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Initiative can reap rewards

Published on Friday, 10 May 2013
Mark Enticott

I am a mechanical engineering graduate and I have been looking for an entry-level analyst position in the finance sector for over a year now without success. I have applied for the CFA level 1, have excellent knowledge of MS Office, have programming experience, and keep up to date with the finance industry through the news and media. I have also self-studied basic accounting. What more can I do? MT

With the current issues banking faces, especially investment banking, the sector has become very cost-focused and has limited its graduate intake, making it more difficult for graduates to enter.

That you worked part-time while studying is something many employers consider when recruiting a graduate. Using different methods to enter the financial industry can be a good approach. With the right opportunity, and a demonstration of the right attitude and work ethic, other chances may arise, allowing you to transition to other areas.It is therefore critical you apply for jobs that allow you to move internally.

Taking a CFA course is an excellent approach. It will not only assist you in applying for analyst roles, but also offer relevant skills for getting a job. Continue applying for graduate programmes in banks and financial institutions. Applying for roles where you can demonstrate the required skill set is important.

In applying for graduate roles, do extensive research, including on the interviewer. Review your interview skills and talk to people who can offer coaching. Behaviour-based interviewing, for example, is a common technique for understanding the questions you may be asked and preparing appropriate replies.

Mark Enticott is the managing director of Ambition Hong Kong, a leading global boutique recruitment firm with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and London. Ambition specialises in the banking and financial services, finance and accounting, technology, and sales and marketing sectors

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