Guide to Becoming a Financial Analyst
In this career guide, we will outline exactly how to become a financial analyst by networking, perfecting your resume, preparing for interview questions, telling your personal story, and mastering the art of financial modeling and business valuation. We’ve seen thousands of people become financial analysts over the years and know precisely what it takes.
Before jumping in head first, it’s important to know how financial analyst roles differ across the corporate finance universe. There’s a big difference between a buy side analyst, a commercial banking analyst, and an equity research analyst (just to name a few).
In CFI’s Career Map, we outline what type of personality is best suited to each type of analyst position. Depending on whether you’re introverted, extroverted, competitive, analytical, or sales oriented, it will have a big impact on which role you go for.
The key to getting a job in most areas of finance is networking. Like it or not, it’s the truth.
We have several specific ideas and tips on networking that will help you out:
This set is fairly straightforward. We have developed extensive resources to help you build a Wall Street quality resume and ace multiple rounds of interviews.
For more on resumes and cover letters please refer to:
When building your cover letter and resume (resources above), it’s important to weave a compelling personal story. The story has to clearly explain: (i) where you are coming from, (ii) where you are now, (iii) and where do you want to be in the future. If you can connect these dots in a logical way and also demonstrate you’re a good culture fit, that’s more than half the battle.
Like most other things in life, being great at interviews takes practice. The best ways to practice are through (1) networking (as discussed above) and (2) using professional interview guides.
We’ve provided below four professional interview guides that use REAL questions from REAL corporate finance interviews, used thousands of times over at global banks.
Please review our interview Q&A guides on how to be ready for any question:
This is listed last, but it’s actually spread out over all of the above four steps.
CFI courses are specifically designed to give you the hands-on training you need to master financial modeling and become a world-class financial analyst. By taking our courses, you’ll be sure to learn industry best practices and all the most important tips and tricks. Our classes are based on real financial analyst training programs at Wall Street banks.
CFI courses are organized into several groups, with the most critical being:
Thank you for reading this guide on how to become a financial analyst. CFI’s mission is to help anyone in the world get a job as a financial analyst, and in order to help you on your way, these additional resources will be a big help:
Advance your career in investment banking, private equity, FP&A, treasury, corporate development and other areas of corporate finance.
Get certified as a financial analyst with CFI’s FMVA™ Program.