The world of financial technology, more commonly referred to as FinTech, is an ever-growing and ever-evolving industry that is flush with career opportunities that have led many to look for their way into the field. Growing interest in FinTech careers has resulted in heightened professional competition, in turn.
As the FinTech industry continues to expand and flourish, many individuals have found themselves looking for a viable professional entry point. The key to getting your foot in the door with FinTech companies is to understand the importance of collaboration and innovation within the industry.
Landing that first job in the field is critical for climbing the FinTech ladder and building a long-lasting and bountiful career. In this article, I will discuss the crucial considerations for young professionals to keep in mind when seeking out their first official role in FinTech.
Be Open to Collaboration
As you work to build your FinTech resume to land that crucial first position, it is essential to recognize the role that collaborative efforts have come to play within the industry. FinTech places a tremendous emphasis on the importance of cross-functionality within business structures and financial institutions.
When seeking out opportunities outside of official positions – be that internships, personal projects, or academic assignments – looking for ways to hone your communicative skills and develop strong collaborative instincts is key.
Having the technical and financial qualifications, such as degrees and certifications, are certainly necessary components of your background and resume when entering into FinTech. However, being able to present a proven track record of successful collaborations on relevant projects or assignments can give you a definitive leg up on your professional competition.
Diversify Your Skillsets
At first glance, it may appear that financial and technological expertise are the two primary and most important and skills needed for a FinTech professional. In truth, however, a strong FinTech job candidate will know the importance of having a diverse range of skills that allows them to work cross-functionally.
When considering which of your skills to showcase to a potential FinTech employer, it is good to remember that there is value in both your hard skills and your soft skills.
Hard skills are the highly technical and specific areas of expertise, such as being able to create efficient risk management models or having in-depth knowledge of cyber security. Comparatively, soft skills include proficiencies in less-defined areas such as communication and collaboration.
Having a strong ability to express both your hard and soft skills will demonstrate to potential employers that you understand the importance of being able to connect your technical expertise with your ability to work well and collaborate with your peers and customers.
Develop a Specialized Portfolio
While it is true that you should work diligently to diversity your skillsets, it is equally true that finding a specific area of focus in which to hone your expertise will ultimately help you to triumph over your competition.
With the FinTech industry drawing more and more professional attention each year, companies are always looking for candidates who are the cream of the crop – the top experts in the incoming waves of new FinTech professionals.
For instance, an applicant seeking a position with the programming and digital development realm of FinTech would be wise to center their portfolio and resume around their experience working with a few specific coding and programming language. Demonstrating your ability to utilize all of your skills towards a specialization will inform potential employers that you have a strong working knowledge of not only which skills matter, but how to apply those skills effectively.
Connect with FinTech Professionals
The ability to connect and network with other professionals is a critical skill to have within any industry, but especially so in FinTech.
The FinTech industry is all about collaboration and innovation, and connecting with professionals within the field is one of the most effective ways to discover job opportunities and niches within FinTech you may have not otherwise stumbled upon.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool and platform for this very purpose, and optimizing your LinkedIn profile to be a strong representation of your relevant skills and experience in the world of FinTech is an absolute must. The key with networking is to be unafraid to reach out and put yourself out there – you have to trust that your confidence and forthcoming attitude will not go unnoticed.
To succeed in FinTech, your ability to communicate effectively must be pronounced. Taking the time to invest in building your network, seeking professional advice, and polishing your communication skills will pay off when it comes time for your to land your first FinTech role.
Follow Your Interests
The truth about FinTech companies is that most are looking for professionals to add to their team who are not only experts but are passionate about the work they do as well.
There are many factions and niches within the world of FinTech, from working with AI and machine learning to DevOps and continuous development. Finding the area of FinTech that suits your interests and makes you feel excited about your work will have immeasurable impact on your future innovations and achievements.
Even if the very first role you land in FinTech is not in the exact department or position of your dreams, it is important to remember that cross-functionality lays at the foundation of FinTech, meaning that no matter where you land, the opportunity to collaborate and uncover your true interests will undoubtedly arise.
FinTech is an expansive industry that only continues to grow, creating more opportunities with each passing day. As a new FinTech professional, it is crucial to understand the importance of not only technological and financial know-how, but passion for the industry as well.
The key to landing your first role in FinTech is to emphasize both your qualifications alongside your experiences that have led you to embracing the industry. By working diligently to diversify your skills in the name of collaboration and innovation, your hard work will pay off by demonstrating to future employers not only your work ethic, but your enthusiasm as well.
Written by Daniela Correia, Head of HR and Recruitment at CPQi. Head to our careers page to find out what roles are available.