From Resume to Interview – A Complete Guide for Finance Job Seekers

Female Manager Interviewing Job Candidate

Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional looking for a career change, the process of finding the right job can be exciting, challenging and daunting in equal measure.

From creating a compelling CV and mastering interview preparation to finding out how to stand out in a crowded market, here we provide valuable insights and practical tips for securing your next finance role.

 

Write a great resume

With recruiters spending an average of eight seconds glancing over each CV, taking the time to put together a winning resume is critical.

A resume is the first step to success. Think of it as your opportunity to advertise all your fantastic skills and qualities. It’s the equivalent of making a great first impression when you meet someone in person.

Top tips for writing a great resume:

  • Tailor your CV for each application. Study the job description and align your CV to the role, according to the skills and experience the recruiter is looking for.
  • Write a professional summary. A compelling professional summary provides you with an opportunity to outline your career aspirations and key qualifications. This section acts as a snapshot of your professional identity, making it easier for recruiters to understand your potential value.
  • Ensure your CV is visually appealing and easy to read. Recruiters don’t have time to read through big chunks of text so organise sections logically, use bullet points and choose a professional font to enhance readability.
  • Highlight your achievements. Highlighting the impact you’ve had in previous roles or during your studies will help employers understand why you’d be such a valuable asset to the company.
  • Highlighting your skills makes it easy for recruiters to identify the specific strengths you bring to the table.
  • Education and certifications. Showcase your educational background and any relevant certifications. Emphasise achievements and projects that demonstrate practical application of your knowledge.
  • Use action v A great tip is to use words like ‘created,’ ‘analysed’ and ‘devised.’ As well as adding a professional tone, it also makes your experiences more engaging for the reader.
  • Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Use a spell checker and enlist a second pair of eyes to check over the document.
  • Avoid generic, over-used phraseslike ‘team player,’ ‘hardworking’ and ‘multitasker.’ Instead, provide real-life examples which demonstrate these skills.
  • Don’t lie. Not only will you demonstrate dishonesty to a potential employer, but there can be serious consequences too.
  • Include a cover letter. This enables you to personalise your application and it shows you’re taking the application seriously. You can draw attention to a particular part of your CV, clarify gaps in your work history and highlight why you think you’re well suited to the role.

 

Complete a skills assessment

It can be difficult to stand out in a competitive jobs market with just a CV. Most finance professionals have similar qualifications, experience and backgrounds.

What sets you apart is who you are, how you work and the skills you possess. All of this can be identified with our skills test, The Acuity Measure. A simple assessment consisting of just a few questions will enable you to show employers why you’re the right person for the job.

Benefits of The Acuity Measure:

  • You can understand where your strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Both you and your future employer have complete peace of mind that your skills and aspirations align with each other’s goals.
  • We only present validated candidates to our clients which means you gain a competitive advantage over other applicants.
  • Our clients know that verified candidates have the skills required for the role which means you’re highly likely to secure an interview.

To find out more about The Acuity Measure and how it can help you secure your next role, get in touch today.

 

Prepare for your interview

Congratulations on securing an interview – now it’s time to impress your potential employer.

 

  • Research the company. Learn the company’s culture, values and recent achievements. Interviewers always ask about this and doing your research showcases genuine interest while enabling you to tailor your responses to align with the organisation’s goals.
  • Practice common interview questions. Research common questions and practice your responses. Nerves can get the better of all of us, but going in well prepared will help you feel more confident on the day.
  • Prepare questions. Develop a set of insightful questions to ask the interviewer during and after the interview. This demonstrates your eagerness to learn more about the role and also reinforces your interest in contributing to the company’s success.
  • Confirm interview details including date, time and location. If it’s a virtual interview, ensure your technology is set up and tested beforehand.
  • Review your CV. Refresh your memory by thoroughly reviewing your CV. This ensures you can speak confidently about your experiences and seamlessly elaborate on any points discussed during the interview.

 

At the interview

The interview provides an opportunity for a prospective employer to discover more about you as an individual. It’s also a chance for you to share additional information about your experiences and talents. The chances of securing a job are much higher if you do well in the interview.

 

  • Dress professionally. Choose an outfit that aligns with the company’s dress code and always dress smartly to ensure you create a positive first impression.
  • Be on time. Arrive at the interview five to ten minutes ahead of schedule. Being late shows a lack of interest and it will stress you out. Consider travelling to the interview site ahead of time so you know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there. Take into account the time of your interview and if there might be traffic and allow a few additional minutes to use the bathroom, double-check your wardrobe and calm your nerves.
  • Body language. It’s hard when you’re nervous but be conscious of your body language throughout the interview. Maintain good posture, make eye contact and offer a confident handshake. Positive, non-verbal cues such as nodding your head and smiling can also enhance your overall presentation.
  • Go prepared. Ensure you have copies of your CV, a notepad and a pen. This allows you to take notes during the interview and it also shows you’re organised.
  • Focus on your attributes, transferable skills and willingness to learn. Don’t apologise for a lack of experience. Instead, describe your strengths in terms of what you can do for the organisation.
  • Listen carefully. Ensure you understand all the questions. If there’s anything you’re unsure of, ask for clarification or restate it in your own words. Answer completely and concisely and stick to the subject at hand.
  • Close on a positive, enthusiastic note. Ask what the next step will be, thank the interviewer for their time, express your interest in the job and leave with a handshake and a smile.

 

Post-interview

Send a thank-you email to the employer or recruiter within 24 hours of the interview. Here you can reinforce your interest in the position and leave a lasting positive impression.

For help securing your next finance role, get in touch with Acuity Associates.

 

Talk to Us

It's time to hire for capability. 
Not just qualifications.

The expert team at Acuity Associates are here to
help you with your Financial Recruitment.

 

+44 (0)20 3405 3080

info@acuityassociates.co.uk

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