How to Improve your Chances of Finding a Financial Job After Graduating

By Ben Barlow on 26-10-2016
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For years now, there has been a huge debate concerning the value of university degrees in the prevailing economy and job market. This dialogue has been amplified in the wake of the Brexit vote, which could ultimately lead to the loss of skilled jobs across both the private and the public sector.

In fact, the scope of the debate has widened since Britain voted to leave the EU, with many arguing that acquiring workplace skills of any kind hold questionable merit in the modern age. After all, it was revealed that the recent decline in national unemployment in the UK was underpinned by the creation of unskilled job roles, and the fact that 50,000 new graduates are now working in positions that do not require a university degree seems to reaffirm this.

How to Increase your Chances of Landing a Financial Role After Graduating

The good news, however, is that 75% of recent graduates have managed to secure job roles in the first place, meaning that current students must focus on refining their skills to improve their chances of landing a desirable position. This is particularly true in competitive and diverse markets such as finance, which not only demands a multitude of skills but is also likely to take a significant hit in the wake of Brexit.

With this in mind, here are some tips that will help you to optimise your chances of landing a financial job role upon graduation: -

1. Strive to Develop Transferable Skills in Line with a Changing Job Market

One of the key things that all aspiring financial graduates must do is pay attention to the course that the job market is taking, particularly in terms of in-demand skills. This is a process that can optimise your chances of finding work, particularly in a volatile and competitive economic climate.

Even this may not be enough, however, particularly as the spectre of Brexit continues to loom large. After all, leaving the EU could cull a host of financial services jobs in the UK, increasing the number of job-seekers actively in search of fiscal job roles.

To negate this particular challenge, it is important to cultivate transferable skills wherever possible as you continue your studies and apply for work experience opportunities. These attributes can afford you considerable flexibility as a candidate for work, enabling you to apply for a higher volume of roles and statistically increasing your chances of success. 

2. Build Practical Financial Skills Independently

While learning a host of theoretical skills is one thing, it is quite another to transfer these into practical and proven attributes that employers crave. This requires an immense level of determination and drive, for example, while you must also take the time to test and hone these skills on an independent basis.

If you aspire to have a career in investment, for example, you should look to familiarise yourself with specific financial markets and popular trading vehicles. This includes options such as spreadbetting and trade sharing, while there is also a pressing need to experience the difference between investing in fixed assets and dealing in derivatives.

While this practice has obvious merit, effectively honing these skills is easier said than done. You may want to open a demo trading account through an online broker, however, as this provides instant access to a real-time but simulated market environment. From here, you can trade a number of alternative products and sample numerous markets, building practical skills that increase your knowledge and credibility in equal measure.

3. Manage your Time and Seek Out Work Experience Opportunities

One of the main challenges associated with studying is the demanding nature of academia, which can consume all of your waking hours if you are not careful. With practical experience of the workplace one of the main attributes that employers look for when recruiting staff, however, it is crucial that you look to manage your time stringently and create opportunities to acquire experience of relevant financial offices.

Whether this is through internships, existing contacts or volunteering, this experience can help you to develop a viable resume that appeal to employers. Additionally, the presence of practical experience with market leading financial firms will also enable you to stand out as a candidate, which is important in a competitive market where applicants usually boasts similar skill-sets.

So with a strong work-ethic and some stringent time-management skills, you can gain practical work experience and boost your chances of finding work without compromising on the quality of your studies.


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