How and Where to Apply for Accounting Jobs in NYC

accounting jobs nyc

New York, New York – a Hotbed of Accounting Jobs

With over 8 million occupants, New York City is by far the largest city in America. Serving this massive population is a slew of businesses offering countless employment opportunities. As a result, New York City is one of the best places to find an accounting job, and in this accounting career guide, we’ll show you how to snag that dream job.

A large number of major corporations make the city their home, including major players in the finance, media, and entertainment worlds. There are an abundance of opportunities for professionals at all levels and specialties, including bookkeeping, accounts payable, and staff accountant roles.

Who’s Hiring For Accounting?

It’s a city that never sleeps, and that saying also applies to the numerous businesses that call New York City home. Many of these businesses require large accounting staffs that can work 365 days of the year to keep up with all the commercial activity.

Furthermore, various well-off people who dwell in NYC additionally require master bookkeeping firms to deal with their accounts.

While the real firms are situated in Manhattan, there are also many firms hiring in the nearby boroughs. Brooklyn’s quickly developing fame has prompted an expansion in openings for work in the range, so don’t avoid this district from your pursuit of employment.

What’s the Accounting Salary in the Big Apple?

The typical cost for basic items in NYC is very high, so it really is great that accounting occupations pay handsomely in the city. Expect a normal pay of about $80,000 for someone experienced. This is well over the national average salary for the field, which is around $65,000. Senior accountants and managers can command over $100,000 per year.

Those with aptitude in a specific zone of bookkeeping, for example, reviewing or universal assessment, could get paid more by functioning as an expert to organizations or bookkeeping firms.

accounting jobs nyc

How to Apply for Accounting Jobs in NYC?

It is actually very simple to apply for accounting jobs. You just need to find open positions on a job board like Indeed or LinkedIn. Then send the hiring companies your resume letter online, containing all your past work and education experiences as well as an explanation of why you are qualified for the job. Then presto! You are hired.

If only it were that easy! New York is filled with many qualified candidates so expect lots of competition for those accounting jobs. Read up here on how to build up and enhance your credentials. It really does help if you can network via LinkedIn.

Try networking with past colleagues, or reaching out to old college buddies. Your natural market is the best way to get an “in’ into an organization.

Finally, one of the best ways is to use Vested. We match talented finance and accounting professionals with the fastest growing startups. It’s very simple. Just click the button “Sign Up” and link to your LinkedIn profile.

You’ll need to fill out a few small details about yourself, like your goals, needs and expectations. List your accomplishments and past work history and then we do the rest. Using our connection at startups, we’ll match the right role for your skills and career goals.

Immediate Openings in Accounting

According to our database of hiring companies, the top two positions that have openings are Accounts Payable Clerk and Staff Accountant.

Apply now at our CANDIDATE SECTION.

It takes less than five minutes to complete!

Accounts Payable Clerk Role

The duties related to the job of an Accounts Payable specialist vary from organization to organization. You will be a vital member of the team that has the task of maintaining accounting operations for a particular department in the organization.  To achieve success as an Accounts Payable Clerk, it’s key to understand job expectations and what it takes to exceed them.

Here is a basic job description for this accounting role:

  •  Financial analysis and office administration
  • Checking and Verifying receipts and monies owed to vendors
  • Create invoices and vouchers
  • Filing, typing and posting ledgers
  • Make sure the debits and credits tie out
  • Variable costs are assigned to right cost centers and applied to the appropriate legal entities
  • Maintain accurate records of employee pay
  • Manages the record keeping and maintenance of invoices, receipts and other vendor documents
  • Balance records with respect to accounts receivables and payables
  • Manage the reimbursement and tracking process for travel and entertainment expenses
  • Be the “go-to person” for updating bank records and daily cash positions.

Accounts Payable Clerk Salary

According to Glassdoor, the national average for an AP Clerk is $31,587. In New York City, the salary for accounts payable clerk jobs is closer to $40,000. This is based on various openings from startups that have signed up at Vested’s Employer Services.

Moreover, startups are lean on traditional benefits like matching 401K. However, they make it up in year-round casual dress codes, foosball tables, beer in the fridge, and high visibility. Startups are lean in general so it’s easier to rise up the ranks from an Accounts Payable Clerk to a Staff Accountant.

If the startup gets big enough or even goes public in 5-7 years, someone who started out as an Accounts Payable Clerk could easily be a candidate for a Controller job. This is the beauty of working for a startup: achieve success early and you will be recognized.

How to Achieve Success as an AP Specialist

We’ve done a recent survey of our startup clients, and we asked them what it takes for an Accounts Payable Clerk to succeed in this unique world.

Here are the highlights from that survey:

  • Constantly improve accounting skills and get more exposure in the accounting world
  • Review own work during month end to free up time for the senior accountant and/or the accounting manager to do more analysis
  • Make sure all accruals are defect free and hitting the right accounts so that there is no clean-up work to be done after
    • Make sure the accounting schedules tie out and see if there are ways they can be improved
  • Ensure the accounting team has an efficient and accurate Cash Process
      • Maintain constant and open dialogue with banks, and/or third-parties who specialize in cash processes (i.e. Stripe)
      • Analyze historic daily balances in Stripe to ensure we are forecasting correct
      • Perform a daily rec for stripe so that we have daily balances moving forward
  • Implement an AP automation software to drive efficiency and accuracy
      • Setup and manage the AP automation software that makes obtaining invoice approvals easier
      • Implement a process where invoice would be uploaded automatically into Netsuite
      • Improve AP aging process and work with department heads and the C-level executives to get pre-approval on fixed recurring monthly invoices. (Ex. Office supplies, Internet, travel & entertainment, office snacks, rent and utilities)
  • Constantly Improve finance skills and get more exposure to modeling  
      • Work 1 on 1 with senior accountants and/or accounting manager to improve modeling skills
      • Take on small ad hoc projects to figure out what skills need to be improved
      • Ensure which important metrics are needed for forecasting
      • Partner up to ensure we have a smooth budget process.

Most of these things are typical expectations for an Accounts Payable Clerk. The main difference between working for a large corporation and a startup is the amount of work, and the ability to prioritize and knock out tasks.

According to the startups we’ve surveyed, this ability to multi-task and manage uncertainty is the number one skill to achieve job success as an Accounts Payable Clerk.

Staff Accountant Role

Although the staff accountant is one level higher than the Accounts Payable clerk, the job requirements are very similar. Most startups, or any business looking to hire a staff accountant, often require the following things:

  • The ability to analyze information from the general ledger
  • Prepare internal and external financial statement for the organization
  • Prepare payments for accrued expenses, and manage disbursements
  • Assist the Accounts Payable Clerk in reconciling accounts
  • Answer questions related to finance and accounting by analyzing information and conducting research
  • Keep financial information
  • Have a strong grasp of SFAS rules and have a CPA
  • Solid understanding of math to calculate depreciation and cash flow impact of accruals
  • Comfortable with Excel modelling to help the Finance team with budgeting and forecasting exercises.

To learn more about staff accountant roles at Vested, click here.

Skill and Educational Requirements for a Staff Accountant

This is where the Staff Accountant is slightly different from an Accounts Payable Clerk. Most businesses prefer their Staff Accountants to have a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes four years to complete. While in university, the Staff Accountant should have taken all the accounting courses, business courses, management courses, information technology courses, and ethics courses.

The curriculum might also include courses regarding macroeconomics, business communications, computer applications, statistics, and accounting information systems (which is one of the most important for the future according).

Furthermore, hiring firms require their Staff Accountants to have 2-3 years of prior accounting experience, preferably with one of the Big Four accounting firms (i.e. KPMG, E&Y). Finally, a Staff Accountant would need a CPA to work full time in a finance team at any business, including a startup.

The experience and educational requirements are different for Clerks because these roles require an Associate’s degree. It is not uncommon for Accounts Payable Clerks to work full-time and study after hours to acquire the necessary credits to sit for the CPA exam. Passing the CPA Exam is necessary if an Accounts Payable Clerk wants to get promoted to a Staff Accountant role.

Finally, Staff Accountants are expected to fulfill the CPE requirements to maintain their CPA license. The requirements are different from state to state. For example in New York, a CPA would need to do the following to maintain their license:

  • Complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education in any of the recognized courses
  • Complete a minimum of 24 hours in a concentrated subject area. Approved topics include but not limited to accounting, auditing, taxation, advisory services and specialized knowledge regarding accounting in a specific industry (i.e. real estate, patent)
  • Satisfy the ethics requirement  by completing four hours of courses

If an organization’s accounting department is big enough, then it could provide courses to help it’s in-house CPAs complete these requirements. However, in the case of most startups, they don’t have sufficient cash to pay for the continuing education of their staff. Hence, Staff Accountants need to fulfill the CPE requirements on their own.

Achieving Success as a Staff Accountant in a Startup

We’ve surveyed our clients about how a Staff Accountant can work effectively in their unique work environment. Here are the highlights of the survey:

  • Staff Accountants are expected to perform a detailed review of the financial statements and monthly variances; create value through deep analytical knowledge on accounting processes; and identify any errors and adjustments that need to be made
  • Perform a detailed review of monthly variances to ensure no accruals/reversals/bills are missed during close
    • Ensure accounting processes comply with GAAP
    • Analyze expenses by department on a vendor level
    • Meet with department heads to review monthly expenses to ensure all accruals, reversals and bills have been recorded
    • Create a monthly variance analysis in each schedule to understand expenses in detail
    • Set-up, own and drive an efficient process for balance sheet accounts to ensure accuracy in reporting
      • Analyze and review balance sheet accounts by journal entry since inception to identify any process errors and adjustments
      • Lead the communication to develop a new process for recording these accounts
      • Develop a more analytical knowledge about these accounts to provide deep insights on how to create an efficient process for accurate reporting
      • Determine the amount that is reasonable to write-off based on the analysis that is performed
    • Improving the Budget Versus Actuals (BVA) process
      • Identify fail points and opportunities on processes before business owners do
      • Drive process to ensure business leaders are prepared in the monthly meetings by reviewing and confirming the expenses prior to closing the books
      • Perform detailed analysis and having explanations on large or inconsistent variances
      • Create an environment of “no surprises.”

Finally, the HR departments at most startups emphasized that “emotional intelligence” or EQ is more important than technical skills. Startups are a fast paced environment, and the Staff Accountant would need to be comfortable working independently.

Startups don’t have a large finance or accounting department, and the staff do not sit behind walled off cubicles.

It’s usually an open office setting with high visibility. So a Staff Accountant at a startup should be comfortable with all types of people (from an engineer requesting T&E reimbursement to the CEO asking about daily cash positions) to come to his or her desk.

The Staff Accountant role involves handling these ad-hoc requests efficiently and effectively, while still leaving sufficient time to complete his or her other regular tasks.

Some of the roles that firms are looking to fill:

  • Budget Analyst
  • Billing Analyst
  • Accounting Associate
  • Controller
  • Senior Financial Analyst
  • Accounting Manager
  • Director of Accounting
  • Vice President of Accounting
  • Bookkeeper
  • Chief Financial Officer (many startups prefer Big 5 credentials)

How to Get that Accounting Role

As we discussed in this article, figures quite often add power and believability to what you highlight on your resume, particularly when you are applying for accounting work.

Lots of employers like to see impressive numbers on your resume. Working on the budget for the lightbulb division in General Electric is not as impressive as managing a $50 million budget at a tire factory.

Yes, GE has the brand name, but stating your role doesn’t provide context. However, if you show on your resume, that you managed a $50 million capital budget for a company that has $75 million of gross revenues – then it’s a powerful story. It shows that you were important enough in the organization to manage a budget that is 2/3 of their entire annual gross revenues.

Be Prepared to Explain Your Credentials

Yes, there’s a limit to this. Something may look incredible on a resume, however consider how it will sound when somebody gets some information about it in the meeting. For instance saying that you “expanded organization benefits by 200%” opens yourself up to questions including “what particularly did you do to build benefits?”

On the off chance that you don’t have a nitty gritty system and operational guide for how you accomplished this, your interviewer will stay extremely suspicious of your prospects.

The Mental Game

Regardless of how great your pursuit of employment methodology, there’s continually going to be disappointment and dismissal. It’s inescapable. In any pursuit of employment, you can’t get to that “Yes, you’re hired” without loads of “No, we’re not interested” reactions.

Thus, it’s urgent that you get practical about the path towards landing a position and have the correct attitude to deal with setbacks. Without the capacity to drive forward, you won’t get very far. They say it’s a dog eat dog world in New York, and it’s especially true when it comes to finding the very best accounting jobs in the mecca of finance.

As we discuss here, it’s important to have a winning and sturdy mindset to deal with the ups and downs of finding that dream accounting role:

#1: Relish the Challenge of Finding the Right Accounting Job

The normal time it takes to find another employment is a month and a half. There’s a great deal to do when attempting to find your next employment opportunity, from researching the role and company to interviewing. Finally, there’s the soul searching part. This is probably the most important. We spend a lot of time at work so we must constantly evaluate why we’re doing this and why we should care.

#2: The Recruiting Game is just Statistics

It’s anything but difficult to romanticize one specific opening for work as “the one.” This happens regularly when you have one process going and all your eggs are in one basket. Perhaps, you’ve had an eye for that dream internal auditor role at a hot startup, and you’re focused only on that one role.

You open yourself up to major disappointment if it doesn’t pan out. It’s much better to spread yourself wide. Apply to various positions. Meet lots of people. It’s not rare that you interview for a Staff Accounting role and they give you a more managerial role because your specialty is needed in the organization.

#3 Power Through Tough Times and Keep Learning

You’ll likely go through various cycles of applying and not getting a response. Then when you finally get a response, the interview doesn’t go well. It’s a frustrating process that you have to compete with so many qualified accounting professionals in NYC, but it’s the recruiting game in the big city. Instead of being frustrated, keep your head up, keep networking and keep working on your resume and interviewing skills.

#4: Stay Positive!

Whenever you advance through the interview process, ensure that you record these wins in a diary that archives your triumphs and lessons learned as you experience this trip. It will come in handy when you feel stale or when you experience the hardships of finding that dream accounting job.

Attempt to recall that enormous victories are just the result of numerous littler triumphs included!

Interviewing for An Accounting Position

Here we have a more extensive review of how to prepare for your interviews:

  • What are your qualities?
  • What are your shortcomings?
  • Why are you intrigued by working for us?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
  • What would you be able to offer us that another person can’t?
  • What are three things your previous supervisor might want you to enhance?
  • Educate me regarding an achievement you are most pleased with.
  • Enlighten me regarding a period you committed an error.
  • What is the ideal job for you?
  • What might you fulfill in the initial 30/60/90 days at work?

So be ready to answer any of these basic inquiries questions. Be honest and succinct but don’t sound monotone. Memorize a general script that answers each and every question, but don’t just regurgitate what you memorized.

Learn to vary your tone and overall emotion so it looks and feels natural. The meeting ought to be a discussion that ideally finishes up with you being offered the occupation you had always wanted.

Finally, when it comes to interviews practice, practice, practice.

If you are 2-3 years out of college or from your MBA school, it could be possible to set up mock interviews with the Career Center at your alma mater. This is often free for alumni so why not take advantage?

In today’s world, interviews can be done via Google Hangouts, via person or by phone. You have to be comfortable to showcase yourself and your skills in all mediums of communication.

If you find yourself stumbling in a video interview, then use the career center of your old university. Ask someone there to interview you via Google hangouts. If it’s in person interview that requires improvement, why not visit your old campus?

Another easy way to practice interviewing is with friends and family. It’s a comfortable way to practice answering questions. One caveat – friends and family are the worst critics. They will highlight the strengths but tend to overlook your weaknesses. Just keep this in mind when using friends and family to interview.

Then there’s scheduling informational interviews through your LinkedIn network. This does two things. First, you get to practice your interview skills with someone in your industry and get honest feedback. Second, you can strengthen your relationships with existing business contacts by reaching out to them.

If you can schedule interviews or meetings with people outside your network, then that’s even better. This helps you build your network, and perhaps, that person can pass on your resume to his or her company’s human resources department.

Courtesy Still Counts

Finally, we get to the often asked question of do I need to follow-up after an interview. It never hurts to thank your interviewers for their time. Usually, this is best done right after the interview. A short email of two to three sentences should suffice and make sure to use their business email.

As for further follow-ups, it’s good to check up a week from your interview, unless they explicitly tell you to wait for a specific time period. Again, a short polite email should suffice, and if it’s two weeks, then I’d pick up the phone and call.

You’ve Got the Accounting Job

First, congratulations once you land that dream accounting role. Anyone that has gone through a job search – any job search – in New York City can tell you how hard the process can be.

Make sure to submit your two weeks’ notice, and share your LinkedIn contacts with close colleagues at your soon-to-be employer. Although you are going to another position, it’s always good to stay in good graces with your old employer. You never know when you might be on the hunt again for another accounting job in New York City.

Ultimate Guide to Careers in Finance

Careers in Finance

Finance Careers in 2017

FP&A jobs and careers in the financial sector offer big paychecks, but most of these high profile financial positions carry a big responsibility. Finance professionals help steer the company with the right plans and forecasts. They serve as the captains of the corporate ship that drive the American economy. Because of their importance, employers will pay top dollar for the best and brightest minds in finance.

If you’re in the hunt for entry level finance jobs or you’re interested in making a career switch to finance, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Although a career in accounting and a career in finance can be similar, the functions and expectations are still different.

This article covers an overview of the qualifications, requirements and the various roles you can look for in finance. Once you are equipped with necessary knowledge about the various types of careers in finance, you can then confidently submit your resume and credentials to:

VESTED’S RECRUITING PLATFORM

Hundreds of recruiters from various companies are constantly looking for highly qualified financial professionals to fill full-time roles in their finance teams.

Requirements and Qualifications

To excel in the finance career path, it helps to have the many professional certifications and to pass the finance-centric exams. You can secure an entry-level job in the finance sector with an undergraduate for the post of an advisor or consultant.

But the basic qualification for advancement is a graduate degree or a Master in Business Administration (MBA).

It helps to pursue a bachelor’s degree or an MBA concentration in finance that will let you learn financial theory, and participate in projects or case studies.

The main components of any finance related course includes the basics:

  • Economics
  • Taxation
  • Corporate Finance
  • Public Accounting
  • Statistics
  • Business Law
  • Financial Modeling
  • Marketing ROI Analysis
  • Budgeting & Forecasting Variance Analysis
  • Investment analysis

The most in-demand professionals have Master’s degree in finance or an MBA. The course contents can consist of:

  • International Financial Markets
  • Advanced Financial Management
  • Applied Portfolio Theory
  • Options Theory
  • Small Business Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Macroeconomics & the Global Economy
  • Financial Derivatives
  • Corporate Valuation
  • Behavioral Finance
  • Financial Buyouts & Acquisitions
  • Private Equity & Venture Capital

Typically, a master’s course builds upon your undergraduate studies. Hence, schools often label them as “advanced.” For further info on finance courses at a graduate level, take a look at Wharton‘s course catalog.

Furthermore, many financial organizations prefer candidates with professional certifications in finance. To add value to your resume you can pursue a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), CPA (Certified Public Accountant), CFP (Certified Financial Planner). The certification will enhance your financial skills needed at various levels of employment.

Many financial services like selling stocks or bonds require you to obtain the license from authorized agencies like Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The most common of the financial licenses are series 7 and series 63. You can go for these licenses while doing the job since these are not pre-requisites to get a job but rather these licenses are legally required to provide certain client services.

Job Market

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the financial sector is bound to increase by 8% by 2024. In the last year, the mean salary of the financial specialist was $66,530 whereas the median annual wage of other occupations was only $37,040.

The major hubs for financial jobs in the world are the cities which are regarded as financial cities. Some of the global financial hubs are New York, Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai, London and much more. There has been a trend of better job opportunities in developing countries and this trend will not move down in the future too. You can find jobs in the financial sector in a branch office or corporate offices in any city of the world.

finance careers path nyc

Best Job Sources

If you are still in your college pursuing your studies, campus placement is the best option to enter into finance sector since many companies prefer to pick their candidates from the college whom they can train to fit their organizational structure. If you have passed out of school or college, you can post your resume on one of the best job search sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, and much more. You can also find job openings on financial institution sites like CFA, Bloomberg or EFinancial.

Other trending job-finding resources are the social media platforms. LinkedIn is the best platform for professionals to find the jobs of their interest and stature. You have to create your profile just like a resume and post your qualification and experience. Once you finish that, you can expand your network by sending requests to other LinkedIn users in financial fields. Many companies post their job openings on their LinkedIn business pages, such as the Vested Linkedin page. So creating a LinkedIn profile is one of the best steps to take for a good job offer.

Finally, Recruiting 2.0 has arrived! In the “old” days, you would go online and submit your resumes to the job boards. Then you wait. But in today’s world, recruiting platforms, like Vested, allow you to post your resume and credentials in a private database. Using a proprietary algorithm, Vested’s platform will then match you to accounting and finance jobs from a slew of companies in the United States. Vested does all the work for you!

All you have to do is polish up on your interviewing skills by reading up on our career and interview guides.

Finance Firms that Offer Job Opportunities

The types of careers in finance are not limited if you meet the qualifications and skills required. The job aspirants looking for careers in finance can find jobs in various types of financial institutions:

Commercial Banks

Commercial banks provide one of the largest opportunities for banking aspirants. These banks provide banking services like loans to individuals, small and large scale corporates and enterprises. If you are interested in a career as a teller, credit card banking, leasing or international finance, then the commercial banking sector can offer you exciting roles. You can work as credit Analyst, loan officer, branch manager, trust officer or as a mortgage banker.

Investment banking

This is a specialized division of many commercial banks. The Investment banks deal with corporates and government bodies and help them in the sale of securities, raising money, mergers and acquisitions and all the assistance for any kind of large financial transaction.

Some of the leading names of investment banks are JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.

These are the typical finance roles in investment banking:

  • Financial Analyst
  • Associate
  • Sr. Associate
  • Vice President
  • Managing Director
  • Partner

Hedge funds

Some money management firms operate with little limitations and higher risks. Hedge funds are open to only accredited investors who are ready to invest huge amounts for a minimum lockup-period. Clients can withdraw the funds after fixed period at certain intervals.

To amplify the ROI, hedge funds are invested in stocks, real estate, derivatives, mutual funds or land on the long term. As a Hedge funds manager, you can earn a minimum of 2% on assets value and twenty percent of the profit each year. Other financial roles in hedge funds can be as a security analyst or a trader.

Private Equity Firms

Unlike Hedge funds which deal in public securities, the private equity firms invest the funds of investors in private companies. In the case of a buyout of a public company, it de-lists the public equity and make it private.

The private equity firms then improve the operations and profitability of the newly private company. After a few years, the private equity firm then does an IPO of the private company to sell their shares to the public at a higher price.

Private equity also includes venture capital. In venture capital, firms invest money in early stage companies who have the potential to make it big. Venture Capital firms, like Accel, Greylock Partners and Meritech, invested in a then obscure company called Facebook back 2006. They cashed out with a huge return when Facebook went public in 2012.

Jobs at private equity firms are highly competitive. Often, former investment bankers with advanced degrees in finance and business can secure a job at these firms. Without these pre-requisite qualifications, one would have a difficult time breaking into the private equity industry.

S&P 500 Companies

All the S&P 500 companies, whether they are in the telecom business, consumer electronics or any other business type, require an army of FP&A Analysts to join their FP&A teams at corporate levels.

Because of their size and the breadth and nature of their business, S&P 500 firms need finance analysts at all levels in every part of the world. These companies need FP&A analysts to prepare annual budgets, periodic budget forecasts, financial modelling and internal reporting of vital business metrics.

Finance job titles at these firms can include:

Lists of Careers in Finance

Trading jobs

If you feel excited about sale and purchase of shares, commodities, bonds or currencies, and help the investors to earn money due to market surge, go for a career in financial trading. The trading jobs are at the same time challenging considering the regular government regulatory changes. You can apply for the trading job in financial institutions like hedge funds and commercial banks.

You can apply as an assistant trader after doing graduation but the best way to enter trading is to clear the series 7 and 63 exams. MBA’s are also preferred in trading line. Any certification or degree in mathematics or statistics is also seen as a plus in trading sector. As a fresh graduate you may land a junior post but with experience, you will get an allocation of higher capital as you gain the confidence of your seniors.

Trading jobs at hedge funds are the top choice in the financial sector. You can work under a portfolio manager to buy or sell the securities. If you have the discretion to deal with the securities, then you have a good chance of making a good money. If you think you are one of the best hedge funds traders, you can start your own hedge fund as well.

In trading finance careers, salary is on higher side but at the same time, the jobs are stressful. You need to on your toes and sense rightly the future market movements. Before you apply for a trading job you must be aware that you will manage the huge sum of money on daily basis and should be ready to face the wrath of employers in case of failure.

For a successful career path in trading, you should have mathematics background since you need to do calculations based upon the market conditions. You have to make quick decisions since the trading market is a volatile industry. It is not just a 9 to 5 job since you will need to follow the market trends even during off hours.

Investment Banking

If you see yourself serving a big company, institution or government then option for Investment banking and enrolling in a suitable graduation and post-graduation course is the best decision. Well, to begin with, Investment banking is all about helping your hiring company in managing their capital with the suitable strategies and plans. Depending on the size of your company you may be serving for the whole company as an expert or specialize in one area to provide expert advice.

Investment banking professionals are offered jobs in multinational commercial or investment banks. The job scenario is quite bright if you have studied this professional degree as you have the option to apply in big global banks as well as national, regional or local banks. Other avenues are asset management corporate, equity firms or business enterprise dealing with capital management. Some big organizations with the in-house department for evaluation of strategic opportunities like corporate mergers and expansion.

Being an Investment Banker you will be responsible for providing strategic opinion and guidance to your employer company for a merger or taking over another company. The strong financial modeling acumen will come in handy along with the extreme confidence of communication with senior level management professionals and business owners.

The second primary role you will play in your company will be to guide and strategize to raise the capital for your company or your client. For this, you need to hone skills like underwrite debt and equity by analyzing the industry you are working for. This responsibility will also be an important aspect if you are providing consultation to a government organization.

Another area of expertise for an investment banker is in private equity which more or less is a specialization of medium to small firms. These people identify and strategize to invest in large and reputed firms with an aim of huge profits. This is the most stressful but most well-paying job in the field of investment banking. As you grow in this profession you will be wealthier than ever. If your profession is your life, then you may end up in owning a private equity firm of your own.

Another area is Venture capital wherein the responsibility on you lies to look for some small, new but promising companies. If you have an inkling to follow the latest and innovative technologies and know how to take calculated risks, then this is the job for you. It can be a very challenging profession but like private equity, if your homework is perfect no one can stop you from getting listed in the wealthiest of people.

Financial Analysis

Here you can be master of your own job since this is the job where you and only you can be communicating the financial analysis as per your perspective. The analysis can be on national financial prospects, business opportunity for companies and other similar areas where your expertise and experience is the driving factor.

A financial analyst usually is an individual who may work as a consultant, writer, academician, educator or reviewer who has acumen to study, analyze and comment on the economical or financial aspects of a company, institute, government or country. A financial analyst enjoys studying financial data, understanding the trends and presenting his views while observing the financial markets closely.

If you dream to be a financial analyst then you have to play the roles of an economist, a strategist or a predictor. As an economist, your employer, readers or students may look forward to your shrewdness in analyzing the financial market data and the underlying trends in predicting the future financial conditions. You can land up in a lucrative job in government’s planning department, commercial banks, investment banks, asset managing companies and academic organization.

An economist employed at banks or corporate earn very well whereas those in educational institutes or government sector may not get good compensation for their efforts. Those in academia definitely get huge satisfaction with the respect and reputation they earn with their knowledge and experience. Freedom of working as freelancers and consultants gives you much better prospects.

The strategists study the economy and financial markets to offer strategic consultation and guidance to the companies and institutes. Banks and finance management companies are the most probable employers for strategists. Chief Investment Strategist is one of the highest paying titles for successful strategists becoming the public persona of a corporate. The strategists do get better pay-packs than the economist.

The predictors are the best pals for government organizations and large corporations. They are meant to predict the future financial status with the help of mathematical models that means that the focus is in research and development rather than purely financial analysis of the stock market. Finance management companies, equity firms or banks look for predictors with mathematical or statistical experience in the field of economics and finance. You have to be a person who loves to work with number crunching with the help of models using computing software.

Portfolio Management

Everyone in today’s world wishes to earn more by investing least. It is all about what you have included in your investment portfolio. As a portfolio managing professional you will look into the need of your clients and guide them to invest into different shares and schemes. All this is possible if you have a keen knowledge of stock market and understanding of the trends. Along with that, your clients will entrust you with the responsibility of achieving their desired investment targets in the specified duration.

The trick of the trade is to know your client well and convince him about the certainty with which you have researched. The best part or you can also say that the worst part is that for you as a consultant, each client is different. One portfolio will not suit multiple clients. You have to focus on each one’s needs and limitations.

To get a job as portfolio manager you will be looking ahead for finance management companies and hedge fund institutions. Other options could be such as sovereign wealth planners, pension funds consultant firms or insurance business. For this lucrative job, you must own a four-year college degree and then an experience of working as an investment analyst. With sufficient years of employment as a portfolio manager, you can have a firm of your own to get a well-paying clientele.

Responsibilities of a portfolio manager include creation and management of client portfolios. Depending upon the firm you will be employed with, you have to either manage separate accounts for client’s account type and investments or pooled accounts catering to the investment needs of multiple clients in aggregation. The second type of arrangement is easier to manage but it may not be suitable for some clients who need special treatment of their money.

One of the desirable characteristics of a portfolio manager in addition to expert market analysis is the ability to strike a good relationship with the clients through different kind of contact options. You can opt for growing as a portfolio manager specializing in a single asset category or multi-asset category. In both cases, you have to be a good researcher. This job like many other finance careers can be very stressful with a need to spend long hours with clients. Competition is extremely high in this career, but once you establish yourself, it can bring you satisfying returns.

Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Jobs

Unlike other jobs discussed till now, the Financial Planning & Analysis is strictly in-house job. By hiring you as a Financial Planning and Analysis manager or professional, a company will be relying on you to help their senior management to get analytical information of company’s finance. With this information, operational, financial, and strategic decisions are taken with an eye on maximizing profits and minimizing the expenses.

Your responsibilities will primarily include budgeting, defining and monitoring cash flow and implementing other analytical tools to measure the financial performance of the company. A qualified financial professional must display traits like analytical, focused, inquiring, thorough understanding of internal financial status of the company and comprehensive knowledge of his job.

To reach up to the stage of an FP&A manager or director, usually a beginner has to spend a good amount of years on some organizational accounting position at medium ranks. It will help him in understanding the nuances of financial planning, budgeting and cash flow. A basic graduate degree in commerce or finance is required but a master’s degree can help in starting off at a higher grade. The experience and learning while on job is the most important aspect to grow as a FP&A professional. This job is considered to be good in terms of salary considering the manageable work pressure and a relatively secure job than others discussed earlier.

Final Words on Careers in Finance

No doubt, FP&A jobs and careers in finance offer lucrative perks but there is stiff competition to get a job. Besides the required qualifications, you should also have a passion to keep pace with volatile financial markets and financial regulations.

Whether you’re a seasoned finance professional or a recent graduate looking for entry level finance jobs, make sure to read career and interview guides to stay up-to-date with the financial industry, as well as getting your daily dose of the Financial Times and Economist.

Finally sign up HERE to be considered for the very best career opportunities in finance.

 

How to Make Facts and Figures Speak More Loudly

Politicians have mastered the art of presenting information in a way that is most flattering to their point-of-view. This is especially true when numbers are involved — see President Trump talking about his inauguration attendance figures or the GOP Congress discussing the costs of the ACHA.  

Numbers are cherry picked to emphasize their argument.  While we would argue that it’s best to not emulate the worst traits of our politicians, they do offer some insight into how numbers can be used to enhance your prospects as a job candidate.

Finding the Hidden Numbers

Figures almost always add power and credibility to what you claim on your resume, especially when you are applying for a finance job.  Let’s say you worked on a special project or initiative such as implementing a new Accounts Payable software.  

Make sure you quantify the return on investment (ROI)  by thinking of the software investment (monthly cost) vs. time it saved your company multiplied by the rate per hour.  What about other costs such as missed invoices and late fees?  Add those to the figure and you’ll probably come up with a pretty impressive figure for your resume. You can do this same process for anything, no matter how mundane it may seem.

Put it Into Ballpark Figures

As finance professionals, we often think that the more detailed a figure is the better it looks on our resume.  That being said, often times we can’t always determine a precise amount, so go with a ballpark estimate.  

Most hiring managers will be ok with a safe, lower estimate and state it in terms like, “Approximately $5,000 annually.”  This gives your prospective hiring manager a sense of the magnitude of the impact that you had on your prior organization.

Avoid the Ridiculous

Yes, there’s a limit to all this.  Something may look great on a resume, but think of how it will sound when someone asks about it in the interview. For example mentioning that you “increased company profits by 200%” opens yourself up to questions including “what specifically did you do to increase profits?”

If you don’t have a detailed strategy and operational roadmap for how you achieved this, your prospective interviewer will remain very skeptical of your prospects.  Make sure that you always filter your claims through a common sense filter.

When to Leave the Numbers Off

Sometimes it’s best to leave the numbers off a particular resume entry.  This is especially true when you’re talking about a relatively small amount.  For instance, if by your calculations your efforts increased the average $2,000 sale by $10 over the course of a year, it’s going to be difficult to make that sound impressive (even though such a gain can indeed make a difference).  In that sort of case, you’re better off putting it into terms like, “Increased average sales figures in key product line.” And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Look carefully at your resume and apply these methods to add power and boost its strength. You may be surprised at just how much your accomplishments can be enhanced with such techniques. Then the figure you’ll be pondering most is your resume’s enhanced success rate.

The Mental Game of the Job Search

No matter how good your job search strategy, there’s always going to be failure and rejection.  It’s inevitable.  In any job search, you just can’t get to that glorious “Yes, you’re hired” without lots of “No, we’re not interested” responses.

For that reason it’s crucial that you get realistic about the process of getting a job and set the right mindset to handle setbacks.  Without the ability to persevere, you won’t be able to power through the challenge inherent in the process of landing your dream job.  Don’t fret though, we have some practical thoughts on how to develop the growth mindset for not only your job search but also for your career and personal life:

#1: Embrace the Challenge of a Job Search

The average time it takes to land a new job is 6-weeks; add several weeks to that figure for more specialized work or more senior positions like Director or VP.  There’s a lot to do when trying to land your next job, from research, networking, interviews, and a lot of soul-searching.  Don’t shortcut any of these items in the hopes that the pain and frustration of looking for a job will go away.  Have some faith that if you can commit to approaching this journey with an inspired mindset, hard work, and commitment, it’s impossible not to be successful.

#2: Remember That Finding a Job is a Numbers Game

It’s easy to romanticize one particular job opportunity as “the one”.  This happens often when you have one process going and all your eggs are in one basket.  Nothing feels worse than engaging in one process, and then finding out that company isn’t interested in you.  You will constantly feel like you are starting from scratch.  You should definitely be excited to apply to your dream company – particularly if you have some connections there, but realize that your burning desires and the company’s pressing needs don’t always align.  Don’t take it personally but it’s a good reminder to have a few processes going at once. Odds are they all move at different paces so you won’t have to start from scratch if one particular door closes.

#3 Persist in the Face of Setbacks and Learn from Them

Bottom-line, it’s easy to get caught up when you get rejected especially when you are deep into an interview process.  It’s ok to feel bad about these scenarios (we’re all human after all) but only to a point because then it becomes self-defeating.  Make sure that you are able to pull the plane that’s your emotional well-being up and course correct as needed.  

Just accept that things won’t always  go your way and that this has no reflection on you as a person. Sometimes companies are looking for a specialized skill-set or the job opening gets postponed.  Don’t shy away from asking difficult questions to the company as well.

Try and get candid feedback as to why they passed on your candidacy. While rare, there might be some valuable feedback that you can use for your next interview.  

Remind yourself that you’ll always have to get through a certain number of failures before getting to success in your job search.  Think of the classic Winston Churchill saying: “When going through hell, keep going!”

#4: Stay Positive!

While this is often easier said than done; we have some practical thoughts on how to accomplish this.  It’s easy to forget about all the good things that have happened in a job search such as you making it to the case round of interviews or the meeting with the company founder.  

Make sure that you write these wins down in a journal that documents your successes and lessons learned as you go through this journey.  It will come in very handy when you feel stagnant or when you go through the job search process again.  

Try to remember that big successes are nothing more than the product of many smaller successes added together!

#5: Find Lessons and Inspiration in the Success of Others

This might be the most difficult for you as most people are not taught to think/feel this way.  However, here’s a quote that really embodies the mindset: “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”

Remember, you are just starting your journey and there’s no need to envy your peers that are in positions that you are seeking.  

What if you stopped the comparison game altogether?  What if the success of others had nothing to do with us, and our own success had nothing to do with anyone else?  Why do we need to waste so much of our precious time competing with the people around us and focusing on how we “measure up” to them?  

Remember, there are lessons to be learned but to get them takes some humility to ask.

Use these strategies to create the mindset that you need to persevere during your job search for the best outcome.  Let us know if you have any questions.

What to Do When Your Company Leaves You in the Cold

Applying for new job

For many of us, the day has come where we’ve walked in to see the boss, only to find out that your position has been terminated.  No matter how long you’ve been at the company, it’s going to be a bit of a shock to your system.  While you are looking to move your career forward with a new company, it won’t take much to get you into a depressive slump as you spend hours on the computer, looking for another job. It’s hard work, without a doubt.

Here is some advice on what to do when our company leaves you in the cold:

Give yourself space and time to calm down

After you’ve lost a position, you need to take time to calm down from your anger and frustration and figure out what you want to do with your life.  For most of us, we are angry and bitter about being let go, so give yourself space and time to get over that.  Make sure you keep your current job status to yourself and a few trusted people so that you have someone to rant to.

Put together a good “exit story”

When you’ve taken that important time to calm down, you can start putting yourself together and move towards your next career.  The first step: create an exit story.  This is something that you would work out with your previous employer in terms of the reason that you left the company, but also with yourself.  Develop an honest but positive response to the following question:

“Why ’did you leave your job?” 

Take the time to make the right exit story that works for you, and focus on what you’re going to do next.

Prioritize your goals

You can’t move forward until you’ve identified your goals. Is it to be your own boss?  Is it to have a certain job title?  Is it to work for a certain company?

Take this time and figure out what those goals are. Once you’ve narrowed down your career goals, it’s time for action. You’ll also find that you will be more energized about the job hunt, too, because it will get you excited about what it is you are working towards.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” — Yogi Berra

Have a “to do” list and stick to it

You need to make sure that you put together an itemized list of the things that you need to focus on. This needs to be a detailed list with deadlines for each one (apply for 2 jobs a week, for example). And stick to it!

Crossing things off your list keeps you on the right path (getting a new job), and it’s very satisfying feeling, knowing you’re on a steady course to a better career.

Additionally, make sure you take a few days off here and there from job hunting.  There is such a thing as burning yourself out, and you need to take time to step back, admire your progress, and re-energize yourself. Time in between jobs is all about self-reflection: who you are, who you want to be. and how can I get what I want.

Social Networking

Go to LinkedIn, and find professionals, working in an area that you’re interested in. Contact them and set-up “informational interviews.” You shouldn’t ask for a job in these meetings, but it’s a chance to connect with an “influencer” who can introduce you to other influencers. These other influencers could be people who are hiring or simply an HR contact at his or her current firm.

Set-up an account with Quora. Answer questions on Quora, and show your expertise. Dozens of people ask questions everyday. Prove that you’re good at what they do, and connect with Quora users.

Write on Medium. Make videos on Youtube. If you have time, create an on-line course and start selling it on Coursehorse.com. As you become more active online, people will start coming to you.

Bottom-Line: Get active in your search

Use technology to help you search

The world is changing now, so make sure that you change with it.  Make sure that you hunt for your future career using social media, especially LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not only great for social networking, but it’s a great job board.

You can also search through jobs using online websites such as Kijiji, Indeed, Monster, etc.  When you use these search engines, you’ll find that you are going to see more than you would have by doing it the old fashioned way.

Finally, if you’re looking into joining the startup industry, you should look into Hired.com or Vested. Hired.com does an excellent job in placing engineering candidates to technology firms, and here at Vested we focuse on connecting accounting/finance professionals to technology startups.

“Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” — Steve Jobs (2005)

We won’t be like Steve Jobs. However, we can all learn from Jobs’ experience. Losing one’s job is a low point in one’s career. Rather than wallowing in the pits of despair, Jobs became more active. He used the time in between jobs, as a time for self-reflection and introspection. Then he put a plan in place, and started Pixar (creator of Toy Story movies) and NeXT (bought by Apple).

If you recently lost your job, take the time to reflect on your career. Assess your goals and take action.

Top 3 Reasons NOT to Use a Recruiter

For some reason or another, it’s time for a change. It’s time to polish the resume and start networking for a new career. For a lot of people, the word “networking” has a negative connotation that requires a lot of work. This is why they often turn to recruiters to do the “networking” part for them, and all they have to do is show up for the interviews.

Here are the top 3 reasons why this isn’t the best approach to find a new job:

The opportunities are limited

A recruiter’s sole purpose is to get you a high paying job and collect their 20% on your salary. Most of them won’t care if they place you in a mail room job at IBM so long as the pay is $150K a year. Granted, there are some recruiters that will work with you and even meet you at their office to discuss your needs and goals. However, you still won’t have any control on what jobs they will offer you. Your opportunities are limited to whatever open positions that are being shopped by the recruiting agency at that point in time. Yes, it’s easy to just show up for the interview, but why limit yourself when a career change is a big deal for most professionals.

You have no control of the process

The recruiter will often hand your resume with a bunch of other resumes. Part of their job is to offer a list of viable candidates, and they often don’t care who is selected so long as someone is selected from their list. Hence, you have no control over your job application. You won’t have a chance to stand out among your peers. Moreover, the recruiter will dictate the times and locations of the interview so you will have a limited say in the hiring process.

The journey is as important as the goal

As an experienced professional, you have the skills that companies need and want. At this point in your career, why settle for whatever opportunity comes along? Why not go after that dream job you’ve been pining for? If you work with a recruiter, you will be limited to whatever open positions are available at that time. However, if you take control of the process and network yourself, then you’ll have more control on your next career move.

It’s a longer process to go on “informational interviews” and networking on LinkedIn or through Vested. However, if you have the time and patience, you’ll meet people in various industries. You’ll learn all the cool jobs and all the not-so-cool jobs in the industries you’re interested in. If you sell your skills properly, a company will even create opportunities just to hire you in their organization. Moreover, if you find jobs through networking, you’ll already have a rapport with your future boss. You won’t get this opportunity when you go through a recruiter.