By now, you’ve probably read about 1,000 articles meant to maximize your job search prospects. You might think there are no more hacks to keep in mind. But there are points aimed at finance positions that require more emphasis.
The world of finance comes with its own unique combination of rules. It’s more formal than some other industries. It often requires a higher degree of accuracy, combined with a more intense note of salesmanship than many outsiders appreciate.
With all that in mind, here are some do’s and don’ts of job searching that have particular relevance to the finance sector:
Do: Research the Companies You Apply to
Blindly applying to every potential position can lead to complications or misunderstandings down the road. Financial positions can be hyper-specific in terms of expectations and prerequisite experience. Make sure you look into the company and the position before posting the application.
Do: Customize Your Application Materials
Researching the companies prior to submitting your application has another added benefit. It gives you the chance to tailor your pitch to the particular opportunity. Because positions in the finance world can be so specific, slight tweaks to resumes and cover letters can sometimes make the difference.
Do: Continuously Build Your Network
Even if you’re out of work, there’s still plenty of opportunities to meet people and build your network. More than that, being out of work gives you even more incentive than ever to seek out new business avenues.
With that in mind, do what you can to keep updating your professional network. Add whatever LinkedIn connections you can. Seek out friends of friends. Track down that second cousin you met at the family reunion. Financial positions are often about building trust and maintaining relationships. Make those tasks cornerstones of your search strategy, as well.
Don’t: Make Up Experience
It may seem tempting to stretch the truth a bit on your resume, or give a slightly misleading account of a previous position in your cover letter. A little white lie to get in the door. However, this can have tremendous aftershocks in the future. Financial positions come with a high degree of trust. People aren’t likely to take a generous view of those little white lies.
If the lie is discovered beforehand, your chances for the position are probably done. Meanwhile, lying on a resume can be cause for dismissal down the road – careers of high-ranking executives have been ruined because of faked credentials on a resume years before.
Don’t: Listen to Every Catchy Slogan
You have to take all advice with a grain of salt. Extending on the previous “don’t” a little more, if you get a job on false pretenses, you might not be qualified to do it. Trying to maneuver in a highly regulated and precise industry like finance with an imperfect understanding can lead to trouble, for both you and your employer. We know the typical business advice goes “fake it until you make it.” That’s fine for confidence; it’s career suicide for credentials.
Don’t: Just Apply to Jobs; Apply to Companies
One mistake people make when job searching is to focus only on positions they find advertised on job search sites. Some companies don’t go through this process. Instead of constantly hitting refresh on Indeed, look around for companies you respect, then check their website for potential postings. If there’s nothing there, you can send a short polite note to their contact email (or even see if you can track down the email of someone in the HR department).
There may be training or recruitment programs to join. They may have positions coming available that haven’t been advertised yet. Even if there’s nothing available now, you can get your resume on the pile for future prospects.
Find a Finance Job Today!
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