How to become a financial analyst with no experience
Finance is a lucrative industry that pays huge salaries and bonuses across a wide range of jobs. Employees in the industry earn big bucks annually, thanks to the growing number of financial players in the market. A recently graduated Financial Analyst can expect to receive a starting salary of $70, 000 and above (see Salary Guides to learn more). Even though most employers are looking for experienced analysts, you can follow this guide to learn how to become a financial analyst with no experience.
Here are five tips on how to become a financial analyst with no experience:
#1 Do as much networking as possible
If you want to know the truth about how to become a financial analyst, it often comes down to who you know more than what you know. For this reason, networking is at the top of the list when it comes to breaking into the industry. The most effective ways to network are to start with people you already know and ask them to introduce you to people at companies where you want to work. You can also try using LinkedIn to connect with new people.
Always be polite, professional, and curious. Most importantly of all, don’t directly ask them for a job, but instead ask them what they would do if they were in your shoes, trying to become a financial analyst with no experience.
#2 Learn the Wall Street lingo and follow current events
If you want to secure a job as a financial analyst, you must learn the finance language. As the saying goes, “If it looks like a duck, and talks like a duck…” and this expression holds true for finance as well. Always dress the part and be sure you follow current events in the industry. When you’re networking with people (see Step #1) you’ll need to be able to have interesting conversations about what’s happening in the industry. You may also want to follow the news on the Largest Investment Banks to know what they’re up to.
Take advantage of CFI’s Free Courses o get a head start on your finance career and start learning the lingo as quickly as possible!
#3 Start and maintain a finance blog
Running a finance blog will give you a chance to communicate your investment ideas to the world. Publishing informative finance posts on your blog will provide an opportunity to express your knowledge of the finance field and talk to potential employers. Having the relevant finance and investment skills will give you an edge when writing finance publications. And finally, being able to talk the talk will come in handy when finally landing that finance interview.
An impressive platform to publish research and commentary on is Seeking Alpha. If you get something published, be sure to discuss with people you’re networking with (see Step #1).
#4 Leverage your university career center
Your university career center can be the most valuable resources in getting a summer internship at one of the Wall Street investment banks and moving you closer to getting a prestigious full-time job in the industry. Most of the investment firms pick their new full-time hires from their summer interns, so you should do everything you can to be one of them. If you don’t find any luck securing a paid internship, consider working as an unpaid intern or volunteer at a small firm.
Spend time with the career advisors in your university career centers and ask them to introduce you to alumni in the industry so you can network with them (see Step #1).
#5 Use a Trading Simulator
Using trading simulators will you get immersed in the finance industry. There are many online stock trading simulators that graduates can use to prepare mock portfolios. Using this experience, finance and non-finance graduates can impress potential employers with their trading prowess and market knowledge. Additionally, it can be useful to talk about your trades and what you learned when networking with people in the industry (again, see Step #1). This is one of the top free tips on how to become a financial analyst.
#6 Enroll in an online financial Analyst training program
Participating in online financial analyst training programs will help kick-start your career as a financial analyst with zero experience. Financial analyst training programs will teach you useful skills such as financial forecasting and financial modeling, which will supplement the theory that university programs focus on. CFI’s Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program will give you the practical Excel, finance, and accounting skills you need to get hired full time.
Read more CFI career resources
Thank you for reading this guide on how to become a financial analyst with no experience! CFI’s mission is to help you advance your career, and with that goal in mind, these additional resources will be a big help: