How to Get Your First Job in Finance


Ah yes, the halcyon days of student-hood – cramming for tests, staying up far too late and eating Kraft dinner.

Whether you’ve left it all behind, or are reading this when you should be studying, this blog post will offer you valuable advice for locating and securing your first job in finance.

Consider Contract Work

Competition for full-time roles in finance is quite intense. Consider instead working on a contract basis for your first job in finance. Contract roles can build your skill set, enhance your network and position you for the next permanent opportunity. With that in mind, treat any contract opportunity like a three-month interview process. Put your head down, do what is asked of you and deliver.

No Entitlement

In both your resume and interview process, communicate from a posture of service. Understand that your first job in finance will be a learning experience, an opportunity that others who are competing for the same role would be glad to have. Fundamentally, you are starting at the bottom, so be prepared to work your way up and take nothing for granted.

Co-op Placement

For those of you still in university, consider enrolling in a co-op program where you will gain practical, hands-on experience, building both credibility and your personal brand. Ultimately, like contract work, your co-op placement should be viewed as an interview. The end result could be the permanent job you are looking for.

Networking Events

Even with a solid online presence, nothing can replace face-to-face networking as a means for securing your first job in finance. Whether it’s attending a Chamber of Commerce function, or a CPA event (for example), networking allows you to build relationships, ferret out potential opportunities and connect with future employers.

The Importance of LinkedIn

Social media platforms like LinkedIn allow you to quietly outline what makes you a worthy hire. Include information like co-op work, Excel skills and any other software skills you have acquired. Add industry-specific experience and note that you are open to both contract and permanent opportunities. If you’re pursuing your designation, explain what stage in the process you are currently at.

Recruiting Firms

To secure your first job in finance, consider meeting with recruitment firms that specialize in the accounting and finance industry. Experienced recruiters have an established network of employer contacts and regularly get calls for filling both permanent and contract opportunities. When it comes to landing your first job, they can be valuable allies.

If you’re looking for your first job in finance, ensure that you network online and face-to-face. Meet with a recruiter who specializes in the finance and accounting industry. Be humble in your communication style, while still understanding what specific strengths you bring to the table. By doing so, you enhance your chances of securing that valuable first role in your finance career – the one that launches you on a path to success.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more great tips and advice.