What do employers look for in the best finance candidates?

Written by James  Knight | Blog | Candidates | Financial Services | Posted 06/02/2017 15:57:23

With Finance roles being ever-sought after but highly competitive, it is useful to know the skills and qualifications which are most in demand. In this blog James Knight, Finance Principal Consultant, shares with you the CV highlights and experience which could land you your next Finance position.

What technical skill are most in demand?

Finance is a fluid space. Tightening security and government regulations are driving an ever changing set of requirements which focuses on financial controls; Risks, Audit and Compliance. Experience in these fields, currently the likes of Solvency II, IFRS 9 and soon to be IFRS 17, are in especially high demand.

What qualifications are desirable?

This is a common question that we get asked as recruiters and there is no right or wrong answer. Clients are all independent and prefer different things. A select number of clients prefer candidates that have qualified via the big 4 route. A number of other large clients prefer candidates that have qualified via the traditional finance route…ACCA, CIMA, ACMA, CA etc.

Which soft skills should you exemplify?

It is difficult to show personality on a CV but including some brief additional information to say a little about you can go a long way. Gone are the stereotypes of finance professionals quietly getting on with their jobs in the corner, our clients are looking for people who can contribute to the team outside of just the figures.

What do the most successful candidates usually have on their CVs?

For those who work as contractors it is best to show a range of long term contracts, renewals and that you have returned to the same company more than once. Evidence of repeat hire shows your success in previous roles and that a business with a good reputation considers you to be a desirable candidate.

For those who work in permanent companies, it looks good to have 3-7 years of work within a business during which time you have demonstrated consistent upward movement before moving on to new employment.

In turn, whether you are a contractor or permanent member of staff, you should emphasise any work which has been recognised, successful and relevant to the position you are applying to.

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