What You Need to Know About Your Job Search in Finance

As the markets shift, generations grow, and technology advances, financial companies have to adapt. This also means that who they recruit, and how they recruit, change with the industry trends. As we enter this new decade, learn how to be the most marketable candidate as possible. Here are just a few trends we are seeing in the finance industry today.

Hard Skills for Finance Professionals

Education and Certifications

For a successful career in finance, your foundation lies in your education. Recruiters are seeking candidates with a degree in Finance or Accounting. This signals that the appropriate courses and training have been taken. Furthermore, recruiters are seeking applicants with additional credentials: Certified Public Accountants and Certified Financial Planners are two titles that stand out to employers. Each state has its own requirements for becoming certified. Check out Connecticut’s requirements here.

As finance companies transform digitally and vast amounts of customer data is collected, there is an increasing need for highly technical positions like data engineers and data scientists. If you’re able, consider taking courses in data science or data engineering to make yourself a stronger candidate:

    • CSE 2050 Data Structures and Object-Oriented Design
    • CSE 2102 Introduction to Software Engineering
    • CSE 2500 Introduction to Discrete Systems

You might also consider pursuing a minor in Analytics.

Financial Reporting (Precision & Detail)

In order to create budgets, issue stock, and conduct audits, finance professionals need to demonstrate an ability to compile detailed, accurate financial reports. If you can indicate experience in compiling precise reports as well as an ability to draw valuable insights from the data, you will stand out amongst other candidates. Perhaps if you’ve composed a financial report in a previous role, you will want to include this in a bullet point on your résumé!

Knowledge of Financial Software

Being able to adapt to technological changes is a key skill that recruiters are looking for in applicants. Having expertise in finance software will help you stand out amongst other candidates. Some of the most sought-after technical skills are Microsoft Excel, FIS Global, Oracle, SAP, and other database management systems.

Additionally, firms are looking for finance professionals with a strong understanding of Structured Query Language (SQL), the language used to communicate to their databases. If you have knowledge of any finance software, be sure to include them in the skills sections of your résumé.

Soft skills are important!

While technical skills and education are an important part of being a financial professional, recruiters are looking for well-rounded individuals. For one, problem-solving skills and overall adaptability are helpful, especially for being able to adapt to technological changes and advances. Recruiters are also seeking candidates with strong self-management. Here are some transferable skills that recruiters are seeking:

Global Perspective

As customer demographics change, companies are seeking diverse candidates who understand and respect different cultures and identities. Not only are recruiters seeking candidates with this strong global perspective, but there is a greater emphasis on hiring bilingual candidates.

Regulations and Compliance Ability

The financial industry is demonstrating an increased need for talented analysts, forensic researchers, and compliance engineers that can navigate the complex regulatory environment. Companies are seeking compliance professionals to track and fulfill requirements as well as provide solutions that both reduce risk and are customer friendly.

Flexible Communication

According to the Bloomberg Job Skills Report 2016, the most desired, yet uncommon, finance professional skill is communication. The ability to communicate the meaning behind the complex figures will demonstrate a deep understanding of the concepts but also the ability to communicate clearly with clients and coworkers.

Digital Adaptability

Artificial Intelligence technology, mobile technology, and big data analytics are becoming driving forces in the financial services industry. As technology evolves quickly, recruiters are valuing candidates’ ability to adapt quickly to change. This change is reflected in the financial industry’s shift to a more digital presence both for engaging more customers, but also for recruiting.

Furthermore, companies are seeking tech-savvy individuals who specialize in security. Not only does this protect the company from cyber-attacks and data breaches, but it increases customer confidence.

The job-search process is not an easy one. But preparing your application materials to be the most effective for the industry can be as simple as adding a few bullet points, technical skills, and keywords that are relevant to the position. Review your résumé to ensure you are marketing your skills and experience in the most effective way!









By Hannah Halloran
Hannah Halloran Graduate Assistant, Programming Hannah Halloran