Posted by Michelle Schusterman on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 00:00
You’ve been scouring the web looking for a job when suddenly you spot it: your dream finance role. The job description matches your skill set, the organization is one you admire, and the perks are fantastic. Now all you have to do is convince the hiring manager you’re the perfect candidate for the job.
Here are four pieces of job search advice to help you score your dream job and accelerate your finance career:
1. Hone your online image.
Don’t know a tweet from a re-tweet? You need to examine and define your professional brand and online reputation. Whether you just have a simple LinkedIn profile or your own blog, the key is continuity and focus. Keeping your dream finance job in mind, craft your bios and “About Me” pages using relevant keywords that highlight your proficiencies and specialties. Connect with potential employers' LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages and other social networks.
2. Customize your resume and cover letter.
If you are a perfect fit for a job, your resume and cover letter should make that clear to the company. Address your cover letter to the hiring manager by name, and state the position you’re applying for in your introduction. Rather than rehashing the content in your resume, the cover letter should expand on your specific experience, education and skills that set you apart from other applicants.
Review the job ad and pinpoint the keywords used to describe the ideal candidate. Then incorporate those keywords into your resume — if they accurately describe you, of course. Employers look for soft skills in finance professionals, such as analytical, communication and public speaking abilities. Before hitting “send,” give your resume the two-minute test: Consider having a trusted friend check it for design, clarity, tone and typos.
3. Prepare for the interview.
Walking into an interview for your dream finance job can be a stressful experience. One of the most common mistakes candidates make is failing to research the organization before the interview. Study the company’s website and social media presence as well as any recent media coverage, and review their earnings reports, if they are public. These sources will help you better understand their priorities. Additionally, stay informed on the latest news in the company’s industry, including technological advances and acquisitions, so you can ask your interviewers informed questions. Finally, download the Robert Half Salary Guide to help set your salary expectations for the position.
4. Seek out continuing education opportunities.
To ensure you’re a top candidate for your dream job or any future position that may interest you, constantly pursue professional development opportunities. Hiring managers look for candidates who are proactive in improving their skills and want to stay on top in their industry. Join finance and accounting associations, attend conferences and participate in workshops. Not only will these opportunities help you stay motivated as you’re looking for a job, they’ll also show your future employer you’re passionate about what you do.
How did you score your finance job? Are you still looking for your dream job? Share your job search advice in the comments below.