Landing a job in the finance industry requires both financial and non-financial skills. In other words, it goes without saying that you should be highly adept with numbers, but at the same time, you need to be able to communicate your knowledge in an efficient and productive way. In addition, large organizations may even ask you to take a personality test to better assess your character traits.
The 10 must-have skills in today’s competitive finance job market are the following:
Being able to demonstrate logical thinking when gathering and analyzing a vast amount of information is an asset in the finance field. This explains why some of the most powerful people in finance possess strong analytical skills. Of course, being analytical is an inborn characteristic, which, however, can be improved with solidly-founded analytical experiences. When seeking to land a finance position, make sure to highlight such experiences to your prospect employer.
Analytical skills go together with problem-solving competencies, i.e. the ability to understand a problem and come up with a viable solution. Normally, during an interview, hiring managers seek to determine your problem-solving skills with relevant questions that offer you the chance to provide detailed examples of how you have overcome difficult situations at work to achieve success. Make sure to capitalize on this opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving skills.
Landing a finance position requires adeptness with Excel, along with possessing advanced tech skills both in hardware and software. The more you know, the better as the finance field is highly competitive and you may be the shining star only because you have the basic knowledge in Structured Query Language (SQL). Make sure to possess the minimum requirements and then elaborate and polish your skills in keys, programs and excel functions that would be extremely useful in your work.
Critical thinking is perhaps one of the most theoretical skills hiring managers require you to possess. According to the Critical Thinking Community, critical thinking is the intellectual ability “to actively conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and/or evaluate information gathered from observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication” in an accurate, consistent and relevant way. In other words, critical thinking involves all the dexterities one should possess to assess, analyze and use information effectively while blending natural feelings with logic.
People who seek to improve themselves in every position they take on are those with the highest chances to get hired in the finance field. Finance is a very demanding sector and you should be prepared to learn more and more as the years pass by in order to keep up with the global developments and be able to assess an economic situation. Finance is not only about the fundamentals of investing; it is also about the macroeconomic factors that influence an organization or a country. By possessing the intellectual curiosity to develop yourself, you will be noticed by hiring managers and you may be even considered for a leadership position in the organization.
Relationship management in the workplace is extremely important, whether you are dealing with co-workers, subordinates, supervisors or external customers. In order to succeed as a financial professional, you need to be able to understand different personality types, resolve conflicts, ask the right questions and build strong bonds with people. It is important that people trust you, respect you and need your opinion.
Teamwork involves the ability to listen, question, persuade, respect, share and participate in a common scope, which will help the team to achieve its goal. Whether you are undertaking a project with a co-worker or with a team of five people, you should be able to control your feeling, listen to what other people have to say and contribute your knowledge to the team. Defend your ideas, but respect the ideas of others as well. Interact with other people and discuss potential solutions to a problem. Keep in mind that you work together with these people to achieve a goal, to complete a project, and this is beneficial to all of you.
Project Management Skills
Project management requires the ability to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control and complete a project in due time to meet the project requirements. Whether it is a five-minute task or a long-term plan, project management skills demonstrate your ability to efficiently and effectively manage your time in order to complete each project phase on time.
The most sought-after finance professionals are the ones who inspire and motivate others. Even entry-level positions require a high level of leadership skills that can get you through tough times at work. Combined with effective communication, project management, and teamwork, leadership skills can help you land a position in the highly competitive finance field. Just make sure to let the hiring manager realize you possess efficiency in leading people.
It is wonderful to be technologically savvy and possess strong analytical skills, but strong ethics is also required in finance. You need to be able to make good choices for your firm and your clients and have the tenacity to find the best solution every time. This will help both your reputation and career in the long-term.
In conclusion, struggling to land a job as a finance professional require more than analytical skills and ability to deal with the numbers. You need to take a step further your educational background and focus on hard skills that can elevate your career. By combining your ability to analyze numbers with interpersonal skills such as communication, and relationship development, you’ll emerge as a leader and position yourself to rise to the top of your field.
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