13 Tips on How To Get a Job in Finance With No Experience
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published February 22, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Video: Top 10 Jobs in Finance
Are you interested in a career in finance, but are not sure which job is best for you, or how to start preparing for it? We have you covered!
The finance industry has many working opportunities for experienced employees and those with no experience. For a college graduate, an entry-level job is a significant starting point in your finance career, possibly leading you to your dream job or helping you gain experience you can apply in other ideal roles. In this article, we explore the various opportunities available in finance and how to get a job in the finance sector without experience.
Benefits of starting a career in finance
The finance industry has a wide range of jobs with varying salaries and benefits and can equip you with long-term employable skills. Benefits include:
Job security: Job security means knowing you'll have opportunities to work in an industry or role. Since finance is essential in everyday life, many businesses and jobs in this sector are stable or growing.
Opportunity for career advancement: A job in finance provides incentives to further your education and advance your career. This opens up better opportunities in your company or elsewhere.
High earning potential: Most entry-level roles in finance can pay moderate to high salaries, depending on where you work and your job's function and specialization. After gaining more experience and even higher education, you can increase your earning potential.
Many career options: A job in finance is one of the most diverse professions, so the likelihood of finding a job is higher than in other fields with less versatility.
Related: 6 Types of Finance Jobs
How to get a job in finance with no experience
Most financial institutions require an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. However, there are many other roles in finance, some that may not require a four-year college degree. Academic excellence and the ability to work with numbers is a prerequisite in finance jobs. Besides education, a financial sector job requires an excellent communicator who can interpret and explain complex issues to nonexperts. Analytical and creative thinking, along with writing skills will also boost your chance of getting a finance job without experience.
Here are some ways you can pursue a job in the finance sector without experience:
1. Prepare an effective resume
A well-organized resume increases your chance of getting a job in the financial industry. Some of the best ways of writing a resume that can earn you a job in finance with no experience are:
Focus on your skills and relate your abilities to the skills and qualifications that the recruiter prefers.
Ensure that you are thorough in your statement, as this will be the first thing that your recruiter will look for.
Include times you volunteered, conducted charity work and earned high school and college accomplishments.
Emphasize your transferable skills, such as customer service and management, you learned from another different work sector.
Highlight how you can meet your potential employer's needs. For instance, if a job requirement demands leadership skills, use leadership in your resume.
Showcase your personality in your resume because it will enhance your position over other candidates.
2. Network as much as possible
Networking is a primary factor in getting into the finance industry if you do not have work experience. The more network connections you have, the more you can connect with the financial companies you desire. To network effectively, always reach out to people you know in various companies and make genuine connections.
Also, contribute to relationships and consistency in your networking efforts to build on your connections. After building an effective network, you can request your networks to recommend you. Employers may overlook the gap in your experience if you have a recommendation from someone trustworthy.
Related: The Complete Guide To Networking
3. Know the trends in financial institutions
Knowing the current issues trending in the financial institutions can enable you to have an engaging conversation with professionals in the industry, such as network connections or hiring managers. This can also help you prepare for interview questions about how you keep up with industry news.
4. Visit your college career center
A college career center is a resource where you can learn more about entry-level jobs and internship opportunities in the finance sector. You can use the job posting platform the center uses to find new roles, get feedback on your resume and cover letter for specific roles and even be put into contact with financial sector hiring managers through the well-connected advisers in the center.
5. Have a mentor in the financial sector
Find an experienced financial professional, preferably one who works in the role or specialization you're interested in, to expand your network and gain valuable insight into the career path. They can give you feedback on your goals, help you figure out how to advance and even recommend you for opportunities. For your career mentorship to work effectively, be a good mentee by:
Practicing and applying the advice from your mentor by researching and taking the opportunities they recommend
Respecting your mentor's time by coming prepared with questions or items for them to give feedback on
Being active in relating with your mentor by reaching out or meeting with them regularly
Related: What Is a Mentor?
6. Be ready to start from a lower position
When applying for a job in finance, start with those that are within your training or skill level so you can demonstrate how you qualify and more easily prove your ability to succeed in the role. Starting with a lower-level job can also help you secure a place at a company and allow you to showcase your unique skills. You can learn more about the company and the way they prefer to perform tasks, which can be an asset when you want to advance your career since some institutions consider those who are within the institution before searching for someone outside.
7. Complete an internship in a financial institution
Interning enables you to learn from experienced professionals, develop industry knowledge, practice basic and advanced financial skills and network with those in the financial department. You can also learn the internal workings of an institution, which can help you secure a full-time paid position over someone who's never interned with the company before. Some tips for working your way from volunteering to your desired job in finance are:
Treat your internship position like work and perform it to the best of your ability.
Take on additional or new responsibilities as you can to develop new skills and increase your value in the organization.
Build relationships with people in the company who may be able to recommend you for future roles and even be your coworkers in the future.
Related: 10 Benefits of Doing an Internship
8. Demonstrate your career objectives
Be sure to emphasize what you hope to gain from a role. Maybe you want to develop certain skills or advance into a leadership role in the next five years. Mention your objectives as part of your summary statement in your resume, in your cover letter or during the interview. When companies know what you want to do in your career, they can better help you find a place within their company that can get you where you want to be with hard work and determination.
9. Highlight the ways you are uniquely qualified
When you lack experience in the financial sector, it's important to focus on the skills, characteristics and knowledge that you've gained in other roles or experiences that make you the best candidate for a role. For example, if you previously worked in marketing and are applying to be a financial analyst, you could emphasize your ability to communicate clearly and creatively use data. You can even relate a challenge you faced in your marketing experience to a potential challenge you may face in a financial role and how that previous experience provides you a diverse perspective.
10. Focus on your transferrable skills
Transferable skills are abilities you can use in various industries. Examples of soft skills that are transferable include organization, adaptability, communication, leadership, multitasking and public speaking. Some hard skills can be transferable, too, like math, accounting and computer literacy.
11. Take time to prepare for an interview
Getting an invitation for an interview is your opportunity to demonstrate what makes you a great candidate. To succeed in an interview:
Research the company and your interviewers using their company websites, social media posts and press releases. Show an understanding of what they do and who their competitors are.
Practice answers to questions common in an interview, such as behavior questions about how you solve problems or those that are common for the role you applied for.
Prepare talking points about why and how you will succeed in the finance job you applied for. Think about your soft skills, education or internships and how they can help you.
Think of questions to ask the interviewer, including the goals for the first few months in the role and what kind of training they offer.
Dress appropriately, wearing clothes that match the current style of people who work in the office.
Arrive for the interview early to make sure you have time to relax after the commute to the location and get focused.
Carry copies of your resume, a pen and notebook to the interview so you can provide anyone you speak to with your information and take notes throughout.
Relate your answers to your skills and ensure to keep your answers relevant to the position.
Send a thank you email to your interviewers after the interview.
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