So you’re about to start out your career in the finance industry. That’s great news! This is a really exciting space to work in, and there are plenty of opportunities for career growth and variety.
Getting started out, however, can be a challenge. As with any industry, it’s your ability to get a foot in the door that allows you to begin your career journey. Here are our top tips for graduates starting out in the mortgage broking space.
Put yourself out there
You may have a university degree or a TAFE qualification under your belt and a fancy resume and cover letter prepared, but these things alone don’t guarantee you success when finding your first job. In your first few months of looking for a job, you’ll need to put yourself out there… and be a bit intense about it.
Don’t limit your job-hunting to looking on job websites like SEEK. Thousands of applicants are looking at the same jobs as you, and the best available positions are often not advertised on these sites anyway.
Think of a few companies you’d love to work for and reach out to them directly. Contact someone on LinkedIn or call their office directly. While you may not have heaps of experience behind you, employers will often be impressed by your proactive approach.
Presentation pays off
Firstly, have a well presented resume and cover letter. You may like to get professional advice for polishing up these documents to ensure they’re well worded and correctly formatted to be attractive to employers. Good resumes are no more than 2-4 pages in length (so don’t bother with putting your Grade 10 work experience at the local movie theatre on there!). Keep it short, sharp, direct and well formatted, with key information highlighted.
Secondly, go all out when attending interviews. This industry is often quite formal, so spruce up a bit. Gentlemen: wear a good suit, polish your shoes and put a tie on. Ladies: tidy your hair and wear a good corporate dress or suit. Interviewers will notice these things and well presented candidates will stand out from the rest.
Fake it till you make it
Attending interviews and dealing with people two or three times your age (and experience level) can be daunting – but don’t be put off. Muster up all the confidence you can and go in to interviews and meetings with a firm handshake. Look your interviewers in the eye and SMILE. Act as if you’re confident and that’s how you’ll come across. It may help to do some power poses in front of the mirror before you go in – this is scientifically proven to boost your confidence!
You can also prepare for an interview so you’re ready for whatever questions they throw at you. Check out our helpful candidate resources to get your preparation started.
Work with a specialised recruiter
A lot of hiring goes on outside of the public eye, and it’s amazing how much is based on personal connections. Specialised recruitment agencies like Platinum People Group have existing relationships and connections with some of the top companies in the industry, and many of them often come to us to help them find the right candidates.
We can work directly with you to find a company that suits your values, experience and ambitions, and we can even give you tips and advice before you interview (and celebratory high fives when you get the job!).
Learn from others
Look to your own network and think about who you could ask out for a coffee with a side of free advice. It always helps to learn from those who’ve gone before you. How did they do it? What tips do they have?
We recently worked with a young candidate named Leo Zhang. Leo was working at a very small two person brokerage, and we helped him get a foot in the door in a large, award-winning brokerage where he could develop his career further. Here’s his advice on getting started in the industry:
Hi, my name is Leo and I work as a Client Service Officer at Acceptance Finance.
I graduated from Melbourne University with a Master of Management (Finance) degree in 2015. I found that when you graduate, no one guides your path like they do in university. I was strongly interested in the finance industry and wanted to find a job where I could help people.
Purchasing property and getting a mortgage can be frustrating, especially for young people and first home buyers. As a result, I made my mind to work in the mortgage industry as I could help them throughout the whole process and solve their queries.
For fresh graduates, my advice is do not be afraid of the challenges you’ll face on the journey of job hunting. Learn as much as you can and prepare yourself for each opportunity as it comes.
If you’d like help with securing your first graduate role, we can help walk you through the process and find opportunities to connect you with. Get in touch by requesting a free career consultation today.