How to Land Your First Job in Finance

Ketchup and pickle sandwiches, desperate cramming and sleepless nights all add up to a successfully completed degree.

As we bid adieu to the nutritionally deficient days of studenthood and turn our attention to landing our first finance role, there are a few things we need to remember to make our job hunt a successful one.

Be Humble
Understand that the job market is competitive and approach all interviews (and your resume) from a posture of service. Understand what strengths you can offer your prospective employer that will help advance the company’s objectives and communicate that you are eager to learn. Employers want candidates who are teachable, motivated and resilient.

Practice Listening
Whether you’re connecting with a recruiter, or at a networking function, your ability to listen to what’s being said, respond respectfully and show a genuine interest in the other person can be what lays the foundation for a relationship that helps you land your first role.

Do a Co-op Placement
Co-op placements offer you several advantages. They allow you to gain real-world experience and help you build your professional network. You also stand a good chance of being offered a position if you deliver for the organization. If you’re still in school and you have an opportunity to participate in a co-op program, we strongly recommend that you do so.

Try Contract Work
Recently, we’ve seen more and more employers offering contracts instead of permanent positions in order to “try before they buy.” If the candidate performs well then the contract role often becomes a permanent position. As a recent graduate, contract work gets your foot in the door, builds your skill set, connects you to the decision-makers in the organization and positions you for future opportunities. With that in mind, treat any contract work like a 3 or 6 month interview and make sure you deliver.

Use LinkedIn
Both recruiters and hiring agents are on LinkedIn. Start building your professional brand by establishing a well-thought-out profile. Participate in group discussions and use LinkedIn to build your network.

To land your first job in finance consider contract work. Approach each role and conversation from a posture of service. Listen, instead of talk and know that if you’re patient opportunities will come your way.