How can finance professionals make themselves stand out in the media & creative sector?
“The first point at which they can stand out is with their CVs and first impressions count. View your CV as a ticket to an interview. You need to put yourself in the client’s shoes, what do you think they want to see? Simply, how you add value to their business? How do you maximise profitability and minimise expenditure and costs? And finally, as there are so many ERP systems and accountancy packages out there, it is important you list which systems you’re proficient with. You wouldn’t believe how many candidates leave this off their CVs.
At the interview stage, media and creative clients are looking for a mix of skills, competency and personality. To effectively prepare for competency-based interview questions, analyse the job spec, highlight any elements which really demonstrate your skill-set and give tangible examples of how your experience matches what they’re looking for. With regards to your personality, make sure you’re always attempting to build rapport with whoever you meet with. Demonstrate a desire, ask questions about the business and do your research on Companies House and know their figures.
Make sure they’re leaving the room with a complete understanding of the value you can add to the business and the desire you have to work with them.”
“Focus on the elements where you’ve managed to reduce costs, improve processes, been an effective business partner and have managed multiple stakeholders. There is no one blanket answer for this as it is dependent on each individual and each vacancy. With this in mind, it is critical you tailor to these elements for each role.
A common problem for candidates at all levels is that they struggle to accentuate their achievements. I have had numerous interviews with candidates who looked OK on paper who were, in fact, exceptional and there were so many great things they hadn’t put on their CV. An easy way to stand out is to clearly display the value you add to a business. If a client is going to hire you, they will want to know they’re hiring someone they feel can develop within their business and add value in the short, medium and long term.
Finally, as my colleagues have already touched upon, the media and creative sector is highly personality driven. From the receptionist to the CEO, big personalities are everywhere, and it helps company cohesion for the finance team to be cut from the same cloth (in most cases).
“Personality and culture fit are essential. Within media and creative businesses generally, bubbly and personable characters fit in best.
It is also important to display progression within your current business. This will show you can be trusted with increased responsibilities and that your career is on the right trajectory.
A final thing worth mentioning is a way you can make yourself stand out is to exhaust all of your options in your current role before deciding to leave. Poor reasons for wanting to leave your current role can put clients off, whether you agree with that or not, it is a reality in the current job market."
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