Compliance is a tough sector to break into and it is wise to make sure that it's the right sector for you before you make your way into it. Compliance is a sector that involves a lot of challenges and high pressure decisions and applying for a job in compliance needs to be considered before you go headfast into it.
Below are five tips to consider when applying for compliance jobs:
1. Have you got the skills?
More important than anything else you need to consider whether you’ve got the right skillset for the job. Different employers will expect different skills but there are a basic set which all compliance employees will have.
The key skills you’ll need are integrity, attention to detail, analytical skills (so you know how to make the next move), high levels of numeracy and client-facing skills. Diplomacy is a key element of your client-facing skillset which will be used regularly and assertiveness too is important.
2. Do you know the company?
When you apply to a firm you need to get to know them in advance as well as you possibly can. There’s the chance you will be asked specifically why you chose that company or what you know about them in your interview. The more you know the better you look when delivering your responses to interview questions. Research their history, their key projects and where they’re headed in future. It also doesn’t hurt to have a nosy at competitors so you can mention them where appropriate.
3. Have you got the professional know-how?
If it’s your first application for a compliance job then you are unlikely to have on the job experience. This doesn’t mean you can’t display your understanding and knowledge of the sector however. You should be actively engaged in seeking out new information and changes in the industry through relevant journals and news sites.
4. Have you got the legal facts?
Understanding the inner workings of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is integral to finding a job in compliance. Compliance jobs are reliant upon the standards set out by these regulatory authorities, and therefore you need to be sure you know the latest regulations and any changes when they take place. Much of this will be developed once you’re on the job but whilst you’re hunting all the learning is down to you. Without an understanding of the regulatory and legal environment surrounding the industry, it may be harder to land the job you want.
5. Can you judge the risks?
Compliance is all about risk management. Have you got the confidence in your knowledge and experience to make the right judgement? Your role as a compliance officer or professional is to help mitigate the company’s compliance risks and understand implicitly what they are. You need to have fail-safes in place and mitigate every risk before it becomes a serious issue. Your role depends about confidence risk management and you need to be able to demonstrate this to your potential employer.
If you’re considering applying for a job in compliance then you need to go over these points. It may seem daunting but if this is the sector you’re dedicated to then your passion and dedication should shine through.