The finance industry is a highly desirable area of work, and consequently a competitive sector to make your first step into. Employers in the industry have outlined key things they look for in candidates; there are variations between different finance professions but there are a number of core skills that are required unanimously across them all. Before putting all your efforts into cracking into this industry, it is crucial to establish whether you have these skills.
One of the most common of these is the ability to think analytically and solve problems. If you are naturally inquisitive, the finance profession could be a great place to test your skill of finding solutions to complex problems.
Alongside this, many firms are interested in candidates that can show imagination, which goes hand-in-hand with the logic needed in this industry.
Employers will be keen to see evidence of both confidence and interpersonal skills in candidates, as having the confidence and ability to interact well with clients is crucial. It is a given that at interview you’ll be asked to provide examples of a time when you have demonstrated these qualities, so brainstorming specific occasions is a helpful exercise to have done in advance.
It’s not only specific skills that financial employers look for, but an understanding of and passion for the sector. This displays a candidate’s enthusiasm and commitment to a career in the industry.
Candidates should also show strong levels of commercial awareness, understanding the latest trends and issues to hit the financial sector. To really shine you’ll need to take it one step further, it is important to form opinions on these and voice them; showing a genuine interest in financial markets.
To gain a better understanding of how students enter the finance industry, have a read of the Inside Careers employee profiles, including one from an Exeter alumnus, who interned at RBS.
To find out more about a range of careers in finance, head on over to the Inside Careers website.