Universities turn out thousands of graduates every year, most of whom enter the job market with high hopes of finding the job of their dreams. Many are qualified in finance-related disciplines and are looking for jobs in the finance sector. Unfortunately, as is currently the case with many industries, there are far more applicants for jobs than there are vacancies, which makes competition very fierce. A good number of graduates are therefore destined for disappointment – that is unless they take steps to increase their employability and give themselves an edge over the rest.
If you have decided on a finance career, then to make yourself more employable you need to begin taking steps from the moment you start your university studies. You probably already plan to study hard, but so do most other students, so you have to find ways to gain an edge ready for when the time to find a job comes along. Even if you earn a top honors degree you will not be alone. Academic excellence is no guarantee of employment, so here are a few possibilities that you should consider in order to improve your chances.
Employers will often take a look at what activities besides coursework you have joined in while you are at university. All universities have a wide range of clubs and societies, which are inexpensive to join and potentially are an excellent investment in the long term. You do not necessarily have to join those closely related to finance or your course of study, but if you can assume an administrative or perhaps a treasurer role within your chosen societies, future employers will look favourably on your participation when they see it in your CV. Joining clubs and societies can also be great fun and is a good way to begin networking for the future.
Irrespective of your field of study, work experience is always valued by employers. While your contemporaries are off enjoying the long summer holidays, you should try to get an internship to gain experience. Voluntary work is also a great way to improve the look of your CV and to win the approval of employers. Gaining work experience shows interest and commitment and will give you a crucial edge in the competition for jobs.
The importance of networking to your chances of employment should not be overlooked. University is an excellent place to begin establishing connections and relationships that will help you in your career. By joining university societies, you will be able to meet people who may be useful to you. And at university you will get to know academics who are well connected in the finance field and will be able to guide you and possibly make introductions or put in a good word for you. If you get the opportunity, it is also useful to attend industry fairs and presentations where you will have the chance to make connections that could prove valuable in the future. The more people you know in the industry, the better your chance of employment.
If you have decided on a career in finance check out the advice on offer and roles available with Randstad Financial & Professional.