How to get your foot in the door: 4 pieces of advice for graduate finance jobs

Graduation hats

Are you searching for graduate finance jobs? Good news: You’ll find countless opportunities in your sector. Many businesses are adding new finance and accounting positions to their teams and according to the Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide, employers are recruiting graduate candidates to staff these positions.

However, the search for graduate finance jobs presents its own set of unique challenges. As you may be less familiar with the roles you’re after than a seasoned pro would be, do some extra legwork at the beginning of your search. Here are four pieces of hiring advice to ensure your success:

1. Map out your career path

Market yourself to employers as someone who’s interested in a career, not just a salary. Are you hoping to become a staff accountant? Or maybe the role of financial analyst is where you want to be? If you’re recently graduated, give some thought to where exactly you want your career to take you. Research the hiring trends in your area to see what’s in demand. Then pinpoint which graduate finance jobs appeal most to you and learn as much as you can about them.

2. Find intern and volunteer opportunities

Interning and volunteering can bolster your CV with the added industry experience you’ll need to market yourself as more clued-in than your fellow graduates. It can be easier to find an internship if you’re still in school or a recent graduate. Search job boards for possibilities, and introduce yourself to financial recruiters. You can also research non-profit organisations you support and see whether they have any volunteer positions available or might be interested in your services.

3. Know what you’re worth

When you haven’t worked in a role before, it can be difficult to determine what you should list as a salary requirement, or even whether an employer is offering competitive compensation. The 2016 Salary Guide provides a breakdown of starting salaries (before benefits) for employees joining an organisation. You can also use our salary calculator to further classify this information by city. By knowing what you’re worth, you show employers you mean business, and you also increase your chances of finding a position in which you’ll experience job satisfaction. 

4. Work with a recruiting agency

Specialised staffing agencies have their fingers on the pulse of the graduate finance jobs their clients are looking to staff. These agencies will work with you to find the position that best matches your career plan and professional aspirations.

While there may be a wealth of graduate finance jobs available, that doesn’t mean employers are reducing their expectations for prime candidates. Follow this job search advice: Do your research, know how to market yourself and what you’re worth, and set yourself up for career success.

This article originally appeared as Get Your Foot in the Door: 4 Pieces of Hiring Advice for Entry-Level Finance Jobs on the Robert Half blog.