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How to Get Your employment skills in Shape for Commercial/Financial sector #CareerShapeUp – II

Friday 12 February 2016 by Cameron Harrison

As part of our "Get Your Career Into Shape!" campaign, we've been sharing career and job search related tips and advices throughout February. This article is second in the #CareerShapeUp series.


The job market in the Channel Islands is becoming more candidate-driven, with plenty of scope for career development opportunities. But there is one most important thing that you should know to capitalise on this current market situation - you need to know what skills you require and how to shape them up for a successful career.


If you are looking for a job in the commercial/financial sector in the Channel Islands, there is some good news for you. There are some positive signs of increasing job market stability with fewer redundancies.

We spoke to our specialist recruitment consultants to find out how to get employment skills in shape for a career in the commercial or the finance sector.


Financial Sector

A growing skills shortage in certain sectors is the primary force behind a power shift from the employers to the employees. There is a huge demand for trust, accounting and compliance skills, and experienced and qualified candidates with these specialised skills have the advantage. They can be picky (to a certain extent) about the type of organisation and responsibilities, as well as expect significant career progression.

If you are thinking of getting into trusts, you will preferably need professional qualification, such as ICSA or STEP. To make a mark as a financial professional, you need to demonstrate strong communication and analytical skills. The ability to think logically and process complex information can be developed through work experience, where you would get the scope to apply your training of analysing financial data in a real-world environment. Not just that, you also need to effectively communicate the information to your team. To improve your communication skills (verbal and written), you need to read financial reports and articles, as well as follow the latest market trends.


Candidates with compliance qualification and/or experience are in HOT DEMAND. A firm grasp of the national and/or international rules and regulations as well as demonstrable experience in the financial services sector is paramount for these roles. The position of a compliance officer also requires a couple of other soft skills along with a relevant compliance qualification such as ICA Diploma. As a compliance officer, you will need to show exceptional attention to detail whilst ensuring regulatory compliance across the board. Outstanding management and organisational skills are also essential. With ever-changing legislative and regulatory framework, compliance officers need to stay up-to-date with regulatory changes and developments in the finance industry.

Apart from the professional training, work experience through temporary placements or internship can lay a solid foundation and prepare you for your
 first role. Besides, most of the junior level positions offer ongoing training opportunities, where the candidate receives supervision and hands-on experience.

There has been a significant surge in the demand for suitably qualified accountants - preferably candidates working towards their accounting qualification (ACCA/ACA/CIMA). Companies are also willing to recruit graduates in temporary positions to fill in the talent void.

As an accounting professional, you should continuously strive to develop and enhance your financial skills, whilst honing your organisational and communication skills. The ability to network with people and establish professional ties is greatly valued - so never miss out on your niche related networking events or job fairs, where you get the chance to shed your inhibitions and develop your interpersonal skills.

That said, finance industry is highly dynamic and competitive - so you need to get your skills in shape before applying for a role.

Commercial Sector

There are plenty of opportunities available in the commercial sector, including secretarial and reception, retail and sales, customer service, company secretariat, ecommerce, logistics and hospitality.

The demand for office support and administrative roles is always high. A candidate without previous experience in a similar role is expected to showcase a solid educational background - clients expect min 5 GCSEs at C and above for these roles. For those who do not qualify the academic requirements, temping is an ideal way to gain the relevant industry experience and employment skills.

Every kind of role requires a combination of skills - the job-specific technical skills are gained through education/training, while employment skills are developed over time through work experience. Highlighting these skills in your CV can boost your chances of landing your perfect job.

If you are looking for a temp/contract role in the commercial or the financial sector or need any career guidance/interview tips, please get in touch with our consultants, who are always available to answer your career and job search related queries.