Working in banking is all about money and your resumé should show your readiness to go into that sought-after field and be very successful with it. Your keenness to shine in this particular hot house should be clear throughout your resumé. Your suitability, capability and experience at getting results must be immediately noticeable too.
Competition is exceptionally high for banking posts, thus it is important to aim for three things when you write both your resumé and banking letters: conciseness, clarity and appeal. The last element must grab the employer’s attention. If a recruiter has to work out whether you are really suitable through a lot of verbiage, you have lost the opportunity. They are seeking candidates who will get them new customers and keep that profit margin healthy. You won’t get in if there is any doubt about you.
A. The Covering Letter
This should be quite brief with no more than three paragraphs over one A4 page. The opening paragraph should mention what you are applying for and why. Try not to repeat your resumé here. Instead, mainly summarise key points relevant to the post. The second paragraph should state why you are particularly suitable, especially in acquiring customers and giving value for money, and using certain key words the advert might have mentioned, while the third paragraph contains what you hope to gain from the post and any special skills/expertise you would bring to it in return.
The letter should stress your experience, knowledge and expertise (EKE) that would suit that job and enhance the company’s service and reputation. Mention the desire to face that next challenge in your development which the new company appears, to offer and the enthusiasm and drive you would be bringing. The letter should be more professional and emotional in tone, i:e stressing the kind of person you are, your personality, your objectives, reliability, resilience, successes etc, with certain key words like flexibility, adaptability and challenge strategically placed. Overall, the letter should give a brief flavour of you while the resumé fills in the details. End very hopefully, thanking them for a positive response soon.
B. The Resumé
No resumé should be longer than two A4 pages, and at the most, three. If they provide an application form, that makes it easier. Banking is now a global activity so be prepared to address that aspect in your resumé. You could arrange the details in the following order for clarity:
- Education – all your college and university experiences, along with your qualifications, especially if you are an older candidate. Include your high school if you are younger.
- Current Post – This should have a brief outline of your present job, its responsibilities and roles, and the main skills you employ within it, especially the ones relevant to banking, or that particular post.
- Professional Experience – This is where you would list your other key and recent jobs, making sure you outline what you did. Use certain key buzzwords associated with the finance field, so that your specific skills in handling the potential tasks are plain to see, and in accepted banking jargon. Highlight the experiences which actually match the requirement of the advert rather than just speaking generally.
- Additional Experience – This part is suitable for all the things you might have done in between jobs or as voluntary work, again emphasising the relevant knowledge and skills gained within them that would be useful to the new post. These would also help to fill any noticeable gaps and give a more rounded picture of you.
- Computer Skills – Mention the computer awareness you have, the different kinds of applications you are adept in and your actual experience in this field. Computers are our future and you being comfortable with them shows your adaptability and flexibility. Confidence in technology has to be your keyword, especially when computers are now essential to the vast amount of banking data.
- Languages – This is another crucial aspect in our global banking world. Any language could be useful to your role, especially the main ones like English, French, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi, Japanese and Chinese. These kind of linguistic skills can often be priceless to potential and existing customers.
- Honours and Awards – List these clearly with brief explanations of why you received them, specially the most recent. Honours which match the new job field should come first.
- Recent Training – List all the courses and training you have had, especially the ones that are relevant to this new job. Even the occasional one-day course in banking functions shows that you wish to keep up with the trends and not hang back in old ways and mindsets. That is also how you would be able to compete with younger people who might be at the cutting edge of their profession.
- Six Key Words (Optional) – These are words you would use to describe yourself, or other people have used constantly to describe you. These would be useful as a snapshot to tell the recruiter what kind of personality you have and could work in your favour, especially if those words are also in mind for their ideal candidate.
- References – List two key referees that can be contacted as recommendation and support for you. One is usually a business leader, like your last boss, and one personal, or both could be from past experiences. If you are younger, one should be a principal of your college or headteacher.
On the whole, you have to stress your experience, accomplishments and the results you are capable of producing, where people are also concentrating on money. In effect, how you would improve the bottom line. That’s all banking businesses are interested in. If employers think you will make things happen, while being sensitive and adaptable, you are halfway in. A fine balance in demonstrating experience, clear objectives and a love of the profession itself will get you even farther.