Finding Finance Jobs

Preparation is an essential step to finding a job in the world of finance. Understanding what banks, financial institutions, and investment firms require of today’s employees and packaging education and experience to match those requirements can help job seekers get a foot in the door. To be competitive, a job applicant must have completed a finance course of study and earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business.

There are many finance careers to consider when searching for a job. Financial planners, for example, help individuals plan their financial futures by providing advice on investing, taxes, and estate planning. The average annual salary for a financial planner is $68,000. Financial analysts, on the other hand, work in banks and investment firms, where they review the financial workings of a particular company to track its earnings and losses, project future growth, and present the company with other ways to do business in order to maximize earnings. Financial analysts can earn from $50,000 to more than $90,000 a year.

The insurance and real estate industries also look for finance professionals. Insurance companies help individuals and businesses manage financial risk and protect their finances. Careers in the insurance industry include asset managers, underwriters, and sales representatives. Finance professionals in the real estate industry provide services such as property management, mortgage banking, and real estate development. Mortgage loan officers typically work on a commission basis, getting paid according to the number of loans they originate. The earnings potential for experienced, well-qualified loan officers can be over $85,000 and for insurance underwriters over $90,000.

Tax consultants specialize in matters relating to tax and tax law, advising and assisting individuals and businesses with filing their tax returns. Certified public accountants (CPAs) provide a wider range of services including bookkeeping, auditing, financial compliance, and tax expertise, also to individuals and businesses. CPAs can work in government jobs, hospitals, schools, as well as independently, earning an annual salary ranging between $40,000 and $75,000. Tax consultants earn between $46,000 and $95,000 annually.

Several factors affect salary, including the job candidate’s level of education, previous work experience, and the size and geographic location of the hiring company. Additional job-related skills, activities, and professional designations always enhance an applicant’s résumé, thereby improving potential job and salary opportunities. An applicant’s résumé should highlight and showcase these accomplishments.

The job search process requires organization, persistence, and time to locate and apply to job openings. Most businesses have their own websites with a page for a potential job candidate to submit a résumé and job application, or an applicant can also search and apply for jobs at one of the websites that posts jobs from many employers. Some employers post job openings in the classified advertising section of newspapers. Consider, too, starting your finance career in a temporary job at a company that interests you. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and to meet other employees, even if it means initially working in a very basic position. Another job search strategy is to network whenever and wherever possible. Keep business cards handy and provide them to contacts while attending professional seminars, conferences, and meetings.

At interview time, remember that preparation is essential to making a great first impression. Wear clean, neat business attire. Bring several copies of your résumé, with references and their contact information listed on a separate sheet of paper. Review sample interview questions, and prepare responses in advance. Planning and preparation set the groundwork to give job candidates the confidence they need to get the finance jobs they desire.

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