What Do Finance Recruiters Look for in a Candidate?

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Working with established financial recruiters is one of the best ways of pinpointing the perfect post. From entry-level accountant jobs to the most advanced investment banking positions, finance recruiters pave the way for incredible careers.

But what kinds of skills and attributes do finance recruiters look for in a candidate? Why do some applicants excel, while others struggle to attract the attention of employers?

Specialist skills

For one thing, employers and finance recruiters alike favour specialist skill-sets.  In a working example, you could present yourself as an investment banking expert, a mortgage lending specialist or a qualified corporate bookkeeper. In all instances, far more appealing than the proverbial ‘jack of all trades’. The sector is too dynamic and complex for any candidates to specialise in all major areas of finance. Hence, clearly communicating your specialist area is important – particularly when vying for the attention of recruiters and employers.

Financial software proficiency

Virtually every financial organisation and service provider worldwide has become comprehensively digitised. As a result, they show preference to candidates who already have an established working knowledge of the software suites they use. Far preferable to hiring candidates who then need to be trained on the respective software suites from scratch. It’s therefore useful to identify the major software suites used in your specialist financial area and take the time to get to know them. Even a rudimentary knowledge of the major financial software packages in your niche is better than nothing.

Data analysis skills

Much of the work carried out by financial workers centres on the production and analysis of financial reports. The importance of strong data analysis skills and a keen eye for detail cannot be overstated. Understandably, these are the kinds of skills and qualities that can be difficult to demonstrate through a standard job application and interview process. A helpful approach being to describe or present a case study in which your data analysis skills were tested and verified.

Honesty and ethics

Finance is an area that demands flawless honesty and an ethical approach at all times. It is a specialist field in which trust and reliability are everything. To lose the trust of your peers and/or clients is to watch your career disintegrate before your eyes. Recruiters and employers value those for whom morals, ethics and honesty are non-negotiable. You may be put to the test – quizzed as to how you would handle a potential ethical crisis in a professional setting.

Soft skills

Last but not least, there are countless soft skills that come together to form the outstanding financial professional. A few examples of which include flexibility, problem solving, strong communication skills, motivation, independence and the ability to work as part of a wider team. Leadership skills are also regarded highly by finance recruiters and employers, who are often looking to bring on the managers and executives of the future. If you have any leadership experience or acumen, ensure it is presented clearly and confidently during the recruitment process.