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There typically are four steps to landing a credit analyst job: obtain the required credentials, have relevant work experience, have excellent critical-thinking skills, and identify potential employers. A credit analyst is responsible for reviewing the financial information provided by the business or individual applying for credit, evaluating the level of risk, and determining the credit limit. This position is found in the financial-services industry and in large corporations. It is important to note that a vast majority of business-to-business sales are completed based on a line of credit.
The academic credentials required to secure a credit analyst job usually include post-secondary training in business, management, finance, or accounting. These programs are available from a wide range of community colleges and universities. The average program length is three years, and it usually provides training in a range of business management functions.
Types of work experience necessary to get a credit analyst job include accounts receivable officer, accounting clerk, office administrator, sales representative, and other accounting-related positions. In a large organization, candidates with business or financial analysis skills and experience usually are considered excellent candidates for this type of job. All of these positions require computer software and accounting skills.
Critical thinking skills are an important part of a credit analyst job. He or she needs to evaluate a range of different information, assign priorities, and then make an evaluation of the appropriate level of risk and credit to extend to the firm. It is important to note that the criteria for lending vary widely, depending on the credit instrument, client profile, and business type.
Most people assume that financial-services firms are the only source of employment for a credit analyst. This is not the case. Look for large corporations that sell products to other businesses. For example, an automobile parts manufacturer will have a range of different clients, all of whom are purchasing on account. Other options include organizations that provide services to other firms, and the corporate head office for large retail chains.
Prepare for your interview by researching the company in advance. Learn as much as you can about their client base, the impact of the economy on their clients, and any major losses or bankruptcies. In the interview, talk about your experiences and how they are relevant to the current position. Be prepared to answer specific questions on credit analysis, trends in financial reporting, and your skills with computer software programs.
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