How to Get a Job in Compliance

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2020, the top-paying industries for compliance jobs included government, schools, hospitals, and companies. As the laws change or get updated, several sectors open up more job openings for compliance jobs. 

Even though there are uncountable job openings, sectors like finance, food, chemicals, and healthcare are more forgiving to entry-level compliance officers. With the spike in policy changes, these industries are large enough to employ fresh officers.

That being said, getting a job in compliance can be tricky if you are not aware of the rules of the game. We have addressed some of the problem areas to give your job-hunt a headstart!

Know Where to Apply 

Every field houses a fixed portion for compliance jobs, which seems like an advantage at one glance, but makes it a difficult career to prepare for. As each job has its own rules and complexities, it can be challenging to gain an overall understanding as one sector tends to be completely different from another. 

Hence, enterprising compliance professionals should do thorough research on the various industries and their requirements, and narrow it down to a countable few based on passion and interests. 

Even though private sectors have considerable job openings, most of them come from the public sector as per the BLS report. The top three employers for compliance officers are federal governments, state governments, and local governments. 

They might start with relatively low salaries, but they stand out due to job security and other similar benefits. While the public sector can come with a lot of unrequited formalities, the benefits may be worth the hassle. 

Check Your Qualifications

Aside from your bachelor’s or master’s, there are other professional qualifications that you can flaunt on your resume to help you bag a compliance job. For example, a certification that is highly revered in the finance sector is the Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) course

Additionally, choosing the right format for resume is crucial in order to showcase the most important aspects. 

There’s no harm in attending training or pass certain examinations to make it in a particular field. The Compliance and Ethics Professional Program (CCEP) from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) is a recognized qualification. It requires active participation in a course and passing of an examination. 

You can find more of these designations at the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA).

Optimize Your Work Experience

Working in the compliance field may not always entail shiny jobs with recognizable value. Your resume can include more than exclusively compliance-related jobs. 

Having a role in Operations or Legal is appreciated among employers as it shows that you have certain transferable skills that you can take to your new compliance job. The idea behind this is that working in operations gives the employee detailed knowledge of the intricacies of a firm. Legal and compliance crossover in several aspects, and due to the knowledge-heavy nature of the job, it fits right in with compliance. 

If you do not have these, examine the job description enlisted by the compliance and make a thorough research of their requirements. You can optimize your work experience section based on that by extracting the right keywords and you can prove yourself to be a good fit. 

If that does not work, you can consider doing temporary work in compliance contracting jobs. Several financial services employ interim contractors to guide them in the compliance area with specific projects. These are valuable opportunities and will help you fill up any resume gaps. 

Network and Build Relationships

Like any field, making it in the compliance field entails a degree of networking. Actively communicating with professional recruiters will help you gain intel on compliance jobs that are not out to the public yet. 

Analyze the market and build relationships with potentially important connections such as employees in recruitment firms, especially those that specialize in Compliance & Corporate Governance recruitment. 

However, refrain from having expectations as building connections do not carry any sort of obligation for them to let you know. Having connections at such places can come in handy, the idea behind this being to make your job hunting process easier. 

Make a Compliance Resume 

The industry standards keep changing, and you need to be on top of that while creating your compliance resume. As these industries are comparatively large with sufficient competition, your resume has to stand out from the rest, and the easiest way to do that is by having an educated approach. 

Make a master compliance resume that does justice to all of your work experience, skills, training, and certifications by creating separate sections for them and listing them in an organized manner. 

After you find a job opening, thoroughly analyze their job description and extract important keywords. Doing so will ensure that your resume is approved by the Applicant Tracking System. Sending one generic resume to all of your employers is a rookie mistake, as hiring managers appreciate customization and research on their company. 

Key Takeaways

Due to the recent boom in compliance jobs due to constant policy updates, there are numerous jobs in every industry imaginable. While this makes things easier, it also makes it a tad more complicated in terms of selecting the right fit. 

Here is what you can take away from this article to get a job in compliance:

  • Analyze your passion, interests, educational qualifications to choose an industry that fits and prepare for their requirements
  • Gain certificates and attend training programs to make your candidacy more valuable 
  • Use any relevant work experience you have in sectors like operations or legal to get a job in compliance
  • Network with influential connections to boost your chances of receiving intel on valuable compliance jobs 
  • Make a killer compliance resume with all of your skills, work experience, and professional qualifications and customize them to job requirements

You work hard at your job, let your job hunting process be a breeze by using these valuable tips!

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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