Best Entry Level Finance Jobs in 2024

What’s in this guide?

Entry-level finance positions serve as the building blocks for a career in finance, providing foundational knowledge and skills needed for progression.  These roles typically require a bachelor’s degree in financeaccounting, economics, or a related field,

By financejobs.net Staff Writer

Our career guides are produced by staff writers in conjunction with our expert career coaches. We may earn a referral fee from some links.

What Are Some Common Entry-Level Finance Positions?

  1. Financial Analyst – Analyzes financial data and trends to help businesses make investment decisions and manage financial planning.
  2. Staff Accountant – Assists in basic accounting duties such as ledger management, invoice processing, and preparation of financial statements.
  3. FP&A Analyst – Works in financial planning and analysis, helping to forecast future revenues and expenses and assisting in budget preparation and strategic planning.
  4. Audit Associate – Works under senior auditors to review financial records to ensure they comply with laws and regulations, typically within an accounting or consulting firm.
  5. Credit Analyst – Evaluates credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the risk involved in extending credit or lending money.
  6. Investment Banking Analyst – Provides analytical support for mergers and acquisitions, bond offerings, and other financial services provided by investment banks.
  7. Tax Associate – Assists in the preparation of tax returns and compliance checks, ensuring that individuals and companies satisfy their tax obligations.
  8. Treasury Assistant – Helps manage the organization’s bank accounts and cash flow, ensuring the business has the funds needed for its operations.
  9. Risk Analyst – Assists in identifying and analyzing the risks the company faces, preparing reports and helping to develop strategies to minimize risk exposure.
  10. Financial Planner Assistant – Supports a financial planner or advisor in creating personal financial plans for clients, which may include retirement planning, investment strategies, and budgeting advice.

Top Employers Hiring New Finance Graduates

Corporate Finance Careers

Here are some well-known US employers with well-regarded programs for recent finance graduates.

  • Investment Banks:

    • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) – Analyst Banking Program
    • Morgan Stanley (MS) – Analyst Development Program
    • Citigroup Inc. (C) – Leadership Analyst Program (with potential rotation into corporate finance)
  • Commercial Banks:

    • JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) – Jump Start program (with potential placement in corporate finance)
    • Bank of America Corporation (BAC) – Associate Banking Program (with potential focus on corporate banking)
    • Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) – Finance Accelerate Program (with potential placement in corporate finance)
  • Financial Services & Insurance:

    • BlackRock Inc. (BLK) – Rotational Program (with potential placement in corporate finance)
    • Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU) – Finance Development Program (with potential focus on corporate finance)
    • MetLife Inc. (MET) – Financial Leadership Development Program (with potential placement in corporate finance)
  • Other Industries with strong Corporate Finance departments:

    • General Electric (GE) – Finance Rotational Program (with potential placement in corporate finance)
    • Ford Motor Company (F) – Finance Graduate Program (focused on corporate finance within the automotive industry)
    • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – Finance Leadership Development Program (with potential placement in corporate finance)

How to Land Your First Job in Finance

The job search was definitely an eye-opener. There was a lot of competition, and I had to refine my resume and cover letter multiple times to target each specific opportunity. The most valuable advice I received was to focus on transferable skills, not just technical finance knowledge. In my case, highlighting my problem-solving skills from my marketing internship and my communication skills from my participation in student government really helped me stand out. Once I landed the interview stage, it was all about showcasing my passion for finance and my willingness to learn. It’s a demanding field, but I’m excited to dig in and start contributing to the team!
Ashley H., Recent Finance Graduate (2024)

Refine Your Resume and Cover Letter

  • Tailor It – Don’t use a generic resume. Tailor it for each specific job application by highlighting relevant coursework, projects, and skills mentioned in the job description.
  • Quantify Achievements – Use numbers and metrics to showcase the impact of your work. For example, “Improved project efficiency by 15% through streamlining financial modeling processes.”
  • Action Verbs – Use strong action verbs like “analyzed,” “modeled,” “recommended,” and “presented” to showcase your skills and accomplishments.
  • Proofread Meticulously – Typos and grammatical errors can be a dealbreaker.

Get help with your resume.

Target the Right Opportunities:

  • Research Companies – Identify companies you’d like to work for. Research their corporate finance activities and tailor your cover letter to demonstrate your specific interest in their work.
  • Register with FinanceJobs.net  –Upload your resume and set up job alerts for “entry-level”, “associate”, “analyst”, “junior” etc or specific areas that interest you (e.g., M&A, FP&A).
  • Network Actively – Connect with alumni from your program, professionals in corporate finance through LinkedIn, or attend industry events.

Highlight Your Skills and Experience

  • Technical Skills – Demonstrate proficiency in financial modeling software like Excel and potentially others mentioned in the job description.
  • Analytical Skills – Highlight your ability to analyze financial data, identify trends, and draw insightful conclusions.
  • Communication Skills – Showcase your written and verbal communication skills through your resume and cover letter, and be prepared to articulate your ideas clearly in interviews.
  • Soft Skills – Emphasize your teamwork, problem-solving, and time management skills.

Prepare for Interviews

  • Research Common Questions – Practice answering common interview questions like “Why corporate finance?” or “Walk me through your understanding of financial statements.”
  • Company Research – Research the company, its recent financial performance, and any relevant news articles.
  • Prepare Your Questions – Have insightful questions prepared for the interviewer to demonstrate your genuine interest in the role and the company.
  • Practice Makes Perfect – Practice your interview skills with friends, family, or career services at your university.

Persistence and Follow-Up

  • Don’t Get Discouraged – The job search can be competitive. Don’t get discouraged by initial rejections. Keep applying, refine your approach, and learn from each interview.
  • Follow-Up is Key – Send a thank-you email after each interview, reiterating your interest in the position and highlighting key points discussed.
It was a whirlwind! Balancing interview prep with coursework and graduation activities was stressful, but it was all worth it. Networking with alumni from my program on LinkedIn proved to be very helpful. A senior analyst at a company I was interested in offered to chat, and her insights into the corporate finance team and the company culture were invaluable. During the interview, I was able to ask insightful questions that demonstrated my research and genuine interest in their specific area of focus within corporate finance. It felt amazing to receive the job offer!
Leah M, Recent Finance Graduate (2023)

Common Interview Questions

Our career coaches can help you prepare for your first interview in finance. Here are some common interview questions to help you prepare:

  1. Question:

    Answer: Walk us through your understanding of the role of a financial analyst in the corporate finance department.Answer: “In my understanding, a financial analyst in corporate finance plays a crucial role in supporting the company’s financial health and strategic decision-making. This would involve tasks like financial modeling, analyzing financial data to identify trends and risks, preparing reports for senior management, and potentially supporting with activities like mergers and acquisitions or capital budgeting. I’m particularly interested in learning more about how financial analysts contribute to the company’s [mention a specific area of corporate finance that interests you, e.g., valuation, strategic planning].”

  2. Question: Can you describe a time you used financial analysis skills to solve a problem? (Even if it wasn’t in a finance setting)

    Answer: “In my [previous job/relevant coursework], I [describe a situation where you analyzed data and used it to make a decision]. For example, during a group project on [mention a relevant class or project], we were tasked with [briefly explain the project]. I was responsible for [mention your specific role] which involved [describe your analysis process]. Through this analysis, we were able to [explain the outcome or solution].” (Highlight transferable skills like data analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving).

  3. Question: What are your salary expectations for this position?

    Answer: “I’ve researched entry-level corporate finance analyst positions in the [mention location] area and found the average salary range to be between [mention a realistic range based on your research]. I’m confident in my skills and qualifications, and I’m open to discussing a compensation package that is competitive and reflects the value I can bring to your team.” (Do your research beforehand and avoid lowballing or overpricing yourself).

  4. Question: Why are you interested in a career in corporate finance?

    Answer: “I’ve always been fascinated by the world of finance and how it impacts businesses. Corporate finance, in particular, appeals to me because it offers a dynamic environment where I can utilize analytical skills to solve complex problems and contribute to the company’s strategic growth. I’m particularly interested in [mention a specific area of corporate finance that interests you] and believe my skills in [mention relevant skills] would allow me to excel in this role.” (Demonstrate genuine interest and research the company’s specific areas of corporate finance).

  5. Question: Do you have any questions for us?

    Answer: “Absolutely! I’d love to learn more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this role within your specific corporate finance team. Additionally, I’m curious about the approach your team takes to [mention a specific area of corporate finance activity mentioned in the job description or your research].” (Show initiative and genuine interest in learning more about the specific role and company).

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