Securing a graduate role in Financial Services

Posted February 26, 2013 by
Bank lender shaking hands with customer

Bank lender shaking hands with customer. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Financial services’ as a career choice can be difficult to define. One organisation’s financial services position constitutes another’s banking and investment role, meaning the variety of graduate jobs available defies easy clarification. The higher levels of remuneration at most financial organisations means that jobs are more sought after by graduates, but in the current climate of redundancies at many of the leading investment banks, securing a graduate role is becoming increasingly difficult. In this blog post, we discuss 3 key pointers for graduates looking to secure a role within financial services.

1)     Start building contacts

It’s never too early to begin looking and contacting companies. If you know what you want to do, or the sectors that interest you, then start doing some research and have a look at what jobs are out there. Talk to your existing network and begin to expand through connecting with people on social networks like LinkedIn. The more contacts you have, the better chance you will have of getting a job when you graduate.

2)     Work experience

Work experience is a great way of demonstrating your commitment and also to make contacts and build relationships with people who can let you know about vacancies in the future. More than a third of Ernst and Young’s graduates graduate intake have gone to applicants who have carried out internships at the firm so it’s worth applying for one if you can afford it.

3)     Treat the interview like an exam

The interview process for financial organisations is notoriously difficult. Not only are there one-on-one interviews and group exercises, you will also be tested on your presentation skills and numeracy as well. Like most applicants, there will be at least one area you will need to concentrate more on, but as a starting point you should be sure to research the company in depth, brush up on your numeracy skills and practice presentation exercises with friends and family.

James Brookner is Founder and CEO of CareerVidi, a tool for helping people find new career opportunities in finance, professional services and technology.

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