How to Stand Out Against the Crowd in Your Financial Job Search

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I recently wrote on the blog about the promising recent data which shows that the financial impact of Covid-19 on the U.K. economy, and thus jobs, will not be as severe as first thought. 

However, if you are currently looking for a new finance role, there are plenty of other candidates out there looking to move too. 

As the sector steadies itself from the fallout of Covid-19 and as companies make tentative recoveries, we can expect that the financial job market is going to experience some added competition. 

But while job hunting right now might feel slightly unsettling, there’s no reason you should put your career on hold.  

There are still plenty of opportunities available. So to help candidates, we are creating blogs on current job-seeking topics which will help you with your job search; today we are discussing how to stand out to potential new employers in a crowded candidate market. 

 

1. Acknowledge How Far You’ve Come Throughout the Pandemic 

 

 

The pandemic has been a turning point in many people’s lives; it has forced people to think about their career, their future, and also caused many to dig in and recognise how resilient they are. 

If you were furloughed or have been made redundant, this is not always a bad thing – you can even use it to your advantage. 

Think about what you have done since the start of the pandemic. Did you  

  • Help your previous employer or clients with unexpected financial challenges? 
  • Took it upon yourself to create new and easier ways of doing things when you and your colleagues were working from home? 
  • Underwent training while on furlough to upskill yourself? 
  • Stayed resilient throughout these challenging times? 

Being able to speak about these or other moments you are proud of in recent months will help you stand out to a prospective new employer.  

Employers will look less favourably on candidates who used their furlough or redundancy as an extended holiday. It’s all about demonstrating how much of an action taker you are, and the value you can provide because of this.  

 

2. Demonstrate Your Agility 

 

 

Pre-Covid, many businesses were not aware of how much scope for change there is within their business, and how quickly this change can happen. 

At the start of lockdown, unprecedented numbers of employees went home to work for the first time – how did you cope with this sudden change? 

Employers are looking for agile employees, so it would be a good idea to come up with some examples of how accommodating and flexible you can be in your working style. 

Even with the sector settling to some degree, in many finance roles, there is a mountain of work to be done to get back to the normality of pre-Covid.  

Debt, tax issues, government-guaranteed loans, insolvency, restructuring and payroll – many businesses are still months away from returning to financial ‘normality’. 

Acknowledge that going forward finance departments, and you within your role, will need to be highly flexible, and highlight that you are responsive and able to tackle different tasks over changeable timeframes. 

 

3. Highlight Your Transferable Skills 

 

 

If you’re looking for a role now, you could consider positions that you might not previously have gone for. 

If you’ve only ever worked in an accounting practice, is it time to branch out into industry? 

Recent research found that 42% of job applicants don’t have the specific required skills listed on the job description, but good news – 84% of employers are willing to train up a candidate with the right potential. 

If you’ve only been considering a specific part of the job market because you feel that you lack the right skills, this is a fallacy which could be holding you back from a great new role. 

Employers are looking for candidates with the right mindset; hard skills can be taught, attitude can’t. 

You will have acquired transferrable skills (sometimes called soft skills) from your previous positions, and these can be a valuable tool to use in your job applications and on your CV. 

They include  

  • Teamwork 
  • Leadership 
  • Emotional intelligence 
  • The ability to take on feedback 
  • Active listening 
  • A growth mindset 

So if you’re worried that your experience might be limiting you to only apply for certain roles, play-up your transferrable skills on the job application or your CV.  Mention how your soft skills will help you in the new role, and try to be as specific as possible. 

If you’re applying for an industry role when you’ve only ever worked in practice, focus on the long-standing client relationships you’ve formed, such as: 

In my previous practice, I formed such close relationships with my clients that I always felt like a part of their internal team”. 

Remember to tailor your CV for every job you apply to so that you can make the maximum impact linking your transferrable skills to the vacancy. 

 

Finally 

Finding a new finance role right now is entirely possible; we’ve currently got a range of great opportunities available, with the number of vacancies increasing steadily. 

If you are looking for a new finance role in the North West and need assistance with your search, we can help. 

We’re specialist finance recruiters with over 18 years experience – click here to find out how we can help you secure your next finance role. 

 

Thanks, 

Rachel 

 

About Rebus Financial Recruitment   

Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.   

We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930. 

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