Five Tips for Landing Your First Role in Finance

Finance is a notoriously difficult sector to break into.  Most roles within the financial services industry will require at least a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject, and many companies will expect you to undertake further qualifications when you join them.

If you want to land your first role in finance but don’t know how to get started, here are our five top tips to help you launch your job search.

Get to Grips with the Jargon

The finance sector is riddled with all sorts of jargon, so you need to master the lingo if you want to be taken seriously as a candidate.

You want to be able to show off your knowledge and understanding of all things money-related, so spend a little time getting to grips with the complex terminology and you will really impress potential employers if and when you’re invited to an interview.

Do at Least One Internship

 Internships are still the number one route into a financial organisation, and many companies will expect you to have undertaken at least one before they consider your application.

Many large banks, accountancy firms and other financial institutions will run their own in-house graduate schemes to help them find the most talented individuals – get your name down for a summer internship and you might find it’s converted to a paid full-time position at the end.

Set up Your Own Finance Blog

 Recruiters like to know you’re up-to-speed on the latest financial news and current affairs, which is why setting up your own finance blog can really boost your application to the top of the pile.

Write posts about the latest trends and breaking news stories in the finance sector and you demonstrate your awareness of the current financial climate.

Include a link to your blog in your cover letter or within your CV, so that potential employers can see you are committed to the industry and have spotted the latest developments.

Get Networking

 The harder an industry is to break into, the more you need to rely on your contacts and calling in as many favours as possible.  If you don’t already have one, create a LinkedIn account and add anyone and everyone you know who works in finance.

If you studied a relevant subject at university, your fellow graduates and even course tutors might know someone who can open doors for you.  Swallow your pride – there’s no shame in nepotism when it’s so difficult to get a foothold in the finance sector.

Attend Big Events

There will be all sorts of conferences and big corporate events hosted by financial institutions, so make sure you get your tickets or put your name on the guest list.

Some will be free to attend and others you might have to stump up an entrance fee for, but they will more than pay for themselves if you make the right acquaintances and learn something new.  Big events and conferences are another great way to make contacts and start networking, so attend as many as you can and try to enjoy them.

Finance really is one of those industries where it pays to know the right people, but with some hard work and a lot of determination, there are no barriers to getting a foot in the door.  The fastest route in is to do an internship and make a few friends in high places, so polish up your CV and start applying as soon as possible if you want to land your first role in finance.


Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.