Careers in Financial Services

Chris Donald, principal consultant of accountancy and finance at Change Recruitment in Edinburgh, says that in spite of the air of uncertainty, now is a great time to get into financial services, whether it's as a first job, or a career change.

"In the industry right now there is a bit of caution in the market with Brexit coming up" he explains.

It's important to have a really sharp CV to stand out from the crowd. When you get to the next stage, work on your interview technique

"There are some political and economic factors which might be discouraging people. I wouldn't say the sector is the most buoyant we have seen it in the last 12 months but there are opportunities. In terms of early stages financial services roles, there are a lot of programmes and graduate schemes. In Edinburgh particularly, there is the Edinburgh Guarantee scheme and if you look at Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life, these organisations are looking at various early career programmes in order to attract talent.

"If you look across the board in the UK, financial services is far further along with inclusion and they are promoting apprenticeship schemes more than any other sector."

Opportunities in Financial Services

Donald says that options for flexible working within the sector have increased in the last year.

"To attract more candidates, a lot of retail banks have put a focus on getting more women into the workplace so they are trying to put together flexible part-time opportunities."  

Another perk is the emergence of flexible benefits schemes, as Donald explains: "Historically you get your salary and you get your bonus and a particular prescribed pension and life insurance. Now there are businesses offering what they call flexible packages where you can specifically choose what's important to you." Employees can opt for different benefits, such as childcare vouchers or private healthcare, depending on what is most helpful to them. Donald advises younger candidates to be proactive when it comes to job hunting. 

"You have to put yourself out there" he says. "At this level a lot of the hires are made internally. It's important to have a really sharp CV to stand out from the crowd. When you get to the next stage, work on your interview technique. You have to be able to reiterate transferable skills. There is a little bit of tension in the market, but I still believe there's a lot of opportunity out there"

The full story can be found on the website of the Edinburgh Evening News