Are you ready to take on the world of finance as an eager, hard-working, entry-level employee? If so, there’s good news. Right now, jobs are plentiful for people with the proper education, a can-do attitude, and the willingness to spend time on a thorough search effort. Besides taking the time to do a bit of soul searching to decide on your preferred industry niche, it’s wise to bolster your resume with relevant work and volunteer experience.
And, by expanding your professional network and making lots of contacts, you’ll get the attention of a large number of potential employers. And, don’t be afraid to use the services of a professional head-hunting agency. Avoid the ones that ask you to pay a fee. The more reputable ones get their commission from companies that do the hiring. Here’s a shortlist of realistic actions you can take to land a position in the financial industry.
Choose a Niche
Finance is a vast field, so be sure to narrow down your goals before composing the final version of your resume. Retail and banking are perhaps the two most common starting points for those with little or no prior experience in the niche. Others find excellent opportunities in the securities markets, insurance, retirement planning, financial analysis, and corporate accounting. It’s never too late to begin a new career so even if you are already in one of these sectors it is completely feasible to make a switch to another to land your dream job.
Get the Right Degree
No matter your current situation, give serious thought to earning a graduate degree in business at some point in the early part of your career. Many programs offer evening and weekend classes, either online or in traditional classrooms. Paying for an MBA, for example, can be a challenge for anyone, which is why so many people turn to private lenders to get the student loan financing needed for an advanced degree. One of the main advantages of private lenders is that you’ll have the chance to borrow the entire educational costs, including tuition, books, fees, and related expenses. Terms, repayment periods, and interest rates are competitive, and you can even apply online to get an answer in a matter of minutes.
Cherry Pick Volunteer Opportunities
Don’t submit a resume to any prospective employer unless the document includes at least one volunteer job. Be sure to choose these pro-bono kinds of tasks carefully. For example, if your goal is to become a tax analyst, consider donating your time to a community organization that helps low-income people file their annual returns. Or sign up with a non-profit consumer counseling service that works with people who need general advice about getting out from under credit card debt, managing their monthly budgets, and setting up basic retirement accounts. You won’t receive any pay as a volunteer, but you will acquire worthwhile experience and add muscle to your resume.
Join Professional Societies
No matter what sector of the larger finance field you intend to enter, you can join professional societies to connect with like-minded people. The majority offer low annual membership dues for students and recent graduates. Ask a mentor which organizations are the best to join to make connections and gain access to free online educational resources.