | Jun 15, 2020 | Financial Featured

The finance industry offers a wide variety of careers and specialisms, which makes it easy to find a role that will suit your particular skills and interests. A career in finance can also offer several other benefits, including a competitive pay package, career advancement opportunities, and high job satisfaction. This makes finance an attractive job sector for many graduates and employees. If you are considering joining this exciting and rewarding field, here is a complete guide to a successful and long-lasting career in finance.

Explore different finance roles

As mentioned, the finance sector offers a huge variety of roles. If you are considering pursuing a career in finance, your first step should be to research the various financial careers to determine which role would be most suited to you. There are many websites and online resources offering advice and guidance on the different financial careers available. You must also consider what qualifications and certifications are required for each role. Some entry-level finance jobs require just a high-school diploma, whereas others look for candidates with higher qualifications such as a master’s degree or postgraduate diploma. To inspire you, here are some of the most popular careers in finance:

  • Financial advisor – Financial advisors offer expert advice and help people manage their finances and investments. They work with organizations and individuals and are often employed by banks or work on a self-employed basis.
  • Accountant – Accountants ensure that businesses and individuals are complying with the relevant financial regulations and laws, i.e., when it comes to paying taxes. They also help their clients make smart spending decisions and stick to their budgets.
  • Financial analyst – Financial analysts research various economic patterns and trends to support clients with their financial planning. They work with organizations to help them make smart investments and boost revenues.
  • Financial manager – Financial managers are responsible for the overall financial health of a company. They monitor financial analytics reports and develop strategies to help organizations meet their financial objectives.

Complete work experience placements

One of the most effective ways to determine whether a particular finance career is right for you is by completing work placements and internships. Work experience will give you a real insight into the industry and help you decide whether you can see yourself doing a particular role long term. You will also have the opportunity to build valuable connections with people in the finance sector and grow your professional network. Many graduates even secure their first job out of college as a result of a work placement or internship. Make sure that you focus on gaining as much relevant work experience as possible and try to complete a variety of placements. This will enhance your resumé and help you stand out from your peers when applying for the top finance jobs. According to a recent survey, almost 91% of employers prefer their candidates to have work experience and just 5% of employers feel that work experience is not an important factor when hiring new candidates. With that in mind, you must make an effort to gain as must relevant work experience as possible. You can find work experience opportunities in the finance sector by searching on job platforms, speaking with your college career advisor, or contacting financial organizations directly to ask about internship opportunities. Keep in mind that the top finance companies tend to hire interns well in advance, so you should always apply as early as possible to increase your chances of securing your placement of choice.

Enroll in a finance course

The majority of finance careers require some professional qualifications and training. Completing a finance course will improve your job prospects and give you access to a wider variety of financial careers. It will also teach you the technical skills and knowledge needed to be confident and successful in your chosen field. The course you choose to enroll in will depend on the particular finance career and specialism you are interested in. Many finance professionals start by earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, then specialize in a particular field by completing various additional courses in areas such as corporate finance, accounting, or financial analytics. Some financial careers require you to become certified before you can practice in your chosen state, so always do your research and check what qualifications are required. You can further enhance your resumé and financial skills by completing postgraduate certifications such as MSA online programs. Qualifications such as this will give you a competitive edge in the job market and help prepare you for the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of finance. Fortunately, many finance qualifications are fully flexible and allow you to fit online study around your current work or personal schedule.

Build your professional network

Effective networking is crucial when it comes to securing a good position in the finance sector. According to a study by, networking fills an impressive 95% of job roles are 70% of people found a job through connections in an organization. For that reason, you must focus on building your professional network and developing meaningful connections with people in the finance industry. You can form relationships with financial professionals by attending networking events such as conferences, seminars, and job fairs. As mentioned above, internships can be another excellent way to build relationships in the finance industry. You should also focus on expanding your online network using social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. These social channels can be a great way to connect with finance experts and make yourself known to people in the industry. Once you have formed relationships, you must nurture them by making an effort to stay in regular contact. Make sure that you leverage personal connections when you start searching and applying for finance jobs.

Expand your skills and knowledge

The finance sector is evolving rapidly due to the development of new financial technology and software. You must remain up to date with advancements in the field and be aware of the impact of new technology. With that in mind, you should be proactive when it comes to your learning and professional development. Make an effort to develop your financial skills and learn about new trends by reading finance magazines and blogs or speaking with experts in the industry. You can also complete various online training courses and attend educational seminars to advance your finance skills and knowledge.

Find a mentor

Securing a mentor is not always easy, but it is one of the best ways to achieve your career goals and enjoy a successful financial career. A mentor can offer dozens of benefits, including providing a source of encouragement and motivation, teaching you valuable skills, and helping you to build your professional network and connections in the finance industry. Interact and network with finance professionals to help you find a suitable mentor. You can use a variety of different techniques to find a mentor. For instance, an advanced people search on LinkedIn can help you find and connect with potential mentors in your local area. Make sure you can demonstrate how the relationship will be mutually beneficial to both parties. You must also be prepared to invest your time and resources into making the mentorship a success.

Write a standout resumé and cover letter

There is strong competition for the top finance jobs, and many candidates have similar qualifications and experience. Research shows that recruiters spend an average of just seven seconds reviewing a resumé. For that reason, you must identify ways to differentiate yourself from your peers and impress potential employers quickly. Taking the time to customize your resumé can be an effective way to engage recruiters and secure a job interview. You should always avoid just sending a generic resumé and cover letter. Instead, you should take the time to amend and personalize your resumé every time you send it to a potential employer. Recruitment experts recommend keeping your resumé to less than two pages and checking the document thoroughly for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Make sure that you highlight any skills or achievements that make you stand out from other applicants. For instance, starting a finance blog can be a great way to demonstrate your interest and passion for the industry. You should, therefore, make sure to mention this near the top of your resumé and include a link to your online finance blog. Overall, your resumé and cover letter will play a vital role in the success of your job applications, so you must always take the time to write a quality resumé that will impress recruiters.

Final thoughts

The finance industry has seen huge growth, and this trend is expected to continue over the coming years. Finance is an extremely dynamic field that offers a great variety of rewarding job roles. In many cases, a career in finance will provide fantastic job security, attractive benefits, and a high level of job satisfaction. Use the above suggestions to help you secure your dream role in finance and enjoy a successful financial career.


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