The 9 must-have skills for finance managers who want to secure that £80k+job
Accounting and finance management skills are essential to achieve career success in the finance world, together with necessary key skills which can be applied across positions, fields or companies. These are the 9 Must-Have Skills and tools to improve your chances of securing that £80k+ job.
#1 Sales skills
Sales skills are the basis of all business success and applying for a job is one of many examples of sales skills. You are always selling, even if there is nothing specifically in your finance/accounting job description that mentions sales. You will sell to internal and external customers during all sorts of activities, including at team meetings and when providing customer service, finance management, CFO or strategy work, user experience and more. A solid foundation in how to sell will give you a wide advantage over your colleagues and competitors.
#2 Your transferable skills
Transferable skills will give you the ability to see your past experience in a new light. That experience can be as varied as volunteer work to a full-time job, your weekend hobby or a coding job. During each experience, skills are acquired that can be applied to your future career success.
#3 Your coding skills
Coding is the skill for 21st century applicants. You don’t need to know how to build the next Airbnb app, but a basic understanding of how the Web works and how software and apps are built can give you a big advantage. Most positions require some technical knowledge, but even if your job never requires you to be overly technical, you should know what’s happening under the hood. While coding is complex, technology has simplified this skill. Thanks to organisations like Khan Academy and General Assembly it’s never been easier to learn how to code.
#4 Your big data skills
Data is all around us in every digital and social media exchange that occurs and it’s going to get bigger and morph more and more into an ‘everyday tool’ as technology advances. With big data you can gain a competitive advantage, whether it is just in your private apps or inside your business. Understanding customer preferences and knowing how to utilise big data will help you to be a person who makes more informed business decisions.
If you need to brush up your Big Data knowledge base and tools, visit Udemy. They offer a wide range of big data courses.
#5 Your cloud skills
Like it or not, much of your data is going to end up in the Cloud at some point, so you should demonstrate as much knowledge as you can – whether it’s simply mastering Google Drive, Dropbox or tools like Oracle or Zoho. Check out this free guide on how to share files on Dropbox at Cloudwards. When you have an understanding of the Cloud, you are able to demonstrate you know how to collaborate more efficiently with colleagues, improve your security, discover new business models and ensure you stay competitive. Are you new to Cloud computing? Check out this free introduction course at Cloudacademy.
#6 Your communication skills
Good written and oral communication skills are essential, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily easy to master! Communication in the 21st century also means mobile and online and this requires you to have a good working knowledge of etiquette on the most popular social media tools. This may sound obvious, but the ability to effectively communicate, interact and engage with others with the right online and mobile tools is extremely important. Learn how to manage your Skype and Google Hangouts and demonstrate the proper use of email inbox tools to automate and label messages, as well as basic keyboard shortcuts and the right social media acronyms. DIY Genius have put together a list of 10 free online courses that help social media skills training.
#7 Your results management skills
Also called project management, this is an important skill and ultimately all about results, particularly if you work in accounting or finance. If you are able to see the big picture and break this down into small, manageable and action-oriented steps then you have undeniable value.
This skill requires you to synthesise many of your other skills and combine them with your passion and focus. Results-driven people are generally ‘in the zone’ and can quantify outcomes to motivate themselves and their teams, all whilst contributing to the bottom line.
Microsoft Project skills are good to know but even better to learn are tools like Basecamp, Trello, Podio or Slack.
#8 Your interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are a formal way of describing how people get along, relate and communicate with others. Employers hire people with domain expertise, naturally, but mostly they hire people they like and can work alongside. This is also referred to as ‘culture fit’.
To become more likeable, you might try adopting the body language of the people you’re talking to, repeating their ideas and opinions back to them to show you are really listening. But bear in mind that all the tips and tricks in the world won’t help if you don’t have genuine interest in, and empathy for, your fellow team member.
#9 Your ‘having fun’ skills
Without a doubt, work is serious business for most of us. Products and services must be sold and delivered, and money must be made. Despite the gravity of these responsibilities, successful managers and staffers make their organisations fun places to work. The bar on this has been raised and continues to go up.
No matter what your position in the team, you can make that task a little bit easier for yourself by remembering to delegate wisely, to communicate properly, to make time for team members, to set goals and most importantly, To Not Take It All Too Seriously, so that you and the team can have some fun.
Demonstrate your best skills and highlight your ability to work with current tools and you should have a good chance at securing that £80k+ job. Good luck and remember to hunt wisely!
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