It is no secret that a high-flying career in the finance industry hinges on more than just top grades. While stellar talent combined with hands-on experience is enough to land a job, having that je ne sais quoi is what gives budding financial professionals a competitive advantage.
In today’s demanding workplace, a financial analyst’s skill set can’t be limited to number crunching – you ought to know it all! Find out what skills you’ll need to help your career take off: Analytical thinkingWhile a natural flair for numbers is essential, don’t underestimate the importance of logical thinking and the ability to analyse a variety of information. If you’ve had the opportunity to utilise analytical skills, you must showcase it and give details of your learnings and challenges. But don’t worry that your analytical skills are not up to par. They can be developed with time and consistent practice. An excellent option is to build your mathematical skills. Calculus, algebra and statistics all make use of logic and analysis. Business acumenIt is important for finance professionals to be able to study the relationship between a company’s monetary behaviour and industry demands. In this regard, financial analysts must be able to review and interrogate financial information. You should be commercially savvy and be able to communicate with people at all levels. Keep abreast of the latest industry trends and opinions of key business leaders to hone that skill. Spend some time improving your reasoning power by reading journals and articles that shape trends and behaviours. Astute communication skillsWhether you’re an investment banker or financial planner, communication skills are always vital. Employers want candidates who are able to communicate with managers, co-workers, and clients. You should be able to pivot your communication efforts to the chosen channels, platforms, and styles of everyone you face. Financial reportingThis is by far the most critical skill to posses if you want to become a razor-sharp analyst. Most employers make recruiting decisions based on a candidate’s ability to produce detailed and accurate financial reports. Take up a short course and brush up your skills on the latest financial reporting tools to stay ahead of competition! Technology savvyClearly, technology has toppled the way financial systems work. No matter which part of the finance sector you work in, you will need to be proficient with IT software skills and able to pick up new programs related to your job quickly. No one expects you to be an IT wizard but the more shortcuts, keys, programs and functions you know, the better off you will be. You should also get familiar with marketing and communication software tools.
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