So You Want a Job in Finance? Develop Your Soft Skills!

In the finance industry, “soft” skills are as important as “hard” skills and are highly sought by employers. Soft skills encompass a wide variety of personal attributes including integrity, creative thinking, positive attitude, grit, time management, empathy, curiosity and effective communication abilities. During the interview process, employers ask numerous behavioral questions to evaluate a job candidate’s soft skills to determine whether the candidate is a good “fit” for the position and the firm.  

The CSE has a multitude of resources to help students develop and hone their soft skills. Weekly Finance Coffee Chats are low-stress occasions to practice small talk and discuss market developments in a supportive environment. Weekly Case Practice Sessions help students strengthen their critical thinking and reasoning abilities. You can sign up for both via the the CSE Newsletter.

Students are also encouraged to work with Amy Rinaldo, Associate Director of the English Language Program at Brandeis, to improve their presentation skills and writing abilities. Many Hosted by CSE events, including the Alumni Speaker Series, CSE Panel Discussions and Industry Treks, are important opportunities to interact with industry practitioners and gain insight into the soft skills valued by their employers.

Remember, soft skills are enhanced with practice, and I encourage you to take advantage of all of these resources so that your soft skills stand out during competitive finance interviews (and throughout your career). Practice really does make perfect!

I recommend the following articles on soft skills: 

By Jennifer Voldins
Jennifer Voldins Associate Director, Career Strategies MSF Career Coach Jennifer Voldins