If you want to excel in a finance career, financial modeling is something that you must know right from the beginning of your professional career.
Whether you are in a buy side firm or a sell side firm, you need to be able to understand financial modeling through and through.
It is one of the core functions of finance and needs a specific set of skill to work with.
In this article I will tell you how to find a financial modeling job, and what all skills you need to possess in order to get one such job.
How to Find and Get Financial Modeling Jobs
1. Online search and job portals
Finding a job was never so easy in the past as compared to today. With the advent and reach of the Internet, virtually everything and anything is just a few clicks away. And financial modeling jobs are no exception as well. You can apply to multiple companies right from you room sitting in front of your computer screen.
There are many companies who are looking for candidates like you for financial modeling.
You can go to the websites of investment banks, VC firms, PE firms, asset management companies and any other kind of financial institution to apply for a job. The job description will help you determine the roles and responsibilities involved in that profile.
Another easy way of getting such a job, without having to do much, is registering yourself with a job portal.
Most of these portals are free of cost and you can upload your resume with the preferred choice of job profile. Recruiting companies download hundreds of such resumes every day to find right people for the job and registering with these portals can present you with multiple interview offers in a very short span of time.
If you have studied finance from an institute, getting in touch with your alumni will turn out to be very fruitful in finding the right job.
Many of your alumni will be at a senior position and can suggest your name for a job in their company.
If you do not know anyone personally, you can rely on social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook for touching base with those people. These sites have dedicated pages and groups for various firms which makes finding jobs and people easy. You can create a list of companies in the finance domain to apply, and look out to connect with people in these companies.
3. Third party placement
There are institutions that offer short duration courses on financial modeling. These institutes have tie ups with companies to train the students according to their company’s requirements.
Even if you are well versed with your modeling concepts, taking a short course for getting at shot at interviews is not a bad option. It has two advantages, first, before your interview your concepts will be revised, and second, you will be exposed to multiple companies for interviews at one place.
If this is not feasible for you, then you can always rely on placement cells and bureaus that will help you in your job search.
How to Approach the Job Interview
Now that I have told you how to get to a job interview, let me tell you how to approach the interview to make sure that you get the job.
Pick up your books and start studying. There is no way you will get a job, especially in financial modeling, if your understanding of concepts is weak.
More than anything else, your knowledge of finance is the most important factor for you to crack an interview.
You could also learn financial modeling online, where you would find tutorials, tips, study material and case studies to practice and hone your technical skills. Please do not look for high compensation if this is your first job, as in the initial year or two you will be working on models prepared by someone else and there will be a lot to learn. It will take you enough ‘on the job experience’ to actually start working on and developing your own financial models.
Financial Modeling Jobs: Skills Required
Now, let me touch upon what all skills you need to have in order to get a financial modeling job and develop a successful career.
1. Number crunching
If you are not comfortable around numbers, financial modeling is not the best of career options for you.
You will be using equations and formulae to work around a model, with multiple variables and mathematical functions. And if mathematics is not your forte, you better start getting acquainted with the subject and rather liking it soon.
If you have knowledge of statistics, it would be an added advantage, and will improve your chances of getting the job. Most of the times, you will be using a combination of mathematical and statistical concepts to build your model. Knowledge of these subjects will help you learn faster and perform better.
2. Platforms, tools and applications
Almost all financial companies these days use a lot of technology and automation for their operations. The basic requirement is proficiency in tools like Microsoft Excel, SPSS and SAP. Any company, big or small, uses these tools day in and day out for financial modeling.
Initially, you need not be an expert in these tools but as you grow you need to be thorough with various functions and features to be able to perform better.
Some companies also require capabilities in computer languages like C++ or even platforms like Oracle, since there are many tools and applications that run on the fundamentals of these languages and platforms.
3. Attention to detail
Honestly, this is the most important skill that you need to possess in a financial modeling job.
Since you will be working with large sets of data, with multiple spread sheets linked together with a combination of formulae and functions, attention to detail becomes utmost important. You should be able to identify errors and fix them in time, otherwise there are chances, that, weeks of your work and efforts can turn out to be unusable when required.
You need to be very alert and observant while working on financial models for them to depict the right picture of data at hand.
Hope this article gives you the right direction in finding a job in financial modeling, and working of your skills to attain great heights in your career.
All the best!