How can I break into fintech?

The UK’s flourishing fintech market is worth a staggering £6.6bn and employs more than 61,000 people. Interested? You should be. Here’s how to make your CV stand out in this dynamic and booming industry… 

Don’t ignore entry-level roles

Young professionals and graduates shouldn’t “be afraid of entry level positions,” says Jolanta Jurgaityte, Head of HR at TransferGo.

“Fintech is very different from a traditional finance sector as the industry is still young, fast growing, and innovative. True talents are quickly seen and there are great opportunities to grow within these fintech companies.”

Do build your network…

Marieke Flament is MD for Europe at Circle, a peer-to-peer payment app. Like Jolanta, she highlights how different the sector is from traditional areas of finance, and says:

“It’s very much focused on tech and its application to disrupt the traditional financial sector. Roles in fintech are more geared towards digital and tech – like digital marketing, coding and UX.”

As for getting hired, Marieke recommends good old-fashioned networking and straight up approaching people.

“Talk to the people in the companies that you’d like to approach. Try their products and be armed with questions!”

… and prepare your pitch

Phil Sheridan is the Senior Managing Director at the recruitment firm, Robery Half UK. Like Marieke, he recommends networking and suggetsing starting off by asking friends and family for potential contacts and broadening your list to include sites like LinkedIn.

“Professional networking sites, meet-up groups and industry events are great ways to network and connect with people you don’t know,” says Phil.

To make a real impact, create and reherse your pitch: “Prepare a short summary that describes who you are, your background and what you are specifically looking for in a job. This will help prepare you when you begin networking or when being interviewed.”

How can I break into fintech?

Image: Adobe Stock Library

Don’t get bogged down by having the right qualifications or not

“With Fintech companies, there’s always a range of ways to begin your career,”

says Ryan Winstanley, a technology graduate working for the BGL Group – a financial servcies company based in Peterbrorough.

“Speaking from a graduate perspective, I don’t think that you necessarily need to have a degree in the specific field of the role you apply for. In some instances, it’s more the transferrable skills that you gain from going to university that a company will be interested in.”

Do think creatively and show ambition

“Whilst you still need to have the technical knowledge that comes with working in a finance industry, you also need the ability to adapt and think creatively in new and challenging situations,”

says Adam Mitcham, a finance graduate working in the Commercial Finance division of BGL Group.

“I found that when applying for roles in the fintech industry I had to showcase transferrable skills through group tasks and the communication of my thoughts and work, whereas in the traditional finance industry I found that the emphasis was on volume of output and technical knowledge.”

Adam put this down to the work culture and different demands:

“Fintech companies are very much looking at new ways of working and expect all their employees to add value, regardless of their levels within the company. So I’ve found that more emphasis is based on each individual’s performance and development.”

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