July 26, 2019, by Leah Sharpe
How to Stand Out When Applying to Work in Fin-Tech
By Tony Nguyen, BA (Hons) English graduate
Fin-Tech is not just another potential career path. It’s fast becoming the career path of choice for many students. And there is certainly a demand for skilled and qualified individuals in the sector.
Something that I have learned, working in the Fin-Tech field myself, is that the scope of opportunity is so astronomical that you can do almost anything in the industry. Fin-Tech of course, refers to technology used in the financial field, but the industry offers a plethora of job opportunities that are Fin-Tech as well as related to it.
The Fin-Tech industry is consistently looking for fresh talent with knowledge, skills, and qualifications in various areas. These include mobile and software application development, data science, data visualisation, software engineering, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning, blockchain, and cybersecurity.
If you are studying in any of these fields, or just graduated in any of these areas, you could follow a career as an app developer, financial analyst, blockchain developer, cybersecurity analyst, product manager, compliance expert, quantitative analyst, or risk specialist. You could even earn yourself a spot on the digital marketing team of a Fin-Tech company, just like I have.
The opportunities abound in Fin-Tech – you know that now – but where does that leave you in terms of getting an interview and acing it? Fin-Tech is an emerging industry and while there are many jobs up for grabs, the competition can be tough and you really do need to be prepared.
Tips for landing a job in Fin-Tech:
1. Grab the attention of Fin-Tech employers
You might have all the qualifications and certificates to back them up, but it’s not just hard skills that a Fin-Tech company is on the lookout for. In conversations I have had with industry experts, I have found that recruiters in this field place importance on soft skills and personality traits too. Most of these companies want to hire someone who has a passion for technology and values that are somewhat in line with the company’s. Skills that they seem to specifically seek out are learning agility, a solution-focused thought process, creativity, and resilience. If you can demonstrate that you have tech understanding, a creative mind set and that you aren’t scared to challenge the status quo, you can expect to stand out from the crowd and earn yourself an interview. Okay, so now you know what you need to do, but how do you go about doing it?
2. Know the jargon
Fin-tech will have terms from both the financial and tech industries that will be baffling to those not prepared. Brush up on terms like marketplace lending, bootstrapping, blockchain, sandbox, robo-advice, open banking.
3. Tell your story
Try not to lean too heavily on your CV. Don’t get me wrong – a CV is vitally important – but that shouldn’t be the most interesting thing about you. In person, make sure that you are able to demonstrate and speak of your skills and experience without expecting your CV to do all the talking for you.
4. Demonstrate your problem-solving abilities
Interviewers want to see real-life examples that demonstrate your problem-solving abilities. This is vitally important as most roles in Fin-Tech involve problem-solving and solution planning to a large degree. In your interview, talk of real life situations where you solved a problem and how you did so. Show a methodical yet creative approach. You might need to prepare a few stories in your mind before the interview.
5. Treat your interview like a conversation
Of course, keep it professional but remember to be a real person and to smile. Fin-Tech isn’t all about technology and digital systems – it’s also about connecting with humans. It’s nice for an interviewer to see a real human side to someone.
Don’t forget to research the company and the role you are applying for and get specific about what you can bring to the table. Make sure you know exactly what the company is looking for and clearly communicate how you can meet or even exceed those needs. Let them know why you want to join the organisation, what excites you about Fin-Tech, and what sort of value you will offer the business.
7. Get some experience
A candidate who has acquired some experience before the interview is a candidate that stands out from the rest. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours working for a Fin-Tech company for free. You could start developing your own sample app if app development is the area you would like to go into. You could demonstrate that you have studied extra modules, done a free online course, or handled one or two personal projects that will help you in the Fin-Tech field. Making mention of these efforts on your CV and in your interview will certainly draw attention to it.
If you are ready to take the plunge – go for it! Fin-Tech is an industry that is here to stay. Don’t you want to be part of it?
The Careers team can help you research your career ideas, find job vacancies, make effective applications and develop your skills. For more information on developing your CV and all other stages of the recruitment process, visit our making applications section of our website.